News Release

Do you want to be Guelph’s 2019 Artist in Residence?

Reading time: 2 minutes

Guelph, Ont., December 3, 2018 – The City of Guelph invites artists to apply for a chance to become the City’s Artist in Residence for 2019.

The successful artist will develop a community-based project that engages residents and visitors, creatively animates civic spaces and promotes an appreciation of the arts in Guelph.

“This opportunity is ideal for a community-engaged artist or artist team,” says Stacey Dunnigan, the City’s manager of culture and tourism. “We’re looking for an applicant who is comfortable showcasing and sharing their artistic practice in the community.”

The program is open to artists practicing in all art forms including visual, literary or performing arts, architecture and design, or media arts such as sound, video or photography.

The successful artist will be chosen through a two-stage selection process:

  1. Stage one, Expression of Interest (EOI): Artists will be evaluated on their body of work, including their ability to deliver high-quality work on time and on budget, and their capacity to engage the community. EOIs are due by January 11 at 4 p.m. and are assessed by the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC). Three artists will be selected to move on to stage two.
  2. Stage two, Request for Proposals (RFP): Three shortlisted artists will receive a $325 honorarium after submitting a detailed project proposal, timeline and budget. They will also be invited to participate in interviews with City staff and a PAAC representative.

The successful artist will receive a project budget of $6,500 to implement their proposal. Artists should note this is not a live-in residency.

Visit guelph.ca/airguelph to read the full call to artists and learn about the application and selection process.

About the City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program

The Artist in Residence program launched in 2014. This public art initiative provides opportunities for artists to engage with the public and showcase their work while broadening the community’s experience of the arts.

Media Contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260  extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

Live streaming of Council and Committee of the Whole meetings now available

Council inauguration meeting live online

Guelph, Ont., November 30, 2018 – Want to stay informed on City business, but can’t make it to a Council meeting? Watch it live at guelph.ca/live.

Starting with the Council inaugural meeting on December 3, Guelph residents can watch all Council and Committee of the Whole meetings live online anywhere and on any device with an Internet connection.

The Council inaugural meeting is the first to showcase this new streaming system. The meeting will start streaming live at 6:30 p.m. on guelph.ca/live.

“We’re excited to offer the community easier access to Council and committee meetings,” says Stephen O’Brien, city clerk for the City of Guelph. “Not everyone can attend meetings in person. With live streaming, anyone with an Internet connection can watch City Council meetings and stay informed about the decisions that affect them and their city.”

Visit the Council Meetings and Committee of the Whole pages to see meeting schedules, agendas and recordings of past meetings.

Rogers Television will continue to live stream select meetings from the Council Chambers on cable channel 20.

Media Contact

Dylan McMahon, Manager, Legislative Services/Deputy City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2811
dylan.mcmahon@guelph.ca

Guelph named runner-up in Culture Days spotlight program

Guelph, Ont., November 21, 2018 – The City’s Culture Hub and Makers Market, presented earlier this fall in celebration of Culture Days, has been recognized for outstanding participatory programming.

The second annual Culture Hub and Makers Market was held on Saturday, September 29, 2018. City Hall and Market Square were buzzing with activity from 9 a.m. until well after noon when the event ended. Events were diverse and plentiful, engaging visitors with interactive, hands-on experiences that sparked conversation, encouraged collaboration and celebrated creativity.

“We are encouraged and energized by this recognition,” says Stacey Dunnigan, the City’s manager of culture and tourism. “You can’t win an award for participatory programming without participants and we are incredibly grateful for the community’s support of this initiative.”

Assessors chosen by Ontario Culture Days for their expertise in arts and culture evaluated Spotlight nominations to select the laureates and finalists. Assessors included representatives from provincial arts service organizations, established Ontario artists, Culture Days staff and board members and past Spotlight winners.

Planning has already started for the tenth annual Culture Days weekend which will take place September 27, 28 and 29, 2019. Interested individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to attend a planning and brainstorming session on Wednesday, December 5 from 5–6 p.m. at City Hall.

For a full list of 2018 Culture Days highlights and photos visit guelph.ca/culturedays.

About Culture Days

Culture Days raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Starting on the last Friday in September every year, Culture Days takes place in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country. During this annual three-day celebration, thousands of passionate individuals, organizations, municipalities and partners come together to host free participatory public activities, bringing together millions of Canadians.

Media Contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

#YourWard artwork now on display at City Hall

Temporary installation features KIAM’s Artist in Residence paintings

Guelph, Ont., November 15, 2018 – Starting today, residents will be able to view Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci’s (KIAM) six Artist in Residence paintings at City Hall.

KIAM’s Artist in Residence project, titled #YourWard, used images of each ward collected from the community to create six large-scale paintings that explore transitions in the urban environment.

The six pieces were unveiled at the Art Gallery of Guelph over Culture Days weekend at the end of September and will now be temporarily installed in the Galleria of City Hall outside Council Chambers. The paintings will be on display until February 11, 2019.

“The community was instrumental in the development of the artwork and we’re thrilled that Kiel and Amanda were interested in having the pieces displayed in a space where the community can view them,” says Stacey Dunnigan, manager of culture and tourism for the City of Guelph.

The artwork is currently for sale, and each panel is being sold separately. Two of the six wards have already been purchased. Residents interested in purchasing #YourWard artwork are invited to email info@kiamstudio.com.

About KIAM

KIAM is a collaborative husband and wife team. Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci each hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Their artistic style uses thick layers of acrylic paint and gel mediums, photographs and washes to create mixed-media paintings that draw attention to the contrasting perspectives on one canvas. The duo also offer art classes and workshops from their studio, Art in the Ward.

About the Artist in Residence program

The Artist in Residence program, which is going into its sixth year, is offered by the City of Guelph to broaden the community’s experience of the arts. The annual program invites artists to engage with the public and showcase their creative practices while enlivening public spaces.

Media Contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

Showcasing Guelph’s agri-innovation excellence on an international stage

Guelph, Ont. November 13, 2018— On November 11 and 12, Global Affairs Canada’s Investor Outreach, the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph hosted the Canadian Innovation and Investment Opportunities in Agriculture media tour. The tour included 12 international journalists from countries including Hong Kong, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Japan, USA and Mexico.

Global Affairs Canada selected Guelph as one of four Canadian media tour stops based on the City’s outstanding agri-food research sector and the cluster of innovative companies found here including foreign investors. The other scheduled Canadian stops were Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Calgary.

“This was an excellent opportunity to promote Guelph’s premier agri-innovation cluster to international investment prospects,” says Scott Stewart, Deputy CAO, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise for the City of Guelph. “Agriculture and food technologies are cornerstone industries for Guelph with business, commercialization and innovation support second to none.”

