News Release

2015 budget highlights

A look at some of the budget details

On March 26, 2015, City Council approved a $207 million operating budget and a $52 million capital budget for 2015. This represents a 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014.

The following highlights some of the approved budget items for 2015.

  • Parks
    • South End community park: $250,000 to construct the splash pad
    • Eastview community park: $2.7 million to implement the Council-approved Community Park Master Plan
    • Skate park: $831,000 to construct a multi-use facility for BMX riders and skateboarders in central Guelph
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre expansion: $9.9 million to complete funding requirement, and to improve and expand services
  • Niska Road Bridge: $200,000 directed to complete the environmental assessment (EA) and detailed design work for the approved bridge option; bridge option has yet to be determined
  • Stone Road expansion: $2.5 million to enhance pedestrian and cycling facilities
  • York Road: $200,000 to complete the EA for the reconstruction of York Road
  • West Parkade structural rehabilitation: $500,000 to ensure parkade remains up to code
  • Salt dome replacement: $2 million to replace salt domes which are at the end of their lifecycle
  • Affordable Housing Reserve: $250,000 added to the reserve
  • Guelph Innovation District:$ 50,000 directed for the strategic business development framework
  • Communication and Education Plan (shared rental housing): $15,000 directed towards this plan
  • Active transportation: $600,000 directed to Woodlawn multi-use corridor ($300,000 had been forecasted in 2014 for 2015 and 2016 respectively. Council approved the allocation of all required funds to complete the project in 2015.)
  • Traffic management: $85,000 directed toward this initiative which will investigate traffic calming measures in various locations throughout the community
  • Transit technology plan
    • Trapeze System: $120,000 directed towards the bus scheduling system
    • Control Room supervisors: four FTEs
  • Geographical Information System (GIS): $97,000 directed for the Enterprise Licence Agreement, Open 311 and Easement Layer
  • Open Government: budget approved for a one year contract and technology to provide improved service to the community. Examples include expanding the City’s open data catalogue and tools and building a website that will allow the public to access additional online services
  • Full-time staff
    • Adult school crossing guards: five FTEs
    • Arborist: one FTE
    • Assistant to Committee of Adjustment Secretary-Treasurer: one FTE
    • Corporate Server Specialist: one FTE
    • Fire Prevention Officer: one FTE
    • Graphic Designer: one FTE
    • Paramedics: three FTEs, one supervisor backfill
  • 2015 User Fees/Permits
  • Guelph Transit’s Sunday and Holiday service will remain unchanged from 2014 hours
  • City Council approved a change to the City’s overnight parking regulations, specifically, that the overnight parking restriction (no parking on streets between 2 and 6 a.m.) be in effect from December 1 to March 1, effective December 1, 2015. This is a reduction in the restriction from six to four months.
  • The City will continue to explore partnerships to fund the proposed Baker Street redevelopment and relocation of Guelph Public Library; however, budget has not been allocated for this project in 2015.
  • City Council approved an additional $500,000 in 2015 for the Rate Stabilization Reserve (total 2015 contribution is $600,000), which can be used to offset year-end variances 

The 2015 approved budget will be available on in the coming months.


2015 budget focuses on maintaining services for Guelph residents

City council approves 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014

Guelph, ON, March 26, 2015 – Earlier this morning, Guelph City Council approved a $207 million operating budget and a $52 million capital budget for 2015. This represents a 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014; an average increase of $114 per household based on a home valued at $301,770. Combined with changes to Guelph’s water and wastewater rates, the impact on an average household is roughly $145 in 2015.

“The 2015 budget reinforces the City’s commitment to serving our community and delivering public service better,” says Ann Pappert, Guelph’s chief administrative officer. “This budget positions us to maintain existing infrastructure, systems and programs for the community to enjoy. It allows us to deliver exceptional service by adding resources where they are needed most, and it responds to the community’s needs.”

The 2015 budget balances affordability and predictability with excellent service and value for taxpayers. Recognizing the need to enhance services to meet the changing needs of the community, the 2015 Budget focuses on improving and building on work already underway such as the expansion of two-way GO service, active transportation (Woodlawn Road multi-use corridor) and continued work on the transit technology plan. The budget provides room for the City to expand services to the community through additional emergency services personnel.

During the meeting Council also approved operating and capital budgets for all Local Boards and Shared Services—Guelph Police Service, Guelph Public Library, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the Downtown Guelph Business Association. Combined, these budgets use approximately 36 per cent of the City’s tax revenues collected through property taxes.

