Ward 2 Meeting about new transit Routes Thursday July 20th

Good morning Twovians…. here’s a note from city staff about upcoming presentations about our new transit routing. The first is in our ward- so hop on the bus and come on down to the Evergreen Centre!

Here’s the schedule: Hope to see you there:

Starting Thursday, July 20, we will be holding a series of information sessions to present the new routes to the community, and answer questions.
We invite City Council and the Executive Team to join us at these sessions to learn more. I encourage you to share on your social media sites!! These sessions are

Thursday, July 20 at Evergreen Centre (Staff presentation)
10:30–11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 23 at City Hall (Staff presentation)
7–8 p.m.

Saturday, August 26 at Stone Road Mall (Question and answer period, no presentation)
11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Details of the new routes are available on guelphtransit.ca.

That’s all for now folks. Hope to see you at Hillside tonight. Though It’s just outside the city limits, it’s KINDA in Ward 2!



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Summer water fun starts Saturday!

Guelph, Ont., June 9, 2017 – The City’s splash pads, wading pools and outdoor pool will be open weekends starting tomorrow, June 10, with the exception of Northview, South End and Jubilee splash pads.

Weekend splash pad hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and daily operation begins Monday, June 26.

Construction on the Northview splash pad is nearing completion and the City expects the splash pad will open on June 26. South End should open later this month, and Jubilee will open mid-July once unscheduled repairs are completed. Residents should check the City’s website, guelph.ca for opening dates.

Lyon Leisure Pool, located at 258 York Road, begins daily operation on Thursday, June 29. Public swims are from 1 to 8 p.m. daily with additional swims on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Leisure swims are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Regular admission fees apply.

Mico Valeriote Park wading pool will open daily beginning Friday, June 30 from 11 a.m.. to 3 p.m. and the wading pools in Sunny Acres and Exhibition parks will open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m.

The splash pads, wading pools and Lyon Leisure Pool close for the summer season on Tuesday, September 5.

The Market Square water feature operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until September.

Admission is free at the splash pads, wading pools, and water feature. Residents should check guelph.ca, Twitter or Facebook for any closure notices due to inclement weather or maintenance.


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Concerning the proposed Emma-Earl Bridge in Ward 2

It was a very informative information session at the Evergreen Centre last night about the proposed Emma-Earl Bridge. I was able to speak to a number of Ward 2 residents about their take on the impact this bridge would have on the neighbourhoods adjoining the site.
Here’s what I learned from the open-house:

