News Release

Community-developed apps now available

Powered by the City’s Open Guelph initiative

Guelph, ON, June 30, 2015 – The City of Guelph has launched the Open Guelph App Gallery—a result of the City’s second Hackathon event last February.

“The apps hosted on the site were developed by members of the Open Data community, for Guelph residents,” says Blair Labelle, general manager, technology and innovation. “The City, and our Open Guelph platform, is serving as the channel to connect developers, residents and City services.”

Each app uses raw data made available by the City’s Open Data initiative to support web and mobile applications to enhance services offered to the public. Currently, the app gallery offers five applications in three categories and the City is looking to grow this number through future Hackathons and other engagement efforts.

Categories include:

Waste Sorting/Collection – a set of three apps designed to help residents sort their waste correctly

City employee contact – one app allows residents to search for City employees by name and provides email addresses

Adopt-A-Stop – similar to Adopt-a-Road programs, this app allows residents to adopt a bus stop, identify bus stop amenities, submit photos and assist the City with managing its bus stop inventory.

To view the Open Guelph App Gallery, visit

For more information

Blair Labelle, General Manager, Technology and Innovation
Corporate Services
519-822-1260 extension 2232

Multinational Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) opens new facility in Guelph’s south end

invest_logo                OerlikonBalzersLogo

GUELPH, ON, June 30, 2015 –Today, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie joined European and North American Oerlikon dignitaries, customers, suppliers and local guests in celebrating the grand opening of Oerlikon Balzers’ (Canada) state-of-the art, 30,000 square foot coating centre at 935A Southgate Dr.

“I’m thrilled that Oerlikon has chosen Guelph as the location of its only Canadian operation,” said Mayor Guthrie. “I want to thank Oerlikon for its investment in Guelph, and I want to offer its employees a warm welcome to our city.”

Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) will be expanding its current compliment of 17 employees as the company continues to establish new business relationships in the region. The Guelph facility will allow Oerlikon to meet the needs of its customers more efficiently, including locally based Linamar Corporation.

“Guelph is the perfect location for our company,” says Steve Crowley, President, North America and Director of Operations and Sales, Americas. “We are well positioned close to our customer base and can take advantage of the technology we need to keep us competitive in the cutting tool, mold and die markets.”

City staff worked closely with Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) to find a suitable location for its facility and provided assistance in obtaining site plan and building permit approvals.

Advanced manufacturing continues to be the largest employment sector in Guelph and is a key sector for future investment and growth as identified by Guelph’s Economic Development Strategy, Prosperity 2020.

About Oerlikon Balzers
Oerlikon Balzers is one of the world’s leading suppliers of extremely thin and exceptionally hard coatings that reduce wear and improve the performance of precision components and tools. The company develops integrated services and solutions for the metallization of plastic parts with chrome effects. Oerlikon Balzers operates a dynamically growing network of 106 coating centers in 34 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Oerlikon Balzers—part of the Switzerland-based Oerlikon Group,together with Oerlikon Metco—is part of the Surface Solutions Segment of the (SIX: OERL).

About Invest in Guelph
Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes associated with the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. The purpose is to position and promote Guelph, Ontario as an investment ready and responsive community. For more information on the services provided by Business Development and Enterprise at the City of Guelph please visit

For more information

Jim Mairs
Senior Business Development Consultant
Business Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 2821

Sergio R. Lopez
Manager of Marketing and Communications – Americas
Oerlikon Balzers Coating Mexico
+52 (442) 209 68 33


Pictured left to right: Peter Van Den Diepstraten, of Oerlikon Canada, Mayor Cam Guthrie, Dr. Roland Herb of Oerlikon Surface Solutions (Europe) and Steve Crowley of Oerlikon Balzers (Americas).

City improving development planning processes

Guelph’s IOR Annual Report illustrates significant cultural shift

Guelph, ON, June 29, 2015 – The City of Guelph has released the Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Annual Report, which will be shared with the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee at its July 7 meeting.

The report highlights progress made to date on making Guelph a more welcoming place for business and investment and includes 23 recommendations that aim to strengthen the City’s development approval processes.

“By working collaboratively across City departments, examining existing processes and identifying opportunities for improvement, with involvement from the development industry and business community, Guelph can continue to bring about the changes needed to build a welcoming city for business and investment,” says Todd Salter, general manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services. “The IOR implementation plan is more than just a roadmap with deadlines and deliverables; it requires the City to undergo a significant cultural shift from within. As part of the IOR, staff are examining the City’s internal processes and refining them and their related roles to better serve our stakeholders.”