On January 28, City Council approved non-tax-supported operating and capital budgets for Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Services, Ontario Building Code Administration and Provincial Offences Court Administration.

Guelph’s approved 2015 budget will be compiled and published on in the coming months.

For more information

Al Horsman, Deputy CAO
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services/CFO
519-822-1260 extension 5603

Update March 26, 2015 - Highlights of the approved 2015 Budget have been posted on

Guelph Sports Hall of Fame announces 2015 inductees

Induction ceremony takes place at Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner June 10

Guelph, ON, March 24, 2015 – The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the 2015 inductees who will be inducted at a ceremony this June.

This year’s inductees are athlete Matt Mullin, veteran athlete Egidio Bolzon, builder Terry Valeriote and official Steve Blacklock.

The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner on the evening of Wednesday, June 10 at the Italian Canadian Club. Tickets are $80 for adults and $35 for students 17 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 519-822-1260 extension 2847.

About the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame

The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recognizes and honours the achievements of Guelph individuals and teams who have attained prominence and distinction in any field of sport, and who have made a major contribution to the development and advancement of sports in Guelph. Funding is generously provided through the Guelph Kiwanis Club’s annual Sports Celebrity dinner. The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame was established by the City of Guelph and the Kiwanis Club of Guelph in 1992.

Inductee Bios

Athlete – Matt Mullin

Matt was drafted 23rd overall to the Windsor Spitfires as a goalie. He was a two time Ontario Hockey League All-Star while playing for the Sudbury Wolves. He competed in the 1991 Canada Winter Games on the Ontario Men’s Hockey Team, winning a gold medal. In 1997 he was a member of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) National Champion University of Guelph Gryphons. In that year he was also named Ontario Universities Athletics Association Player of the Year, CIAU All Canadian and University of Guelph Player of the Year. In 1998 he competed for the Pro Hockey Championship (Colonial Cup) with the Quad City Mallards of the United Hockey League. In 1999 he represented the Toledo Storm in the East Coast Hockey league All-Star game.

Veteran Athlete – Egidio Bolzon

Egidio was the first Champion of the inaugural Canadian National Road Championship in 1959 and the first multiple champion when he won again in 1962. He was selected as a member of the Canadian Road Cycling Team to complete in the 1960 Rome Olympics, but was later ruled ineligible because of his landed immigrant status. In 1961 he competed in the 600 mile 8 stage Tour Du St Laurant Road Race in Quebec where he finished first. Later that year he represented Canada in the Tour of the Future Cycling Road Race in France. The race was run simultaneously on the same course as the Tour de France for elite and semi-professional riders only at a shorter distance. From 1959 to1963 he competed in more than 150 road cycling races in the elite and semiprofessional class throughout Canada, Italy, France and the United States, with many first place and top 10 finishes.

Builder – Terry Valeriote

Terry was the first person to coordinate the Province of Ontario’s Coaching Development Program (1974-1977). He was also the first coordinator of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) for the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC). According to the CAC, by the end of 2014, about 1.23 million coaches have participated in some component of the program. More than 4,000 coaches are from the city of Guelph. Terry authored three booklets on growth and development principals for children ages six to 11: Children’s Sport Programs: The Coach, The Administrator, and The Parent. These booklets have been distributed in Canada and the United States and have since been adopted by the Government of Portugal. He proposed the concept of long-term athletic development models and, in pilot projects, assisted the National Technical Directors of Basketball, Volleyball and Soccer. Today, all national sports have long-term athlete development models.

Official – Steve Blacklock

Steve was inducted into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame in 2010. During his tenure he officiated 19 Canadian Ringette Championships, officiated World Ringette Championship matches in 1994 and 2004. He is a long standing member of the Ringette Canada Rules Committee. He served as Canada Rules book editor during two periods of significant periods of rule changes. In 1991 he was the Ontario Ringette Association ‘Official of the Year.’ His officiating career spanned 35 years. He has supervised, evaluated and trained all levels of referees.

For more information

Rich Grau
Secretary, Guelph Sports Hall of Fame
519-822-1260 extension 2847


Celebrating Canada Water Week with games, art, and pedal-powered water filtration

Guelph, ON, March 17, 2015—Guelph will celebrate Canada Water Week with a variety of events and activities sure to please all ages. Running March 16-22, Canada Water Week is a coast-to-coast celebration of water held annually in the third week of March to coincide with United Nation’s World Water Day on March 22.