As part of the Guelph tour stop, journalists visited the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, and joined a networking lunch with key stakeholders from Guelph including representatives from the City, University, Global Affairs Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Innovation Guelph and Bioenterprise Corporation.

The tour included visits to some University of Guelph research institutes including Arrell Food Institute, Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility and the Guelph Food Innovation Centre, and visits and meetings with some of Guelph’s leading agri-innovation companies including Ceva Animal Health Inc., NSF International, Mirexus Biotechnologies and Sleeman Breweries.

“It was a privilege to participate with the City in this media tour and receive this kind of international exposure,” says Nick Porcellato, head of industry and government affairs from Sleeman Breweries. “This is our 30th year in business and we were thrilled to share our company’s story with this group, from our start as a small entrepreneurial business to the multinational company that we are today.”

The Canadian Innovation and Investment Opportunities in Agriculture media tour was an initiative of Global Affairs’ Investment and Innovation Bureau aimed to position Guelph and Canada competitively with global business leaders and influencers, and to raise Canada’s profile as a business location of choice for international agri-food and agri-technology investments.

The programming for the Guelph tour was developed by staff from the City in partnership with the University of Guelph. To learn more about opportunities to Invest in Guelph, or if you are interested in locating your business in Guelph, visit www.guelph.ca/business or call 519-837-5600.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes identified in the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy Prosperity 2020. Invest in Guelph aims to position and promote Guelph as an ideal place to do business.

About Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada supports municipal economic development agencies as part of its Foreign Direct Investment activities. Foreign investment plays a critical role in Canada’s economy, with benefits that stimulate the economy, spur innovation, and improve productivity. Canada offers an inviting business climate for foreign investors given our enviable financial, political and economic stability; a highly skilled, diverse and well-educated workforce; and access to large and growing markets.

For more information

Barbara Maly, Economic Development Manager
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2822
Barbara.maly@guelph.ca

Kurtis Wells, Marketing and Events Coordinator
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2079
Kurtis.wells@guelph.ca 

City’s preparations for winter are “snow” joke

Reading time: 3 minutes

Guelph, Ont., November 15, 2018 – You may not be thinking about snow yet, but the City of Guelph is already knee-deep in winter maintenance plans to keep all roads, bike lanes and sidewalks safe.

“Trucks and sidewalk plows are prepped and ready, salt is piled up at the Salt Management Facility and Plow Tracker is up and running,” says Doug Godfrey, general manager of Operations at the City of Guelph.

Each year, the City prepares for two kinds of winter maintenance: normal operations with sanding and salting, and major weather events that require a plow out. A plow out is announced after a total of 10 centimetres of snow has fallen. During a plow out, residents are asked to remove their cars from City streets and the parking exemption  for overnight on-street parking is suspended for 48 hours. The City budgets for six plows out every season.

“It can take up to 48 hours after a storm for us to clear all roads, and up to three days to clear 660 kilometres of sidewalks,” Godfrey says. “That’s why it’s important in those first couple of days for residents to be a little patient — our crews are trying their best.”

The City’s sidewalks alone, if stretched end-to-end, would reach from Guelph to Montreal.

Self serve winter maintenance tools

There are a two ways residents can check in on what the City is doing to maintain City streets, bike lanes and sidewalks.

  1. Sign up for plow out email alerts at guelph.ca/snow for information residents need to know during the first 24 hours
  2. Check Plow Tracker at Guelph.ca/snow to see the City’s trucks in real time

Help the City clear snow from sidewalks, storm drains and fire hydrants

Residents can lend a hand during major snow events by:

  • Clearing storm drains to prevent streets from flooding
  • Clearing a path around fire hydrants for easy access for emergency services
  • Shovelling sidewalks and windrows for elderly and disabled residents by signing up for Snow Angels
  • Driving slow and never passing a snow plow

Media Contact

Doug Godfrey, General Manager
Operations
519-822-1260 extension 2520
doug.godfrey@guelph.ca

Time to trim the tree…for snow clearance

Reading time: 3 minutes

Guelph, Ont., November 7, 2018 – The City is preparing for winter and reminds residents that any privately-owned trees or shrubs that hang onto City sidewalks need to be trimmed to allow for winter sidewalk maintenance.

“In previous years we have found that private trees and bushes that hang out onto the sidewalk, often weighed down by heavy snow, prevent our machinery from clearing the sidewalks well and in some cases, at all,” says Terry Dooling, manager of Public Works with the City of Guelph.

The City is asking all residents to look carefully at their privately-owned trees and bushes that encroach on sidewalks before the snow flies and appropriately trim everything back. Trees that hang over sidewalks lower than eight feet will prevent sidewalk plows from passing safely.

City staff will be out in the coming weeks to trim and clear City-owned trees in advance of the winter season.

Bylaw Compliance Officers will be checking public right of ways and sidewalks to ensure that privately-owned trees and shrubs are not encroaching. Any resident with an encroachment will receive a notice and a time frame to help the City clear trees and shrubs. If trimming is not kept up, City bylaw will trim where appropriate and bill the residents for this work.

“We really need everyone’s help to keep sidewalks free from overhanging trees and shrubs,” adds Dooling. “We want everyone to be able to get where they need to go safely, including our winter control operators.”

If residents are unsure of whether their tree’s ownership, they can check the tree ownership map on the City’s website.

For more information

Terry Dooling, Manager
Public Works, Operations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3346
terry.dooling@guelph.ca

Media release: Guelph makes Culture Days’ top 10 list for fourth year

Guelph, Ont., November 2, 2018 – Guelph has made the Top Ten Cities and Towns list for their Culture Days celebrations in 2018.

Guelph placed eighth in the “Populations of 50,000 to 499,999” category. This is Guelph’s fourth year in a row placing in the top 10.

“It is wonderful to see Guelph’s creative community celebrated at this national level,” says Stacey Dunnigan, manager of Culture and Tourism for the City of Guelph. “Congratulations to everyone who created, participated and shared in this annual celebration of arts and culture.”

Guelph hosted over 45 different activities, events and exhibitions during the ninth annual Culture Days weekend at the end of September, including the second annual Culture Hub and Makers Market at Market Square and City Hall.

Each year, Culture Days releases the Top Ten Cities and Towns list, a highly anticipated ranking of the communities with the most registered activities during the recent Culture Days weekend. Milton topped the list in Guelph’s population bracket along with Oakville, Burlington, Richmond, North Vancouver, Halton Hills, Kelowna, and Waterloo. Kingston and Saskatoon tied for tenth place.

Planning has already started for the tenth annual Culture Days weekend running September 27, 28 and 29, 2019. Interested individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to attend a planning and brainstorming session on Wednesday, December 5 from 5–6 p.m. at City Hall.