“I want to thank the many members of the development and business community who have given significant time and expertise to this renewed process. We have made strides in the past several months and are on our way to making Guelph a better place to invest,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

IOR implementation will make it easier for the City, the development industry, business community, and public at large to work together. The City is working to be more efficient, accessible and responsive by:

  • Mapping all of the City’s current Development Approval Processes (DAPs) to identify and begin implementing improvements.
  • Implementing a mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee.
  • Developing and implementing an Interim Rapid Response Protocol for high impact Industrial, Commercial and Institutional development and investment opportunities.
  • Piloting performance measurement systems and targets in the development approval process to monitor and track progress. 
  • Improving the City’s webpages to ensure they are user-friendly and intuitive for those looking to develop, invest or do business in Guelph.

“I genuinely appreciate the time and effort that staff have taken to listen carefully to the thoughts and ideas of the industry and consultants and collaboratively work with us to create ‘made in Guelph’ solutions that will help streamline the process while at the same time ensuring a high quality built environment,” says Scott Arbuckle, associate with IBI Group.

“We commend the City of Guelph on the internal review of its planning processes in an effort to gain efficiencies and improve performance while keeping accountability at the forefront. We are hopeful that the implementation of the IOR will be of benefit to many including the City, the development industry and, in particular, home buyers,” says Larry Kotseff, Senior Executive of Land Development, Fusion Homes.

IOR activities proposed for the remainder of 2015 through 2016 will build on the work completed to date and include implementing enhanced DAPs, developing DAP manuals, formalizing the mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee, piloting the Rapid Response Protocol, using performance measurement systems and targets in DAPs, developing a Customer Service Strategy for the IOR and going live with updated webpages on

For more information

Todd Salter
General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2395

City and firefighters’ union head to arbitration

Provincially-appointed conciliator issues “no board” report

Guelph, ON, June 26, 2015 – Last night the City and the union representing Guelph’s 165 firefighters—the Guelph Professional Firefighters’ Association (GPFFA)—received a “no board” report from the Ministry of Labour conciliator.

The report states the conciliator is unable to reach a negotiated agreement between the City and the GPFFA. The next step is to move forward through the interest arbitration process to reach a resolution.

“Council is disappointed that a freely negotiated contract was not reached,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Council’s mandate was clear, and we felt the mandate was fair to both firefighters and taxpayers. We cannot accept the current proposals from the GPFFA under any circumstances.”

The GPFFA’s proposals include benefits exceeding those in all eight of the City’s other employee groups’ agreements. The cost of these benefits is unaffordable. Wages have not yet been discussed.

“While it is always the City’s hope to freely negotiate a collective agreement, we are not in a position to consider terms that are unaffordable for this community and unfair to other employee groups,” said the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert. “As a result, negotiations on a variety of costly matters are at an impasse and the arbitration process is a last resort to move negotiations on these matters forward.”

To reach an agreement through arbitration, the City and the GPFFA will present evidence to an arbitration board, and the board will issue a binding decision.

The arbitration schedule has not been established, and the City’s bargaining team remains available to meet with the GFPPA to reach a mutually agreeable contract.

Negotiation updates and information about the interest arbitration are posted at

For more information

Mark Amorosi, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Corporate Services
519-822-1260 extension 2281

Final actions in Urbacon litigation settled

Resolution marks end of litigation

Guelph, ON, June 26, 2015 – The City of Guelph has settled the final two actions from the Urbacon litigation, bringing the litigation to a complete and final conclusion.

“As promised, we’re now in a position to share the outcomes of these final two actions regarding the Urbacon litigation,” says Guelph’s mayor Cam Guthrie.

One of the actions was with Aviva, the project insurer. The other was with architects Moriyama & Teshima Architects (MTA). The City will pay $100,000 to Aviva, and MTA will pay $150,000 to the City of Guelph, offsetting the overall cost of the settlement by $50,000 for a total of $5,800,837.

Mayor Guthrie acknowledges it will now be for Council to discuss how and if it will replenish the City’s own reserve fund and, in so doing, determine how the City budget will be affected moving forward. A staff report on repayment options is scheduled to come before Council in July.

With the final actions resolved, the City has extended its own full accounting analysis and will be engaging an independent third party to conduct a capital cost audit. “Both the CAO and I feel the community requires assurance of the full accounting on this file,” says Mayor Guthrie. “Therefore, a third party audit will be conducted, the results of which will be fully shared with our residents.”

In the meantime, final settlement and legal costs can be seen here.