Canada Water Week celebrations in Guelph include two Water Wednesday events, hosted by the Guelph Public Library. These events, happening March 18 at the Main and West End libraries, are a great opportunity for water discovery for the whole family with games, interesting facts about Guelph water, freebies for kids, and prizes for all. The Main Library is also hosting the Aqua Lauta, a pedal–powered water filtration installation designed by artist Christopher McLeod with engineers from McMaster University. The Aqua Lauta will be on site until Saturday, March 21.

On Saturday, the City of Guelph, in collaboration with Wellington Water Watchers and eMERGE Guelph, will host the third annual H2O Go Festival at Old Quebec Street Mall. This free, family–friendly event includes engaging, hands-on children’s games and art activities, interactive displays, talks from industry professionals, and the eMERGE ecomarket: green ideas, services and products for the home, business and community.

The United Nations General Assembly designated World Water Day in 1993 as a day to celebrate water, a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues, and a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future. This year’s theme of ‘Water and Sustainable Development’ is about how water links to all areas of life—health, nature, urbanization, industry, energy, food and equality—and how we need to consider these to create the future we want.

Full list of events:

March 17
Green Drinks with speaker Matt Vermeulen from RAIN
Sapphire Café, 7–9 p.m.

March 18
Water Wednesday
Guelph Public Library
Main Library, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
West End Library, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

March 21
H2O Go Festival and eMerge ecomarket
Old Quebec Street Mall, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

March 22
Wellington Water Watchers presents Aluna
St. James the Apostle Anglican Church, 2-4 p.m.

March 25
Water Wednesday
Guelph Public Library, Westminster Square Library, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

A full list of events scheduled in Guelph and the surrounding area can be found at

For more information

Jennifer Gilks, Water Conservation Program Coordinator
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2189

City encouraged by local innovation

2015 Guelph Hackathon winners announced

Guelph, ON, March 11, 2015 – The City of Guelph’s second Open Guelph Hackathon came to close on March 1 with nine apps submitted to enhance City services.

Teams were given one week to develop an app based on one of four themes. Unlike the City’s previous Hackathon, this year’s event was an ‘at home’ contest, with submissions made online.

After two days of in-person and internet-based presentations, and much deliberation, the judges selected their top three apps based on functionality, intuitiveness and impact.

And the winners are…

In third place: team Waste Nots (Adam Doan, Craig Hyatt and Randy Oldham) with their app Waste Sorter.

In second place: team AlphaDelta (Abdul Hamdy and Andrew Warkentin) with their app Green Guelph.

Both the Waste Sorter and Green Guelph apps will help residents identify which items go in which bin, and helps build a ‘waste inventory’ by allowing residents to report items not currently listed.

In first place: team Midnight Illusions Ltd. (Jason Bavington, James Buckley and Victor Janjic) with their Adopt-a-Bus Stop app. Similar to Adopt-a-Road programs, this app will allow residents to adopt a bus stop, identify bus stop amenities, submit photos and assist the City with managing its bus stop amenity inventory.

“The benefits of these Hackathons do not end here,” says Blair Labelle, general manager, Technology and Innovation. “We are now looking at developing an ‘app inventory’ on, which will allow residents to download any of the apps created through the 2014 and 2015 Hackathons.”

While still in development, the ‘app inventory’ is expected to grow over time. It will begin with the Hackathon submissions but the City envisions opening it up to any app that improves City services for residents.

“Our community has demonstrated an interest in being a part of local government by developing apps to assist others in our community. The City is excited to be able to provide the platform for this continued collaboration,” says Labelle.

Thank you to Mayor Cam Guthrie and guest judge Brett M. Bickerton, president, MERAK Systems Corporation who joined City staff Blair Labelle, Information Technology; Chad Scott, Solid Waste Resources; and Christine Warne, Guelph Transit on the judging panel.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners at the Monday, March 23 Council Meeting.

For more information

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

Site work to begin at 0 Paisley Road

Partial tree removal and grading expected to begin this spring

Guelph, ON, March 10, 2015 – The City will issue tree and site alteration permits allowing the property owner to begin tree removal and grading at 0 Paisley Road.

An agreement reached between the property owner and the City permits certain treed portions of the site to be preserved, while other treed portions are cleared and graded. The agreement meets the overall intent of the City’s Official Plan as it relates to the Natural Heritage System and supports the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approved this settlement on March 6, 2015.