For a full list of 2018 Culture Days highlights and photos visit guelph.ca/culturedays.

About Culture Days

Culture Days raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Starting on the last Friday in September every year, Culture Days takes place in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country. During this annual three-day celebration, thousands of passionate individuals, organizations, municipalities and partners come together to host free participatory public activities, bringing together millions of Canadians.

Media Contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

Water main break on Torch Lane being repaired

Update: November 2, 2018—The water main break on Torch Lane is fixed and the water is back on. Part of the road will stay closed until road repairs are complete, likely on Monday, weather permitting.

Torch Lane closed to vehicles

Guelph, Ont., November 1, 2018—A water main break occurred on Torch Lane—a dead-end street off of Janefield Avenue—this afternoon.

Crews are on-site assessing the situation and beginning repairs. Provided there are no complications, repairs will be done by tomorrow morning.

Water will be shut off

Water must be shut off to complete the repair. About 100 to 120 units and buildings in the area, including a large condominium complex and two places of worship, will be affected and City staff will hand-deliver notices for these residents. People working and living in the area may also notice changes in water pressure.

Traffic and pedestrian impacts

Torch Lane is closed to all vehicle traffic beyond the water main break, with the exception of emergency vehicles.

Pedestrian access will be maintained.

The City will provide updates at guelph.ca and on Facebook (facebook.com/cityofguelph) and Twitter (twitter.com/cityofguelph) should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media contact

Kier Taylor, Supervisor of Distribution Metering
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2164
kier.taylor@guelph.ca

Guelph’s official 2018 municipal election results are in

View the official election results

Guelph, Ont., October 24, 2018 – After 33,732 total ballots were cast, Guelph residents have elected the next City Council and school board trustees.

2018-2022 Guelph City Council

Mayor, Cam Guthrie
Ward 1, Dan Gibson and Bob Bell
Ward 2, James Gordon and Rodrigo Goller
Ward 3, Phil Allt and June Hofland
Ward 4, Christine Billings and Mike Salisbury
Ward 5, Leanne Piper and Cathy Downer
Ward 6, Dominque O’Rourke and Mark MacKinnon

Upper Grand District School Board trustees

Wards 1 and 5, Mark Bailey and Martha MacNeil
Wards 2, 3, and 4, Mike Foley and Linda Busuttil
Ward 6 and Puslinch, Jolly Bedi

Wellington Catholic District School Board trustees

Joe Tersigni, Marino Gazzola, Vikki Dupuis and Sebastian Dal Bo

As of Sunday, October 21, there were 90,768 eligible voters.With revisions to the voters’ list at the polls on election day, there were 93,650 eligible voters. In total, 36 per cent of eligible voters’ participated in the 2018 municipal election. This is a seven per cent decrease from 2014.

During the three-day advanced voting period between October 12-14, 5,400 ballots were cast representing 16 per cent of total ballots cast. Residents are encouraged to check guelph.ca for updated data on voter turnout.

The inaugural Council meeting is scheduled for December 3, 2018.

Media Contact

Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office, Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644
stephen.obrien@guelph.ca

Guelph’s unofficial 2018 municipal election results

Guelph, Ont., October 22, 2018 – After 33,732 total ballots cast, the following are the unofficial 2018 Guelph municipal election results:

Mayor, Cam Guthrie
Ward 1, Dan Gibson and Bob Bell
Ward 2, James Gordon and Rodrigo Goller
Ward 3, Phil Allt and June Hofland
Ward 4, Christine Billings and Mike Salisbury
Ward 5, Leanne Piper and Cathy Downer
Ward 6, Dominique O’Rourke and Mark MacKinnon

The official election results including final numbers for the Upper Grand District School Board Ward 6 and Puslinch, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and Conseil Scolaire Catholique MonAvenir will  be posted on guelph.ca, as well as the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, later this week.  

Media Contact

Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office, Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644
stephen.obrien@guelph.ca

Ontario Energy Board approves Guelph Hydro merger with Alectra

Guelph, Ont., October 18, 2018 – The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved the merger of Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (Guelph Hydro) and Alectra Utilities Corporation.

In its decision on a Mergers, Acquisitions, Amalgamations and Divestitures (MAADs) application submitted by the two applicants on March 7, 2018, the OEB stated the following:

The OEB has determined that the applicants have satisfied the no harm test with respect to price, cost effectiveness and economic efficiency. The evidence shows that the underlying cost structures to serve acquired customers following the proposed merger will be no higher than they otherwise would have been.

The OEB is satisfied that the way in which the applicants propose to provide service in the area currently served by Guelph Hydro will be effective in continuing existing levels of service. The OEB has determined that the applicants have met the no harm test with respect to reliability and quality of electricity service.

The OEB concludes that the proposed amalgamation of Alectra Utilities and Guelph Hydro, including the applicants’ ten-year deferral rate rebasing proposal, meets the no harm test.

Once the transaction is closed on January 1, 2019, the City of Guelph will receive an estimated 4.63 per cent ownership interest in Alectra, and one permanent seat on Alectra’s Board of Directors. The transaction remains subject to the parties meeting certain closing conditions.

As part owner of a larger municipally-owned utility that will serve more than one million homes and businesses in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe area, the City of Guelph is expected to receive higher annual dividends which can be used to, among other things, invest in local infrastructure, programs, and services. Guelph Hydro’s current location will be home to Alectra’s Southwest Ontario operations hub, and a new Green Energy & Technology Centre.

The OEB’s full decision on the MAADs application can be found on the OEB website.

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Guelph Hydro is a medium-sized local distribution company delivering electricity in a safe and  reliable manner to more than 55,000 customers in Guelph and Rockwood, Ontario.
guelphhydro.com

About the City of Guelph

Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 120,000 people, located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In February 2016, Guelph City Council directed the Strategies and Options Committee to explore the marketplace and learn how maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro compared with opportunities to merge with other publicly-owned utility companies. In December 2017, after more than a year of industry research, a comprehensive financial analysis and community engagement on a potential transaction, Guelph City Council voted in favour of a merger between Guelph Hydro Electric Systems and Alectra Inc.

About Alectra Inc.

Alectra’s family of energy companies distributes electricity to nearly one million homes and businesses in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe area and provides innovative energy solutions to these and thousands more across Ontario. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc., Alectra Utilities Corporation and Alectra Energy Solutions.
alectrautilities.com

Media Contact

Tara Sprigg, General Manager
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2610
tara.sprigg@guelph.ca

Eric Fagen, Director, External Communications
Government and Corporate Relations
Alectra Inc.
647-297-1273
eric.fagen@alectrautilities.comeric.fagen@alectrautilities.com

Monday, October 22 is election day!