Finally, in August, Ann Pappert, Guelph’s chief administrative officer, will share findings from a third-party review she initiated regarding complex capital projects. “There’s a lot we’ve learned from this process,” says Pappert. “I look forward to sharing what we’ve learned with Council and our community in August, and to applying that knowledge to large-scale projects moving forward.”

“I’m very pleased this litigation has come to a close,” says Mayor Guthrie. “The community is still owed three more pieces: a full accounting of the project, a review of the options with respect to repaying our reserve, and the findings from our review of complex capital projects. With these three parts in hand, we can truly say we’ve moved past this issue and that’s a positive thing for our community.”

The City issued a Statement of Claim against Aviva in November 2008 for failing to pay on the construction project’s performance bond. The following September, the City filed a Statement of Claim against MTA for contribution and indemnity, and professional negligence.


For more information

Cam Guthrie, Mayor

Ann Pappert, CAO
Please call Tara Sprigg, General Manager, Corporate Communications and Customer Service, for interviews
519-822-1260 extension 2610

Mayor Guthrie honours Guelph’s difference makers

Guelph, ON, June 26, 2015 – Mayor Cam Guthrie presented four outstanding citizens with Mayor’s Awards last night at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce’s annual Awards of Excellence gala.

This year’s winners are Stephen Cuevas, the founder of a basketball training program for underprivileged youth; Marissa Teeter, a local philanthropist, fundraiser, and volunteer; Kathy Prentice, a volunteer who helps stroke survivors and their families; and Bang Ly, who began an initiative that has raised thousands of dollars for food programs at Brant Avenue Public School.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to shine a spotlight on some exceptional people who are making a difference in Guelph,” said Mayor Guthrie. “They don’t do it for money, fame, or glory – they do it simply to make Guelph a better place.”

Mayor Guthrie presented each honouree with a plaque that features a photograph of Market Square by Dan Gillis.

Guelph’s Mayor has presented Mayor’s Awards each year since 1997. The awards are presented at the Awards of Excellence gala, Guelph’s premier appreciation event where the community’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated.

A description of each honouree’s achievement is below.

Stephen (Shaker) Cuevas
In 2007, Stephen (Shaker) Cuevas founded Ball 4 All – a basketball-themed outreach program that provides underprivileged youth in Guelph with free weekly access to skill building, fitness, teamwork, sports competition and training, nutrition seminars, and guest speakers. As its mission statement notes, Ball 4 All aims to “assist each individual to grow physically, cognitively, and spiritually while learning to realize their full potential through exercise, skill development and game analysis.”

Stephen is well-known locally for having trained hundreds of basketball players over the past 25 years. With Ball 4 All, he has provided access to those who might not otherwise be able to participate because of barriers of transportation and cost. Participants are school kids primarily from the St. Patrick’s Ward, Brant Avenue, and Willow Road neighbourhoods. The program includes basketball training followed by a nutrition seminar and guest speaker each week. Thanks to partnerships Stephen has built with a number of sponsors, businesses, organizations and volunteers, the coaching, transportation, and even fresh fruit and pizza are all provided free to participants.  Stephen has even been known to have the kids picked up in a stretch SUV limousine so that they can arrive at Ball 4 All in style!

The kids in the program learn lessons that extend well beyond the basketball court. They gain a sense of belonging, a yearning to participate, and the confidence to overcome obstacles and make good choices. They gain life skills that will help them succeed in the future. Stephen also helps older students develop into volunteer coaches and mentors. Through Ball 4 All, Stephen is building a healthier, safer, and more connected community.

Marissa Teeter
Marissa Teeter is a Guelph businesswoman, volunteer, and philanthropist who has turned heads in the local community for her enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit. As the Vice-President of Skyline Wealth Management Inc., a division of the Guelph-based Skyline Group of Companies, Marissa is also a lifelong philanthropist who is willing to invest personal time and effort to make great charities even better.

Marissa is a founding member of Guelph’s “100 Women Who Care” organization, which donates tens of thousands of dollars to local charities. She also serves as the Vice President of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph and helps organize and chair events for the charity, such as the Have a Heart for Kids’ Sake Gala, the Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser, and an annual Guelph Storm hockey game for kids and mentors.

Over the years, Marissa has strengthened Skyline’s relationships with local organizations such as the Children’s Foundation of Guelph & Wellington and Onward Willow: Better Beginnings, Better Futures. She initiated a Warm Winter Clothing Drive at Skyline that brought in more than 5,000 clothing items, and spearheads Skyline’s annual Investor Charity Golf Classic – which raised more than $75,000 last year alone.

