GUELPH, ON, February 18, 2012 – At an opening ceremony today attended by donors, government officials, and residents, Market Square was hailed as a vibrant new community gathering space that is drawing people of all ages to downtown Guelph.
The contributions of those who funded the rink and fountain in Market Square took centre stage at the ceremony. The $2.1 million cost of the project was raised through $1 million in funding from the governments of Canada and Ontario, and a community campaign led by the volunteer “Rink Rats” that raised $1.1 million.
Mayor Karen Farbridge remarked on the transformation of the Square at City Hall. “The most noticeable change isn’t the ice, or the lights, or the trees; it’s the new atmosphere that has been created by the arrival of children, families, and activity in this space,” she said.
Those who donated to the project sported bright green Market Square mittens for the opening ceremony. A donor wall that includes the names of major donors to the project was unveiled by Mayor Farbridge and the Rink Rats. The names are etched on the glass wall of a pavilion that houses a skate-changing area and washrooms.
The ribbon was cut by Madison Lambden on behalf of the Lambden family, the project’s lead donors, who gave $400,000 in memory of Nicholas Lambden through the Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation Fund.
Mayor Farbridge thanked all donors, saying, “With your support, we have built much more than a rink and fountain. We have built a place that brings families and neighbours together.”
Market Square is a modern version of Guelph’s original marketplace district, which was identified on founder John Galt’s 1827 plan for the town. In the 1800s, the site served as Guelph’s central meeting place and market area. In the early 1900s it was the location of the Provincial Winter Fair, and in the second half of the century it became home to Memorial Gardens arena.
The skating rink, which measures 790 square metres, features artificial ice that is maintained with an ice resurfacing machine. The rink is open for free skating throughout the winter from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. In the warmer months, the rink will become an interactive water feature with a fountain for splashing and a 2-inch deep reflecting pool. A glass pavilion offers lockers, seating, a drinking fountain, and public washrooms. The Square also features spectacular lighting and a sound system.
The rink and fountain are part of a larger Market Square project that provided new underground infrastructure on Carden Street, lighting, landscaping, benches, and a paver brick surface that extends across the entire length of Carden Street.
For more information
General Manager of Arts, Culture and Entertainment
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2588