*There is a real diversity of opinion on the merits of the bridge. Most of those opposed are on the West side of the river.
*Safety is a big concern. On the East side, residents want to have safe access, especially for their children, to the Trans-Canada Trail and the downtown, without going across the Speedvale Bridge which is considered dangerous for cyclists. On the West side, there is increased criminal activity along the trail, and there is fear that the walking bridge would become a gathering place for more of this activity.
*Cycling commuters in the North-East of Ward 2 want connectivity to the downtown with a safe, efficient route that, again, avoids the congested Speedvale.
*On the east side, safety for children in the busy Speedvale corridor is the biggest reason for wanting the bridge. Currently they will not use Speedvale for cycling, feeling it’s too dangerous, so the statistics get skewed around how many MIGHT use the bridge. In other words, since they don’t feel safe cycling, some residents say “there are not many cyclists in that area, so why do we need a bridge?
*There is a feeling that the city missed an opportunity, when addressing infrastructure improvements along Speedvale, to have a dedicated bike lane that would have made the bridge unnecessary. A painted line is NOT a bike line to many cycling advocates.
The walking bridge would be, to some, a real civic amenity, enabling an enjoyable recreational experience from the NE through to the downtown, and our trails are known as one of the main contributors to our reputation for having high marks in ‘community well-being’.
*Many residents along Dufferin Street feel that the additional foot and cycle traffic from the Emma-Earl bridge would affect the pristine natural environment of the river corridor along the Speed River
*There is a sense with some that safety issues along the trail need to be addressed first with lighting and increased police presence. Encampments along the West side of the river of homeless people, many of them addicts, has created fear amongst the residents. Many wonder if the expense of the bridge should be a top priority when there are so many socio/economic issues to be addressed.
*There is an acknowledged “Nimby” aspect to this issue: the bridge would have a negative impact on the west side residents, who have little reason to cross the bridge themselves, ( though better, safer access to the Speedvale/Stevenson plaza would be appreciated by some)
*Some feel that the Emma-Earl bridge would be GOOD for the environment because it would enable more people to cycle safely: they’d be using their cars less and exercising outdoors more, which has health benefits too.
*Some feel that a north-south trail connection UNDER the Speedvale bridge would be more of a priority, while others feel these two trail enhancements should go hand in hand.
*The cost of the bridge is a concern, though it may cost less than the appropriation of property and construction costs along Speedvale that would be needed to make that street a safe thoroughfare for cyclists
*There is a sense that not enough people would actually use the bridge to justify the cost and impact of the project
*The “do nothing’ option seems to be growing in popularity for a number of reasons
There is confusion around the decision making process. Some are worried that it’s already a ‘done deal’ that the bridge is going in, and that their voices were not heard. *Nothing will happen until the issue comes back to council for discussion after the environmental assessment report, and some residents are unaware of this.
*The residents along the west side of the river, who are NOT in favour of the bridge, seem more active and organized in their opposition than those on the east side who favour it. Along the east side there is a sense that as a result of this their voices are not being heard.
*There is confusion around the timing of the project. It is not generally understood that if approved, this project could take years to actually happen, especially since other trail and cycling activists around the city feel that the Emma-Earl bridge may be ‘jumping the queue’ ahead of other bridge and trail projects already in the master plan.
*The conversation around this has been divisive in the ward. Much work needs to be done to reach consensus.

I will be doing more outreach in the community around this, and would encourage all those with concerns to make their voices heard when the issue DOES come back to council. I really appreciated the civil tone of the discussion despite conflicting, passionate, viewpoints. I welcome more dialogue around this. I’m available at 519-827-6481 or james.gordon@guelph.ca to talk to anyone interested. You are also encouraged to add comments here on “the Deuce”. As for myself, there is a lot to digest here, and I will not make a decision personally on what makes sense, till the issue is fully discussed at council and all concerns are heard. There is more to learn. Sometimes, I find, what’s best for the city as a whole is not what’s best for a particular neighbourhood. I am committed to finding a solution that IS of lasting benefit to the city, and still feels acceptable to the neighbourhoods along both sides of our beautiful Speed River.
Here is the link to the information currently available on the city website

thanks! James


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Guelph Multicultural Fest in Ward 2 Next week!

This is always a real highlight of the year for us Ward Twovians…In Riverside Park! ( We may be #2 but our Park is #1!)

I hope to see you there, and I urge you to check out the schedule at




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Emma- Earl Bridge discussion next week

Important meeting for Ward Twovians! See you there I hope



will be a review and discussion of a proposed pedestrian bridge connecting Emma Street and Earl Street at the
Open house on Wednesday, June 7. This bridge would be located south of Speedvale Avenue to allow a safe, pleasant pedestrian/cycling crossing across the Speed River. The Guelph Trail Master
Plan (2005) recommends a bridge in this location to provide a connection to the Trans Canada Trail and to Downtown.

Wednesday June 7
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, 883 Woolwich St., 6:00-8pm.


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Changes at Guelph Transit

Guelph Transit is changing to get you on board
New routes, special fares and improved customer service
Guelph, Ont., May 26, 2017 – Guelph Transit is excited to announce a number of new and exciting initiatives!

“Guelph Transit  continually is looking for opportunities to provide our customers with the very best in customer service, customer amenities and community engagement,” says Mike Spicer, general manager for Guelph Transit. “Our goal is to provide the very best service where and when you need us most, and help you get to the places and events that matter to you. These latest changes are designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our service, and encourage our community to make transit one of the ways of travelling in Guelph!”