Inside and outside the office, Marissa engages hundreds of people in volunteer efforts and helps raise tens of thousands of dollars for local organizations. More than this, she serves as a role model to others, showing that giving back is not only good for business – it’s an obligation as a community member.

Kathy Prentice
Kathy Prentice has helped hundreds of people cope in the aftermath of a stroke, as a dedicated volunteer with the Guelph Wellington Stroke Recovery Chapter and its Linking Survivors with Survivors project.

As a volunteer with the project since 2012, Kathy visits recent stroke survivors and their families in hospital to provide support, information, and encouragement. The project connects new stroke survivors with people like Kathy, who have already made successful recoveries from stroke. During the year 2014-2015, the project assisted 440 stroke patients in Waterloo Wellington. 280 of those were in Guelph, and Kathy touched every single one.

Her nominator says, “Every single week for the past three years, Kathy has made a point to visit with local stroke survivors and encourage them to get involved in various activities including recreational, games and social activities. She overcomes her own physical obstacles so that others can see her smiling face and receive encouragement, guidance and support while in therapy or waiting for diagnosis.”

The organization that leads the project reports more overall progress in community awareness of stroke recovery since Kathy started working with stroke survivors and caregivers. Her nominator says, “I have seen many volunteers come and go over the years, but I have never seen one have the positive impact on so many members of the community as Kathy has had with the Linking Survivors with Survivors project.”

Thank you, Kathy, for making a difference for stroke survivors and their families in our community through your dedicated efforts.

Bang Ly
Bang Ly is the founder of Secret Santa Guelph, a fundraising gift exchange that unleashes the power of social media to raise funds for the Food and Friends program at Brant Avenue Public School.

In 2014, Secret Santa raised an astonishing $13,000, making it possible to feed more than 150 children in the Brant Avenue neighbourhood for six months of weekdays, and supplement a lunch program as well. It also had an incredible reach on Twitter, as #secretsantaguelph became the 5th highest trending topic nationally and reached millions of people with its message. The event has grown from just 20 participants in 2010, its first year, to 220 participants last year.

With Secret Santa, Bang has pioneered a new way of fundraising and connecting people in our community. Participants sign up through Twitter, are secretly matched with another Twitter user, and bring a small gift for that person to the Secret Santa event. Participants also bring a minimum donation of $25 for Brant Avenue’s food program. People connect over social media – scouring their match’s Twitter feed for gift clues and ideas – and then in person, as gifts are exchanged at the final event.

A product manager and consultant by profession, Bang grew up in the Brant Avenue neighbourhood in Guelph’s north end, which is an identified high-needs area. Bang started Secret Santa Guelph as a way to give back to the families who live there. Thank you @superbang for helping make sure kids are well-fed and ready to learn – and for revolutionizing fundraising in the city of Guelph.

For more information:
Kate Sullivan
Communications Assistant
Office of the Mayor
519-822-1260  extension 2558



John McCrae statue unveiled in Guelph

Bronze sculpture represents major addition to City’s public art collection

Guelph, ON, June 25, 2015 – Today, the City of Guelph and The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery unveiled and dedicated a bronze statue of John McCrae—commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Guelph native’s famous war poem, In Flanders Fields.

Remember Flanders, by renowned Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy, is the second casting of an identical statue located at the National Artillery Memorial in Ottawa.

“This beautiful piece of art reflects the pride that Guelph has always felt at being the birthplace of John McCrae—a pride that has deepened this year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of In Flanders Fields,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

The public ceremony, which took place at the Guelph Civic Museum, was attended by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and a number of local and military dignitaries. Students from John McCrae Public School recited In Flanders Fields.

About Ruth Abernethy and Remember Flanders

Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy was commissioned by The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery to create a statue of John McCrae at the historic moment of writing In Flanders Fields. Remember Flanders, a bronze portrait, includes a medic’s kit, his officer’s cap and a bronze poppy for each of Canada’s 23 regiments. Abernethy, whose works include the iconic bronze of Oscar Peterson and his piano outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the famous sculpture of Glenn Gould on a bench in front of the CBC’s Toronto building, also included the entire poem on McCrae’s notebook. Abernethy lives near Wellesley, Ont., with her husband and two sons.

About the City of Guelph Public Art Policy

The City of Guelph’s Public Art Policy makes provision for donations of art to the City’s public art collection. All donation proposals are reviewed by the Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee, whose mandate is to make recommendations to staff on donation proposals. The donation of the McCrae statue represents a major addition to the City’s growing public art collection.

For more information

Ella Pauls
Manager, Cultural Affairs and Tourism
519-822-1260 extension 2589




City warns residents of phone scam

Guelph, ON, June 23, 2015—The City of Guelph has learned that residents are receiving fraudulent calls from individuals claiming to be from the City. The caller says they are following up on a previous survey about water quality and offer to deliver a thank you gift.