Reading time: 3 minutes

Guelph, Ont., October 18, 2018 – Election day is nearly here. Voters’ have one last chance to cast their ballot for Mayor, Councillor and school board trustees on October 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For election day voting, residents must vote at the locations specified for their ward. Voters’ are encouraged to check their voter notification card for their poll locations. If you did not receive a voter notification card, you can still vote with proper ID. Voters’ can look up their ward online using a street name and number at guelph.ca/vote.

To vote in the election, voters must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A Canadian citizen
  • A resident or business owner in Guelph

Get on the voters’ list

Voters can still add themselves or make changes to their information on the voters’ list right up until the polls close. Voters will be able to change their information on the voters list using the online tool until Sunday, October 21 at 6 p.m.

Accessibility at voting locations

All voting locations in each ward are physically accessible. In addition, one voting location within each ward will offer additional assisted voting devices. Residents can find this information on their voter notification card or by visiting guelph.ca/vote.

Accepted ID

Voters must show ID with their name and Guelph address to cast their ballot. Accepted ID includes:

  • Ontario driver’s licence
  • Ontario photo card
  • A cancelled personalized cheque
  • Mortgage statement or lease agreement

For all Guelph municipal election information, visit guelph.ca/vote.

Media Contact

Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office, Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644
stephen.obrien@guelph.ca

Guelph-Wellington to create Canada’s first food smart community

Guelph, Ont., Oct. 16, 2018 – The City of Guelph and County of Wellington are partners in Our Food Future, a bold vision of a sustainable and thriving food economy that contributes new jobs, and values the planet, health, equity and dignity for everyone. Today, to coincide with World Food Day—an event that increases awareness of world hunger and inspires solutions for world change—the partners are launching a public awareness campaign and period of engagement with Guelph and Wellington communities.

Through community collaborations and the use of data, technology and the wealth of expertise in the region, Our Food Future will transform Guelph-Wellington into Canada’s first circular food economy, and achieve three bold goals:

  • 50% increase in access to affordable, nutritious food;
  • 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities; and
  • 50% increase in economic revenues by reducing or transforming food waste.

Guelph-Wellington is also placing its Our Food Future vision at the heart of their joint proposal for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge. The proposal was selected as one of 10 awarded $250,000 to further develop its bid, due March 5, 2019, for a chance to win the $10 million prize.

To inform their bid and define the Our Food Future vision, County and City food leaders have engaged with members of their communities’ agri-food, business and social sectors, as well as members of the public in order to identify challenges and opportunities. Collaborations are taking place, work stream committees are meeting, and planned projects to support each of the three bold goals are underway.

Updates and more information about the Guelph-Wellington circular food economy proposal can be found at foodfuture.ca.

Why food?

Because…

  • the cost of healthy food has increased 27% in eight years;
  • one in six families in Guelph-Wellington is food insecure; and
  • Canadians throw away roughly one-third of their food.

Imagine a food system where everyone can access nutritious food, nothing is wasted, and the impact on the environment is minimal. Imagine a system where food experts and entrepreneurs come together to tackle the most complex food challenges.

“Guelph-Wellington is recognized as a global leader in solving food problems,” says Derrick Thomson, chief administrative officer, City of Guelph. “The collaborative work of our community food leaders is already helping individuals to live more sustainable, healthier lives. We are excited to embark on this new stage of innovation together with our community.”

Simply put, there’s no better place to re-invent the food system than Guelph-Wellington: agri-food innovation is in the community DNA…

  • 1,600+ food businesses and entrepreneurs
  • 40+ research institutes and centres
  • a vibrant and engaged local food economy

Strategically located in the heart of the 112 kilometre Innovation Corridor that stretches from Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph-Wellington also combines all the assets of a vibrant urban centre with a hub of rural farming, production, manufacturing and distribution.

What is a circular food economy?

Our Food Future will allow Guelph-Wellington to move from the current “take-make-dispose” system to a sustainable and thriving food economy that will create new economic, social and environmental opportunities.

“Not only will this food vision benefit our community,” says Scott Wilson, chief administrative officer, Wellington County, “but in the process, we’ll be creating a food road map that can be shared—regionally, nationally and globally, helping other communities move towards a circular food economy.”

Media contacts

Cathy Kennedy
Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

Jana Burns
Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 extension 2525
janab@wellington.ca

More information

Three Bold Goals and Next Steps

Bold Goal 1: 50% increase in access to affordable, nutritious food

Guelph-Wellington wants to ensure everyone in the community has access to affordable, nutritious food required to live healthy, productive lives.

The plan: a “smart” food system that better ensures food security and healthier outcomes—a system that is fair and respectful to all, better manages food resources to serve a diverse and vibrant community and celebrates the importance of good food in our everyday lives.

Planned Projects
  • Asset and Behaviour Mapping: Understand what nutritious food and community food assets are available in Guelph-Wellington, and where the gaps lie in order to better direct resources.
    • launch a public health study to map nutritious food: availability, accessibility, utilization and stability
    • overlay a wealth of data from existing sources
  • Circular Action Plan: Work with local agencies and community groups to develop a Food Security and Health Action Plan.

Bold Goal 2: 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities

Guelph-Wellington wants to create new jobs and vibrant economic opportunities within a circular, collaborative ecosystem.

The plan: bring together people of diverse expertise, talent and resources through face-to-face and online collaborations. Use data, technology and innovative thinking to solve food challenges and create new circular businesses, jobs and social enterprises. Create new training opportunities to prepare local residents to work in the new food economy.

Planned Projects
  • Create a Circular Food Economy Lab: Foster partnerships and collaborations to re-invent local food systems and solve food problems.
    • provide oversight to direct problem-solvers to resources and identify collaborators
    • create a hub for collaborators
    • partner with international experts and share best practices
  • Impact Fund: Bring together existing funding programs and providers for better coordination and new partnerships.
    • offer an array of grants, loans, prizes and/or venture capital to enable citizens and stakeholders to suggest food challenges
    • utilize and expand the Guelph Civic Accelerator platform
    • explore unique funding and support requirements for stimulating a circular food economy
  • New Food Economy Skills and Training: Leverage community institutional resources (University of Guelph, Conestoga College, local school boards) to provide public learning labs, and food innovation education and training to encourage fresh ideas.

Bold Goal 3: 50% increase in economic revenues by reducing or transforming food waste

Guelph-Wellington wants to solve food problems using strategies to re-purpose and find value in the outputs that the current food system treats as waste—the by-products of a linear food economy.

The plan: re-imagine, re-use and revalue the inputs and outputs of the local food ecosystem—maximizing their use, eliminating waste, finding the most cost-effective returns and reducing negative environmental impacts.