Mobility service improvements

Effective Thursday, June 1, residents who are eligible for Mobility Service will have a new option to  receive automated telephone calls that will provide a reminder for their pre-booked trip.

Look for an information letter that Guelph Transit will send out to all registered Mobility customers in the next few weeks explaining the new service and asking customers if they would like to opt-in for this great new service.

“One of the benefits of this service is the option to receive an automated call 15 minutes prior to your scheduled pick-up,” explains Spicer. “If the bus is running a bit head or behind schedule the 15 minute call ensures that customers have the time needed to be ready before the bus arrives.”

Other automated calls include trip confirmation (received after a trip is booked through the mobility office) and one day prior notification (a call one day prior to your scheduled pick-up).

September route changes

As a result of the community outreach and feedback received in April on the proposed September route realignment, Guelph Transit made several adjustments to the overall transit system. These changes, along with all proposed routes, will be presented to the City’s Committee of the Whole on June 6.

The route realignment will help alleviate some of the concerns faced by the current system: nearly empty buses in some areas, overloaded buses in other areas, and buses running chronically behind schedule on several routes. It will also strengthen Guelph Transit by putting buses where and when they are needed most to carry passengers.

“We know that the changes coming in September will not make it better for everyone,” says Spicer. “But it is  a start to ensure that our base level service is consistent and reliable. Our goal is to continue to improve the customer experience and provide the citizens of Guelph with an affordable, efficient and reliable service that provides value to the community.”

Proposed Special Event Fare

Staff will present a report to the City’s Committee of the Whole on June 6, that will propose a new special event fare program to encourage residents to take the bus when attending a ticketed event at the River Run Centre or Sleeman Centre, including all Guelph Storm home games.

The proposed fare for this program is $1 cash only, valid on conventional and mobility service. Monthly passes will not be reduced as a result of the program, and all other fares programs would continue to be valid. If approved, the special event fare would start this September.

Guelph Transit is well positioned to offer this service to event goers as buses connect at Guelph Central Station, providing service within walking distance to the River Run Centre and Sleeman Centre, and downtown restaurants and shops.

Clean Air Day

Clean Air Day is national program held on the first Wednesday in June to raise community awareness and encourage positive actions relating to clean air and climate change.  The City has supported this program since 2001 through various initiatives such as free transit..

Residents who normally take a vehicle to get around Guelph are encouraged to ride Guelph Transit  for free on Wednesday, June 7.

City staff will be at Guelph Central Station from 8 a.m. until noon providing information about sustainability and transportation. Staff will also share information about the transit system, bike racks and the accessibility features of conventional transit.

For more information, visit guelphtransit.ca.

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Council approves new reduced speed school zones

Guelph, Ont., May 24, 2017—Last night, Guelph City Council approved the addition of new reduced speed school zones, and a recommendation to request changes to the Highway Traffic Act. Council did not approve a staff recommendation to change current 30 km/h school zone speed limits to 40 km/h.

“The Ontario Highway Traffic Act only allows municipalities to use time and date specific reduced speed limits where installed signs have flashers or are motorized—a very expensive option to implement City-wide,” noted Allister McIlveen, Manager of Transportation Services for the City. “We’re pleased that Council accepted our recommendation to request that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation change the Highway Traffic Act to allow for the addition of time and date information as tabs below other types of signs.”

Due to current rules under the Highway Traffic Act, all 30 km/h school zone speed limits will continue to be in effect at all times, year round.

Arterial roads, and roads that more than 3,000 vehicles a day use, will have “40 km/h when flashing” signs in place with the reduced school zone speed limit in effect 8–9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m., Monday to Friday, September to June.

The approved staff recommendations mean more roads around schools will see reduced speed limits as the City will be adding school zones along other roads with direct school activity, such as roads behind or beside schools. For a full list of roads with existing or planned school zone speed limits, visit guelph.ca/traffic.

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