Two upcoming meetings of interest to Ward Twovians

Last week I heard Evan Ferrari from eMerge give an inspiring presentation about making Guelph a community that uses 100% renewables in its energy use.
This is going to be essential if we are going to address climate change issues and become a self-reliant, sustainable city. One of his key points was shifting to what he called a transportation ‘hierarchy’.
Evan sees these as our priorities towards the future well-being of our community:

  1. Walking. We need to make our neighbourhoods walkable as we meet our growth expectations. Sprawling suburbs are built for cars, not people, and the cost of that growth does not pay for itself. If we design our new developments around walkability, it’s healthier, our carbon footprint is much lower, and we get to know our neighbours, which makes our city safer and happier.
    2. Biking: Like walking, the more we can cycle we are individually and as a community healthier and actually wealthier too as our car and road maintenance costs go down. We need to make cycling safer and more welcoming with separated bike lines and more connected recreational trails. Tell your elected officials that expanding our bike system is valuable to you for your quality of life!
    3. Public Transportation ( bus and train ), especially if we can move towards electric buses! Public transit is for everyone regardless of economic status. If our transit system is efficient, we will be more inclined to use it, which is cheaper and much better for the environment.
    4. Cars ( electrify! ). If we can move towards electric vehicles we will notice an immediate difference with our carbon emissions, and we won’t be reliant on the fossil fuel industry which has the biggest negative impact on our climate. There are now great incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. I know, I just bought one!

If we continue to let fossil-fueled cars be our top priority, we will only exacerbate the problems in a failing system. If cars win, we lose. It’s as simple as that.
Evan believes that ‘100% renewable’ is an achievable goal, and I’m hoping that as a city we can embrace this vision. Let’s work together on that.

With this in mind, here are two upcoming events that will be of interest to Ward Twovians.

March 20th, at 6:30 pm at City Hall, there is a town hall meeting about transit. Have your say about how we can improve it! There has been some confusion around this meeting. As far as I know, Ward 3 Councillor June Hofland with the help of her ward mate Phil Allt had been planning one for March 28th, and had organized a campaign on the buses to promote it. Then the Mayor decided to have his own a week before. Now, to clear up that confusion, they are combining forces and presenting one meeting on the 20th, ( yay!) despite what you might have read! It’s a great chance, as we move into election mode soon, to let us know what we can do to meet the many challenges we face in making our public transit system one that meets our growth expectations.
The aforementioned eMerge Guelph is hosting “ A Mayor’s Vision: 100% Renewable Energy- Thursday March 22nd at 7 pm at 10c ( 42 Carden Street )- Oxford County Mayor, David Mayberry, will share how his community is working toward 100% Renewable Energy. Neetika Sathe, VP, Alectra Energy (soon to be merging with Guelph Hydro) will discuss their plans for a new green energy and technology centre in Guelph – Registration necessary:

I’ll be at both meetings rooting for Ward 2.. hope to see you there….James


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Riverside Park Playground closed for renovations

the Jewel of Ward 2, Riverside Park, is getting a facelift for its playground. Can’t wait to see the results! A Large Mouth Bass and a Water Strider?


New playground expected in June 2018

Guelph, Ont., March 12, 2018 – Construction of the new Riverside Park playground is set to start on March 13 and last through to June. The current play area will be fenced off and closed to the public during construction.

The updated play area will offer a new playground featuring a tube slide, tower, swings and climbing obstacles including a Large Mouth Bass and Water Strider. New asphalt pathways, seating areas and a combination of rubber and wood surfaces for kids to play on will surround the new playground.

The park is expected to be open in June 2018, weather permitting.

For more information

Stefan Ilic, Project Specialist
Open Space Planning, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3349

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Guelph’s Clean and Green Community Cleanup April 21st

On Saturday, April 21, the City of Guelph is hosting its 15th annual Guelph Clean and Green Community Cleanup—one of the city’s largest community environmental clean-up events.

We’ve always had a good Ward 2 contingent.. so let’s keep that going!