Planned Projects
  • Business Tools and Services: Work with Provision Coalition to help public food and beverage organizations increase efficiencies and minimize food waste.
    • develop, curate and share tools and diagnostics
    • support creation of value from by-products
  • Public Awareness Campaign: Educate Guelph-Wellington residents on the food industry, the real cost of food waste and a circular food economy through an ongoing public awareness campaign.
  • Circular Carbon Credits: Explore adding a “social currency” to current carbon credit sales that could be used to support a green local economy.
  • Value Mapping: Use data collected from Guelph’s RFID-equipped residential waste carts to determine how food by-products can be better used.
    • identify new intervention points and drive new economic opportunities
    • provide new opportunities to engage with local consumers and producers

What’s next

Community Conversations

At the core of Our Food Future is community conversation and involvement.

  1. Guelph-Wellington has created a dedicated website at foodfuture.ca that will be regularly updated with Planned Project developments, partner profiles and community food stories.
  2. Guelph-Wellington will be publishing a monthly eNewsletter that shares progress updates on the Planned Projects and community food future champion profiles.
  3. Through haveyoursay.guelph.ca, community and industry members are being asked to share their food stories, suggest innovative ideas and submit questions.
  4. The City of Guelph has created new Twitter (@ourfoodfuture), Facebook (@gwfoodfuture) and Instagram (@gwfoodfuture) pages to support community engagement and Our Food Future updates.
  5. A short Food Quiz is available at haveyoursay.guelph.ca to encourage stronger conversation and understanding of food in our communities.

Be a Food Future Champion Public Awareness Campaign

On Nov. 21, during the Smart Harvest event in Fergus, Guelph-Wellington will be launching its “Be a Food Future Champion” campaign. Please watch for more information coming soon.

Smart Cities

  • Guelph-Wellington is further developing its bid for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, due March 5, 2019, for a chance to win the $10 million prize.
  • Representatives from Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge will be on-site November 22 during the Smart Harvest event in Fergus for a video promoting Guelph-Wellington’s proposal. Local restaurants, growers and food community leaders will be in attendance.

Local innovation focus for international municipal exchange

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International Urban Cooperation program pairs Guelph with Croatian city

Guelph, Ont., October 11, 2018 – Knowledge sharing of innovative solutions to common urban issues was the focus of international visits between the City of Guelph and City of Rijeka, Croatia in September and October.

A team from Guelph travelled to Rijeka in early October as part of the International Urban Cooperations (IUC) City-to-City Cooperation program. The Rijeka team visited Guelph in September.

“This international exchange of ideas helps Guelph learn from other municipal leaders so we can apply new innovative technologies and sustainable solutions to complex environmental and energy issues,” explains Scott Stewart, Guelph’s deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “It also let’s us profile Guelph’s innovative practices and achievements on an international scale.”

Guelph was one of six Canadian cities selected to participate in the IUC program. Guelph’s submission focused on updating the City’s Corporate Energy Management Plan to meet ISO 50001 energy management standards. ISO 50001 guides municipalities and organizations in using energy more efficiently through the development of an energy management system.

During their visit, the Rijeka delegates heard from City of Guelph staff and community stakeholders─including the University of Guelph and Innovation Guelph─about how Guelph applies innovative technological solutions in fields such as energy, waste, water conservation, tourism, economic development and transportation. Rijeka delegates were briefed on:

  • Guelph’s Corporate Energy Management Plan
  • Guelph’s Smart Cities application
  • Guelph’s Economic Development efforts
  • Guelph Tourism initiatives

Rijeka delegates were also given a tour of some of Guelph’s facilities including City Hall, the wastewater treatment plant, the Waste Resources Innovation Centre, Victoria Road Recreation Centre and the F.M. Woods (water) pumping station.

The knowledge sharing between the two cities continued when Guelph staff visited Rijeka last week. During the visit, Guelph delegates reviewed Rijeka’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan, Development Strategy and Smart Cities Action Plan. Guelph delegates also learned from Rijeka’s partners including the University of Rijeka, Regional agencies, industrial partners and utility companies.

As part of the program, cities have access to IUC funding to undertake joint activities or small pilot projects.

“Guelph will be leveraging the knowledge gained from the Rijeka team and applying it to building a systematic approach to corporate energy management and achieving our energy goals,” says Bryan Ho-Yan, program manager of Corporate Energy with the City of Guelph. “One action we plan to implement over the next year is to enhance our existing Corporate Energy Management Plan to comply with the ISO 50001 standard to effectively implement energy conservation initiatives and renewable energy projects.”

The 18-month City-to-City program includes email correspondence, conference calls and site visits between the two participating municipalities.

Rijeka and Guelph delegation joined by special guests (left to right): Bryan Ho-Yan (Guelph delegate), Christine Chapman (Guelph delegate), Emily Nicholson (Deputy Head of Mission and Consul Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Croatia), Vojko Obersnel (Mayor of the City of Rijeka), Lisa Civicchia (IUC Country Coordinator, Canada), David Boyle (Guelph delegate), Tina Ragužin (Rijeka delegate), Damir Medved (Rijeka delegate) and Željko Jurić (Rijeka delegate)

Rijeka and Guelph delegation joined by special guests (left to right): Bryan Ho-Yan (Guelph delegate), Christine Chapman (Guelph delegate), Emily Nicholson (Deputy Head of Mission and Consul Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Croatia), Vojko Obersnel (Mayor of the City of Rijeka), Lisa Civicchia (IUC Country Coordinator, Canada), David Boyle (Guelph delegate), Tina Ragužin (Rijeka delegate), Damir Medved (Rijeka delegate) and Željko Jurić (Rijeka delegate)

About the City of Guelph

Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of about 132,000 people, located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Guelph’s community partners and business leaders are making a difference locally and globally in agri-food, technology, environmental enterprise and advanced manufacturing industries. The city’s healthy local economy, thriving arts and culture scene, charming neighbourhoods, parks and green spaces make Guelph among the most livable cities in Canada.

Resources

About the International Urban Corporation

Media contact

Bryan Ho-Yan, Program Manager, Corporate Energy
Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2672
bryan.ho-yan@guelph.ca

It’s all about fire safety this month

Fire Prevention Week is October 7 to 13

Guelph, Ont., October 5, 2018 – The Guelph Fire Department is hosting two events to highlight fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 to 13.

On Friday, October 12, from 10 a.m. to noon, Guelph firefighters will be at the McDonald’s restaurant located at 372 Stone Road West. The ‘Coffee with a Firefighter’ event is an opportunity for the public to meet with firefighters and learn about fire safety. Attendees can also enjoy a free small hot brewed coffee.

On Saturday, October 13, residents can learn more about fire safety in the home through family-oriented educational activities at this year’s Fire Prevention Day.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Home Depot located at 63 Woodlawn Road West.