The City does not deliver gifts in response to telephone surveys, nor does the City sell water–related products over the phone or door–to–door. Any City employee visiting a residence will carry photo identification, and anyone being approached by those claiming to represent the City, or asking to enter their home, should request to see official identification.

Residents can protect themselves from fraud by checking that calls or visits from the City are legitimate. Residents can call the City directly at 519-822-1260 to verify the source of the call or the identity of the visitor.

To report a fraudulent communication or victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by email at or call 1-888-495-8501.

For more information

Peter Busatto, Plant Manager
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2165

City moving forward with Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan

Guelph, ON, June 23, 2015 – Last night, Guelph City Council approved the project initiation phase of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan.

The Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan will establish a range and mix of land uses for the southern portion of the city, between Clair Road and Maltby Road.

Map of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan study area

Map of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan study area

“Thoughtful development of this last unplanned greenfield area supports the City’s overall planning vision for a complete and healthy community, while addressing projected population and employment growth,” said Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design.

Highlights of the plan will include:

  • servicing and infrastructure, including sewer, water and hydro
  • natural heritage features, including urban forestry
  • integrated transportation system, including public transit, pedestrian and bicycle connections
  • parks and trails

The City will work with agencies, property owners, developers and community members to develop terms of reference that outline the scope, purpose and structure of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan project. The terms of reference will serve as a guiding document for the development of a community plan and master environmental servicing plan. These plans will inform the secondary plan.

Upcoming opportunities for the community to participate include a public open house in August and a community working group in 2016.

For more information

Melissa Aldunate
Manager, Policy Planning and Urban Design
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2361

Hammond Manufacturing’s new facility brings 55 jobs to Guelph

Invest in Guelph logo
Hammond Manufacturing logo

Guelph, ON, June 22, 2015 – Hammond Manufacturing broke ground today on a new 118,000 square foot manufacturing facility on Wilbert Street in the city’s north end. The new facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, will add 55 jobs to Hammond’s Guelph operations and will complement the company’s Edinburgh Road facility, which employs more than 320 people.

“I am thrilled that Hammond has decided to expand in Guelph. Hammond is a Guelph-born company that has been part of our community for nearly 100 years. We’re proud to be home to this next chapter in their growth,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, who was on hand for the sod turning. “We welcome their investment, and the good jobs it will bring to our city.”

Discussions with Hammond Manufacturing and the City of Guelph were ongoing throughout 2014 as the company considered a number of potential locations across North America.

“The City of Guelph was responsive to our needs and timelines which really helped in our decision to expand in Guelph. The facilitation we received from staff throughout the application process has kept our project on track and enabled us to stay in the city that we love,” says Rob Hammond, Chairman, CEO, Hammond Manufacturing.

Hammond Manufacturing’s expansion contributes to Guelph’s diverse manufacturing sector, an area of focus in Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020.

“Guelph allows us to build on our base of skilled team members in a workforce where the competition for manufacturing jobs is intense,” says Rob Hammond. “It’s a great place to do business and we look forward to continuing to grow in a city that we know is there to support us.”

About Hammond Manufacturing

Hammond Manufacturing produces industrial and electronic enclosures, racks and cabinets, outlet strips, and electronic transformers. Hammond Manufacturing has manufactured high quality products since its humble beginnings in the early 1900’s. While Hammond Manufacturing has long historical roots, the company has stayed current by investing in its own infrastructure and the company has stayed on the leading edge of manufacturing communication racks and cabinets since 1935. Hammond is headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with facilities in the North America, Europe and Australia.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes associated with the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. The purpose is to position and promote Guelph, Ontario as an investment ready and responsive community. For more information on the services provided by Business Development and Enterprise at the City of Guelph please visit

For more information

Barbara Maly
Business Development Consultant
Economic Development
Business Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 2822
W. Scott Hammond
Sales and Marketing Manager
Data/Comm Division
Hammond Manufacturing
519-822-2960 extension 1294
Pictured from left to right: Joel Melloul of Melloul Blamey Construction, Scott Hammond and Steve Menegotto of Hammond Manufacturing, Mayor Cam Guthie and Peter Cartwright of the City of Guelph, and Kithio Mwanzia of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left to right: Joel Melloul of Melloul Blamey Construction, Scott Hammond and Steve Menegotto of Hammond Manufacturing, Mayor Cam Guthrie and Peter Cartwright of the City of Guelph, and Kithio Mwanzia of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.