“The City takes great care to protect ecological areas with all development projects,” explains Todd Salter, general manager, Planning Services. “City staff have been working with the property owner to allow for development consistent with the current medium-density residential zoning while at the same time providing protection of natural heritage features on the site; a balanced approach.”

To prepare the site for future development, the property owner will remove approximately 1,700 trees from the site before migratory birds begin nesting in the area this spring. When the project is complete, more than 1,300 trees and 550 shrubs will be added on site. This will result in a larger area to contribute to the City’s canopy cover over the long-term than the area originally identified through the Natural Heritage System.

“Compensation for tree removal on the site will include the preservation of a Cultural Woodland, in combination with tree screening areas,” adds Salter. “This will result in approximately 2.1 hectares of treed area on the property, which will contribute to the City’s canopy cover over the long-term.”

The City and property owner are working together to:

  • Protect an identified Cultural Woodland feature as a Natural Area,
  • Compensate for tree removal, including replacement plantings, woodland management (i.e. invasive species management), and payment for plantings on other properties within the city, and
  • Use plantings within the Cultural Woodland to support the succession of the woodland over time and the re-establishment of the woodland edge.

0 Paisley Road was zoned for residential medium density development since 1986, as R.4 Apartment Zone, with portions of the site remaining in a naturalized treed condition. The City’s Natural Heritage System (OPA 42) designated a portion of the site corresponding to the natural treed area as “Natural Area”.

There are currently no active development applications on the property. In order to proceed with development under the current Zoning, a site plan would be required.

The site is located in Guelph’s west end, along the south side of Paisley Road between Whitelaw Road and Elmira Road.

For more information

Todd Salter, General Manager
Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 2395

Nominations now open for 2015 Mayor’s Awards

Guelph, ON, March 10, 2015 – Mayor Cam Guthrie is now accepting nominations for the 19th annual Mayor’s Awards. Nominations can be submitted online at or by contacting the Mayor’s Office at or 519-837-5643 to request a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

The Mayor’s Awards recognize people who make Guelph a better place through volunteer service. While it is not mandatory for nominees to live or work in Guelph to be eligible for the award, they must volunteer in Guelph. Eligible contributions may include a mix of volunteer and paid efforts.

“I’m looking for Guelph’s difference makers – the people who make our city better for all of us without asking for anything in return,” said Mayor Guthrie. “If you know someone who fits that description, someone you think deserves to be recognized, consider nominating them for a Mayor’s Award.”

The Mayor’s Awards were established in 1997 by Mayor Joe Young to celebrate Guelph’s birthday, and have been presented every year since. Honourees have been recognized for contributions to many aspects of community life, including arts and culture; health and mental health; social services; the environment; and sports and recreation. Profiles of honourees from 2001 to 2014 can be found at

The Mayor’s Awards are presented at the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala in June. Hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the gala is Guelph’s premier appreciation event where the city’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated. For more information about the Awards of Excellence, visit the Guelph Chamber of Commerce website.

For more information

Kate Sullivan
Communications Assistant
Mayor’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2558

146 properties enrolled in frozen water assistance program

Guelph, ON, March 2, 2015—Extreme cold temperatures continue to affect water services throughout Guelph. One hundred and forty-six customers currently without running water are enrolled in the City’s frozen water assistance program.

The program provides gift cards for local grocery stores so people can purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking, and no charge access to shower at the City’s recreation facilities, and to laundromats. The City is also delivering water to its more vulnerable customers, i.e. those with mobility issues.

“Our first priority is to make sure people have clean water for drinking and cooking,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “People have also told us they’re getting help from friends, family and neighbours, and we’re grateful to everyone who is stepping up to lend a hand.”

Last week, the City was dealing with high call volumes and all of those calls were returned over the weekend. Now, with more employees dedicated to managing service requests, anyone calling about frozen pipes can expect to hear from the City within 24 hours.

“People have been very understanding. They can see we’re doing everything we can to get things back to normal. It’s no small thing to go without running water, and we appreciate people’s perseverance,” added Busatto. “All of our crews are focused on getting at least temporary running water to as many people as possible.”

On Tuesday March 3, from 7 a.m. until noon the City will also be performing emergency repairs to underground water services at the corner of Wyndham and Quebec Street. Temporary water services will be maintained and downtown businesses will be open and accessible during the work. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to follow all posted detours.