Inside the store, children are invited to build a fire rescue boat. As space is limited, pre-registration is required through the store’s website homedepot.ca. Outside, residents are invited to meet firefighters, check out the antique fire truck and inflatable fire safety house, learn how to use a fire extinguisher, and learn how to put out a cooking fire. Sparky the fire dog will also make a special appearance.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is ‘Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware—fire can happen anywhere.’ The campaign highlights three steps people can take to prevent fires from occurring and to quickly and safely escape a fire:

  1. Look for potential fire hazards around your home. Take action to prevent fire from starting:
  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you must leave, turn off the stove.
  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Always extinguish cigarettes in large, deep ashtrays that cannot be knocked over.
  • Check electrical cords for damage such as fraying or nicks. A damaged cord can expose wires and result in a potential shock or fire hazard.
  1. Listen for the smoke alarms in an emergency. Make sure everyone knows the sound of the smoke alarms and can hear them in an emergency. Early detection of fire provided by smoke alarms gives you the extra seconds you need to get out safely.
  2. Learn two ways out of every room. Practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your home before a fire starts so you and your family can get out quickly.

“Home is the place people feel safest, but it can also be the place people are at greatest risk for fire,” says Matt Valeriote, assistant chief fire prevention officer. “Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home after a fire starts. Practice a home fire escape plan before there’s a fire so you can get out safely.”

Fire safety tips

The Guelph Fire Department recommends the following fire safety tips:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. Consider vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may need assistance maintaining and testing their smoke alarms.
  • Change the batteries once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms within the time frame indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions or if they don’t sound when tested.
  • Determine who’s going to help young children, older adults, people with disabilities or anyone else who needs help escaping.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Go to your meeting place outside your home.
  • Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

Visit guelph.ca/fire for more fire safety information or to learn more about Fire Prevention Week visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at firepreventionweek.org.

For more information

Matt Valeriote
Assistant Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Guelph Fire Department
519-822-1260 extension 2136
matt.valeriote@guelph.ca

 

 

 

 

City of Guelph wins three awards of excellence for business programs

Guelph, Ont., October 4, 2018—For the second year in a row the City of Guelph has claimed awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference.

This year the City of Guelph’s Business Development and Enterprise Services department won the following awards:

The awards were presented at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 2 during the IEDC Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

“This year our judges reviewed some extraordinary projects that advanced both communities and businesses. We congratulate all the award winners, and thank everyone who nominated their projects for sharing their success with fellow IEDC members. What we learn from each other helps us to grow and advance as a profession. We look forward to even greater participation from economic developers across the globe in the 2019 awards program.” Says Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation located in Tampa, Florida, and 2018 IEDC Board Chair.

The City produced the Hanlon Creek Business Park sales video with Ward 1 Studios. The video was developed to promote remaining lands available for sale in early 2018, and to build awareness of the great businesses already set up in the business park. The video has helped garner interest from potential investors and site selectors from all over the world.

The 2017 Economic Snapshot provides an overview of the City’s accolades, strengths and reasons for investing in Guelph, and features Hanlon Creek Business Park opportunities. The City originally designed the snapshot as part of an awareness campaign and, following great interest, the City repurposed it into lure collateral for prospective businesses.

The City created the Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to revitalize and enhance Guelph’s downtown core as a focal area for public and private investment. The CIP provides the City of Guelph with broader authority to encourage and implement public and private investment in the downtown, and is focused on delivering municipal incentive programs to support private sector investment in the form of façade improvement, feasibility study grants, and larger scale renovation and redevelopment programs called the minor and major downtown activation grants.

“We continually work to put Guelph on the map and to ensure that our programs and efforts are further increasing the awareness of our great city as an ideal place to do business,” says Helen Loftin, General Manager – Business Development and Enterprise Services for the City of Guelph. “Winning these awards on an international scale is proof that our efforts are worthwhile and the rest of the world is noticing.”

All three projects have been successful in raising Guelph’s profile to potential investors and site selectors locally and abroad.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest membership organization for economic development professionals. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life in their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, our members represent the entire range of economic development. Learn more at iedconline.org.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes identified in the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. Its purpose is to position and promote Guelph as an ideal place to do business.

Resources

For more information

Kurtis Wells, Marketing and Events Coordinator
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2079
Kurtis.wells@guelph.ca

Barbara Maly, Economic Development Manager
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2822
Barbara.maly@guelph.ca

West Parkade reopens October 9

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Guelph, Ont., October 2, 2018—Planned repairs and additional structural work at the West Parkade is complete, and it will reopen for permit holders and public daily use on Tuesday, October 9.

“We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience while we completed this important structural safety work,” said Jamie Zettle, the City’s parking program manager. “We know it wasn’t always easy to find a parking spot downtown over the last few months. With the West Parkade reopening, we hope people will come downtown and continue supporting all the great shops, restaurants and businesses here.”

Temporary downtown parking support programs ending

The City put a number of temporary measures in place to support downtown employees and visitors while the West Parkade was closed for repairs. These temporary measures will end or change as follows:

  • Temporary shuttle service, Elizabeth Street lot to the Old Quebec Shoppes: the shuttle service will end on Friday, October 5. The last shuttle will leave the Old Quebec Shoppes for the Elizabeth Street lot at 6 p.m. on October 5.
  • Free Saturday parking in downtown lots: downtown parking lot users will need to pay the $2 flat fee for Saturday use at City lots starting October 13. Parking in downtown City lots continues to be free evenings after 6 p.m. and Sundays, and the City offers free two-hour downtown on-street parking per vehicle per day.
  • On-street parking on streets outside the downtown core: regular parking restrictions will resume for streets just outside the downtown core at the end of November. All day on-street parking will no longer be permitted and signs on the following streets will be replaced by November 30 to show allowed parking times:
    • Dublin Street North, Kent Street to Durham Street and Paisley Street to Suffolk Street West
    • Green Street, Dublin Street North to Norfolk Street
    • Suffolk Street West, Dublin Street North to Norfolk Street
    • Liverpool Street, Dublin Street North to Norfolk Street
    • Oxford Street, Dublin Street to Norfolk Street
    • Cork Street West, Dublin Street North to Norfolk Street
    • Northumberland Street, east of Dublin Street North to Kent Street
    • Kent Street, Glasgow Street North to Dublin Street North

City staff will monitor the available supply of parking in the downtown and, if required, will extend all-day periphery on-street parking past November 30 to ensure an adequate supply of parking.

Map of on-street parking options outside the downtown core

Other downtown parking options

Casual, short-term parking is also available in the Wyndham, Macdonell and Baker lots.

For more information

Jamie Zettle, Program Manager, Parking
Engineering and Transportation Services
519-822-1260 extension 2590
jamie.zettle@guelph.ca

Free Culture Days activities starting September 28

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Create, participate and share in the celebration of #GuelphCulture

Guelph, Ont., September 24, 2018 – Guelph will host 46 free activities, events and exhibitions across the city as part of the ninth annual Culture Days celebration from September 28 to 30.