This is your opportunity to spend a few hours “spring cleaning” your neighbourhood by joining hundreds of volunteers to pick up litter along Guelph’s streets, green spaces, and community parks.

Last year, more than 1100 volunteers participated and picked up 6,000 kilograms of litter. It is true that when we work together, we can make a big difference..

The 2018 cleanup is open to everyone: individuals, teams, and neighbourhood and community groups. Participating high school students can earn credit towards their volunteer hours. Volunteers will be provided with clean-up kits and following the cleanup, there will be a free barbecue lunch.

Registration is open from now until April 15th. The easiest way to register is to visit Alternatively, you can register by calling 519-822-1260 extension 3305 or email

If you’d like to join councilor Andy Van Hellemond and myself on our team, email me at

The City of Guelph is grateful for the work of our volunteers as they help to make our common spaces more enjoyable for everyone. We look forward to your registration and seeing you on April 21.


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Residential plow out scheduled for Guelph February 4

Residents asked to move parked cars off streets for plows

Guelph, Ont., February 4, 2018 – A residential plow out is scheduled to start at about 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 4, and will continue until all roads are plowed.

A plow out is typically completed within 24 hours. Drivers returning home may discover a windrow at the base of the driveway or that the road has not yet been plowed. You can now use the new Plow Tracker map to track where plows are and sign up for email alerts on plow outs, all from

To accommodate the plow out, please move your parked vehicles off streets to allow plows to pass. We also ask that residents clear snow that may be blocking catch basins in front of their residences. Warmer temperatures means that melting snow can cause flooding.

To stay safe during a storm, we recommend that you:

Allow for extra commute times and drive according to road conditions.
Please be patient with sidewalk clearing operations. If you’re able, please help clear sidewalks near your property. Seniors and residents with a physical disability who require assistance shoveling can call Snow Angels at 519-822-0912.
Keep fire hydrants clear of snow.
Do not place waste carts on top of snow banks or on the road as these pose obstacles to the City’s snow clearing operations. Instead, shovel a spot for your carts, or place them in the driveway one foot from the curb.
Help keep storm drains and catch basins clear to prevent flooding.
To keep roads safe and accessible, do not park across from another vehicle or driveway, and whenever possible, move parked cars off the streets to make room for snow plows.
The City’s winter maintenance service helps ensure community safety every day, and in the event of extreme weather. The minimum threshold for a plow out on residential roads is eight centimetres.

Continue to check, Facebook and Twitter for updates about City services that might be affected by the weather including recreation programming, public transit and garbage pickup.


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Open House meetings for new Main Library

The Guelph Public Library Board is hosting two open house meetings to present updated information regarding a new Main Library. The new facility is intended to be part of the proposed Baker District Project. KPMG has been contracted to present a business case for a new facility to City Council on February 13th, 2018.

When: Tuesday, January 9 — either 2 – 4 pm or 6 – 8 pm
Where: Main Library, Programming Room (2nd Floor), 100 Norfolk Street, Guelph

Why come to the open house?
This opportunity is to reintroduce the idea of a new Main Library. Please share what you want to see within a new Main Library.

Bring your ideas for the best use of public space.
We will review the major elements of our August 2017 (updated) Functional Plan.
We will discuss examples of how other cities in Ontario, and Canada have developed their main libraries.
For more information:
Steven Kraft, CEO, Guelph Public Library
519-824-6220, ext. 224

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Emergency Shelters during cold weather

thanks to the Guelph Wellington Poverty Elimination Task force, here’s an infographic for searching safe, warm locations in this cold snap. Call 1-888-437-3247 in an emergency. It’s an important time to support our most vulnerable residents


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Community Rink in Riverside Park East


The community skating rink in Riverside Park East is ready for skating. ( off of Riverside Dr.) This is the result of a great community effort including our oldest volunteer who is in his eighties! He takes care of the maintenance of our snow shovels.

This a fantastic Ward 2 neighbourhood project. Enjoy!

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