Guelph is one of several Ontario cities struggling with frozen water services this winter. Record cold, consistently low overnight temperatures and increased frost depth are contributing to service disruptions in Guelph and other cities including Toronto, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Sudbury.

With temperatures expected to remain below zero for at least another week, the City is asking residents and businesses to take steps to prevent household pipes from freezing. Tips are posted online at

As warmer temperatures return, customers who have had frozen pipes should watch for cracks and leaks, and can visit for information about using their water meter to identify leaks.

Contact Water Services

Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 519-837-5627
After hours at 1-866-630-9242

Media contact

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2611
Mobile 519-829-0999

Proposed Operating Budget to be presented March 5

Proposed 3.05 per cent increase reflects increased cost of doing business

Guelph, ON, February 25, 2015 – The City has released its final budget document for Council and community to review. The proposed 2015 Tax-supported Operating Budget and Forecast will be presented by staff on March 5. Residents are encouraged to attend the presentation prior to delegating on March 11, 2015.

The $206,303,226 proposed budget reflects the City’s plan to sustain the delivery of exceptional services while remaining affordable and accountable to residents. The budget includes a 2.56 per cent base budget increase and a 0.49 per cent investment to enable the City to meet increased demands.

The total 3.05 per cent increase represents approximately a $99 annual increase for the average household with a property valued at $301,770. Combined with the approved changes in Guelph’s water and wastewater rates, the potential impact on the average household is $130 in 2015.

“The City has developed a proposed budget that meets the community’s and organization’s needs for the coming year,” says Al Horsman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services and CFO. “While the City has ensured the recommended investments are necessary, the proposed budget does not account for all increased demands placed on the organization from growth.”

For the second year, the City has used a predictable multi-year formula and model for determining the tax levy impact. The predictability formula combines inflationary pressures, volume or demand for City services, efficiencies and productivity improvements to provide a recommended maximum tax levy. For 2015, the maximum tax levy increase defined by the formula is 3.71 per cent; however the City is recommending a tax levy increase of 3.05 per cent.

“Municipalities are under pressure to do more with less,” says Horsman. “This year, the City’s focus is to maintain services—do the same with less. The increase in base budget accounts for inflation and the increased cost of purchased good and services. To increase or add new services would require additional investments and an increase to the tax levy.”

Coming up next

February 25 – Proposed Capital Budget presentation
February 26 – Proposed Local Boards and Shared Services
March 5 – Proposed Operating Budget presentation
March 11 – Public delegation night
March 25 – Council deliberates and approves Operating and Capital budgets
March 31 – additional meeting for budget approvals if necessary

All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and be held in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street.

Follow the City’s budget news on , Twitter ( @cityofguelph , #GuelphBudget) and

For more information

Al Horsman
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer/CFO
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 5606

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


This news release was updated on March 3, 2015.




City asks residents and businesses to protect indoor plumbing

Guelph, ON, February 24, 2015—Ongoing extreme cold temperatures are causing both City–owned water services and household plumbing to freeze. The City has installed approximately 30 temporary water lines since the beginning of February.

Unlike last year’s problems with frozen City–owned water services, private household plumbing is a more common problem this year, especially where uninsulated household pipes are exposed to cold temperatures such as in cellars and basements.

“This year we’re getting as many calls about pipes freezing inside people’s homes as we are about frozen City services. We’re working as fast as we can to ensure all customers have access to water,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “People can protect their household plumbing by keeping pipes warm and insulating them.”

The City’s website offers tips for preventing and dealing with frozen household pipes such as keeping the areas where pipes run warm by opening doors and cupboards, and by insulating pipes. If a household pipe does freeze, the City suggests calling a plumber for assistance, or using a space heater or hair dryer to slowly warm up the frozen section.

The City is working with all affected households and businesses to ensure continued access to water. Crews are working hard to thaw service lines or install temporary water services where possible, and in some cases it may take until mid-April for some services to thaw.

Record cold February temperatures and increased winter frost depth are contributing to the freezing and disruption of regular water services. As cold temperatures continue, the City asks residents and businesses to take proactive steps to protect indoor plumbing. Tips are posted online at

As the air temperature warms, customers may experience leaks where expanding ice has broken or cracked previously frozen pipes. Customers that have had frozen pipes should watch for leaks over the coming weeks, and can visit for information about using their water meter to identify leaks.

Contact Water Services

Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 519-837-5627
After hours at 1-866-630-9242

Media contact

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2611
Mobile 519-829-0999