“We’re thrilled with the incredible variety of unique events being offered for this year’s Culture Days celebrations,” says Stacey Dunnigan, the City’s manager of Culture and Tourism. “This selection of free events proves there is truly something for everyone.”

Over Culture Days weekend you’ll find:

  • Guelph Museums will have exhibitions, concerts, a multigenerational timeline hunt and a documentary bus tour
  • Guelph Public Library will feature french storytime and a family-friendly fall festival
  • Guelph Farmers’ Market will host live music featuring The Over Tones
  • Market Square and City Hall will have a Culture Hub and Makers Market
  • The Art Gallery of Guelph is unveiling the Artist in Residence exhibition created by KIAM

Culture Days is celebrated in Guelph through visual arts, music, architecture, storytelling, heritage, literature and crafts with the support of many community partners. For a complete list of partners and events visit guelph.ca/culturedays or culturedays.ca.

About Culture Days

Starting on the last Friday in September every year, Culture Days takes place in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country. During this annual three-day celebration, thousands of arts and cultural groups host free participatory public activities bringing together millions of Canadians. Culture Days raises awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians and their local arts and culture community.

Media contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

Water main break at 236 Gordon Street will be repaired tomorrow

Gordon will be closed between Forbes/Dormie and James all day Tuesday

Guelph, Ont., September 24, 2018—A water main break occurred at 236 Gordon Street this afternoon.

Crews are on-site investigating and preparing for repairs. Provided there are no additional complications, repairs will be done tomorrow between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

People living and working in the area may notice disruptions in water service and changes in water pressure. Impacted properties will be directly notified by City staff.

Traffic and transit impacts

Gordon Street will be closed to all vehicle traffic between Forbes Avenue/Dormie Lane and James Street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 25 to allow for repairs. Drivers traveling past the closure from the north or south should detour via  College Avenue and Wellington/York Roads to use Edinburgh and Victoria Roads. Residential streets are not detour routes. Please drive safely and respectfully in these areas at all times.

Guelph Transit routes 99 and 41 will be detoured around the area until further notice. Buses will use Wellington, Edinburgh and College as the detour route. This detour is expected to cause significant delays for riders, and people should plan extra time for travel tomorrow. Visit guelphtransit.ca for more information.

Pedestrian and cycling access

The sidewalk on the east side of Gordon Street will be closed, the west sidewalk will remain open. Pedestrians are reminded to cross Gordon safely at designated crossings.

Cyclists can walk their bikes through the closure area using the west sidewalk.

The City will provide updates at guelph.ca and on Facebook (facebook.com/cityofguelph) and Twitter (twitter.com/cityofguelph) should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media contact

Chris Garcia, Manager Water Operations
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3394
chris.garcia@guelph.ca

Guelph’s economy second among Canadian mid-sized cities for expected growth

Guelph, Ont., September 20, 2018– The Conference Board of Canada, a national, independent research organization, has projected real gross domestic product (GDP) for the Guelph region at 2.3 per cent in 2018. The Guelph region includes the City of Guelph, and Guelph/Eramosa and Puslinch Townships.

The Summer 2018 Outlook report states that Guelph’s economy has performed strongly in recent years and is expected to continue to grow above the provincial pace for both 2018 and 2019. Guelph’s expected real GDP growth in 2018 is the second highest among medium sized cities, trailing only Oshawa (2.6 per cent).

“We expect continued, albeit moderating, economic growth for Guelph over the next two years, with real GDP slated to advance 2.3 per cent in 2018 and a further 2.1 per cent in 2019,” the report states. “This compares with annual increases averaging 3.3 per cent during the previous four years, which included last year’s 3.1 per cent gain.”

“Guelph’s economy continues to outperform its neighbouring municipalities and national peers,” says Helen Loftin, General Manager of Business Development and Enterprise for the City of Guelph. “This growth can be attributed to the diverse nature of our economy, as well as the strength and resilience of our manufacturing sector.”

The Conference Board’s report highlights Guelph’s manufacturing sector as a major contributor to real GDP growth noting, “Guelph’s manufacturing sector has been on a tear in recent years, with industry output rising an average of 4.8 per cent annually since 2014, compared with 3.3 per cent expansion in the city’s total GDP. We expect the industry’s output to rise a more moderate 2.6 per cent in 2018 and 2.1 per cent in 2019.”

“Guelph’s diverse economy and attractive geographical position in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe have kept newcomers arriving which has contributed to the city’s strong economic performance,” says Alan Arcand, associate director for the Centre for Municipal Studies at the Conference Board of Canada. In fact, we estimate that total net migration hit a record high above 2,800 people in 2017. We expect Guelph’s economy to continue to grow over the next two years, albeit at a more moderate pace.”

The report also states that Guelph’s retail sales jumped 7.0 per cent last year as a result of a strong economy and rebounding personal incomes. This was retail sales’ largest increase in Guelph since 2000, and roughly twice the average growth during the 1990s.

The Conference Board report sees solid prospects for Guelph’s economy. The diverse and resilient nature of Guelph’s economy has contributed to the outperforming of provincial and national averages and continues to attract the labour force and businesses needed to ensure future stable growth.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes identified in the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. Its purpose is to position and promote Guelph as an ideal place to do business.

For more information

Tyson McMann, Business Development Analyst
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-837-5600 extension 3525
tyson.mcmann@guelph.ca

Mirexus launches operations in Hanlon Creek Business Park

Mirexus Ribbon Cutting Line.

Mirexus Ribbon Cutting Line (from left: Mayor Cam Guthrie, Malcolm Campbell, MP Lloyd Longfield, Trevor Jones).

Guelph, Ont., September 14, 2018—Local business Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. has moved into their newly built headquarters in the Hanlon Creek Business Park at the corner of Downey Road and Hanlon Creek Boulevard. Mirexus adds to the strong and diverse businesses that already operate in the business park.

Following the purchase of the 1.75–hectare (4.3–acre) parcel of land in July 2017, Mirexus broke ground on their development in September 2017 and completed construction this past July.

Mirexus was launched in Guelph in 2008 and has seen positive growth over their 10 years. From their beginnings at the University of Guelph to their new location and staff complement of 27, Mirexus has thrived as part of Guelph’s business community and all the support that comes with that.

“Guelph is renowned as Ontario’s agri-innovation cluster attracting both local and international companies,” says Barbara Maly, manager of Economic Development for the City of Guelph. “We’re happy that Mirexus continues to invest in Guelph, and that they play an important role in growing our community of innovative and progressive thinkers.”

Mirexus chose to stay and further invest in Guelph because of the community’s desirable location in the centre of Canada’s Innovation Corridor, access to research and talent provided by the close proximity to multiple post-secondary institutions, and great quality of life for employees.

“Our current location provides us with access to a group of top post-secondary institutions for research needs as well as the opportunity for future expansion of our facility,” says Phil Whiting, President and Chief Executive Officer at Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. “Our employees also enjoy living here which makes Guelph the perfect place for our operation.”

The new Mirexus headquarters is 1,115 square metres (12,000–square feet) with room to grow in the future. Cutting-edge design features make Mirexus’ building an attractive entryway to the Hanlon Creek Business Park at Downey Road.

About Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc.

Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. is a safe and natural biomaterials company based in Guelph, Ontario that is commercializing a novel nanotechnology, PhytoSpherix®. As a multifunctional additive, PhytoSpherix® can be used in a wide variety of markets ranging from cosmetics to nutraceuticals to biomedical applications in animal and human health. This technology was originally developed at the University of Guelph by Professor John Dutcher.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes identified in the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. Its purpose is to position and promote Guelph as an ideal place to do business.

For more information

Barbara Maly, Manager, Economic Development
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2822
barbara.maly@guelph.ca

City to develop application for temporary driveway enforcement suspensions

Current suspension of enforcement continues during procedure development

Guelph, Ont., September, 11, 2018–Last night, Guelph City Council approved the development of a new procedure to allow groups of residents to apply for temporary enforcement suspensions of driveway width infractions in their neighbourhood.

“While the procedure is developed, the City will continue to enforce Zoning Bylaw (1995) – 14864 regulations related to driveway widths and issue notifications of illegal driveways, but we won’t issue charges for residential homes classified as semi-detached/duplex and on-street townhouses,” says Rob Reynen, chief building official for the City. “The specific restrictions and conditions for suspended enforcement, including the additional criteria defined by Council, are now posted in detail on the City’s website.”

Procedure development

The procedure for temporary driveway enforcement suspensions could be modeled on the City’s current on-street parking review procedure. When a request is submitted for a review of on-street parking, the City initiates a survey to determine interest and support from people living on the affected street. This type of procedure requires both a minimum amount of survey participation from people in the area, as well as a minimum level of support, before the City can approve the request and make changes.

“We’ll begin working on this procedure this fall and expect to bring something back to Council for approval in the first quarter of 2019,” noted Reynen.

Zoning bylaw review

The comprehensive review of Zoning Bylaw (1995) – 14864, which includes the regulations specific to driveway widths, will move ahead in 2019. Staff will review regulations specific to driveway widths as part of that work. The review will include looking at best management practices in other municipalities, trends in automobile use and housing types, and current regulations could stay the same.

Until the review is complete, all regulations related to driveway widths in the zoning bylaw are still in effect. Property owners with existing driveways that are out of compliance with the bylaw, or who change driveways in ways that aren’t compliant, could face charges when the temporary suspension is lifted, especially if the regulations specific to driveway widths stay the same after the comprehensive review of the zoning bylaw.

Resources

Media Contact

Rob Reynen, Chief Building Official
Planning and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2386
rob.reynen@guelph.ca

Groundbreaking ceremony welcomes Pfaff Subaru to Guelph

Groundbreaking ceremonial dirt turning.

Pfaff Subaru Groundbreaking ceremony at 12 Wilbert Street.

Guelph, Ont., September 7, 2018—Pfaff Subaru broke ground on their new 2,050–square metre (22,000–square foot) dealership today during a ceremony attended by Mayor Cam Guthrie, Pfaff Automotive Partners, Subaru and other community partners.

Guelph’s newest dealership will be built in the north end of the city at 12 Wilbert Street near Woodlawn and Elmira Roads. Pfaff Subaru will add to the existing strength and diversity of automotive dealerships already located in the area, providing new options for Guelph residents.

“I am thrilled to welcome Pfaff Subaru,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “This new dealership brings investment, jobs, and more consumer choice to our city. It’s a great addition to Guelph.”

Pfaff Subaru are working with local contractors, including Guelph-based Alliance Roofing, to build their new dealership. They aim to finish construction by December this year. Twenty-five jobs will be created when Pfaff Subaru first opens with the potential for more employment growth once the dealership gets established.

Pfaff Subaru chose to invest in Guelph because the community matched their needs on key decision criteria including location and quality of life. Guelph’s ideal location paired with convenient access to neighbouring communities made Guelph an excellent fit for a new dealership.

“Guelph is a growing, vibrant community that presents easy access from all major metropolitan centres and offers a very attractive quality of life,” says Chris Pfaff, President and Chief Executive Officer at Pfaff Automotive Partners. “Since making the decision to locate in Guelph, it has been a great ride and we’re excited to join the community.”

About Pfaff Automotive Partners

Pfaff Automotive Partners, a leading Canadian automotive retailer, was founded in 1964. Its brand offering includes Volkswagen, Toyota, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, Jeep, Mazda, Audi, BMW, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, McLaren, Singer Vehicle Design, Pagani, BAC Mono, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It has a 50-plus-year racing history across many forms of motorsport. The company also operates Pfaff Tuning, Pfaff Leasing, and Pfaff Autoworks. For more information, please visit www.pfaffauto.com.

About Invest in Guelph

Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes identified in the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. Its purpose is to position and promote Guelph as an ideal place to do business.

For more information

Barbara Maly, Manager, Economic Development
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2822
barbara.maly@guelph.ca

2019 Wellbeing Grant applications now available

Submit your application before October 11

Guelph, Ont., August 31, 2018 – The City of Guelph is accepting applications to the 2019 Wellbeing Grant program until October 11.

The City provides funding to notfor-profit organizations in the community whose work has the potential to positively impact the residents of Guelph. Applications and supporting materials are available on the City’s website at guelph.ca/grants. There are three simple steps to apply:

  1. Download a copy of the application and review the application guide
  2. Fill it out
  3. Email it to wellbeinggrants@guelph.ca

Grant applications will be evaluated by the City’s Wellbeing Grant panel consisting of Guelph residents. The panel compares the organization’s goals with the goals of the program, their track record with the community and their financial needs. Final recipients will be notified in March 2019.

For more information about the Wellbeing Grant program and to download an application, visit guelph.ca/grants.

About the Wellbeing Grant program

The City of Guelph allocates grant funding each year to incorporated not-for-profit organizations, with or without charitable status, that can show how their work will improve community wellbeing. Eligible organizations can apply for grants that can be used for core operating costs, one-off events, special programming or projects, or for small capital items that improve their services.

Media Contact

Alex Goss, Manager of Community Investment
Culture Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2675
wellbeinggrants@guelph.ca

Guelph makes an impression with Ontario’s new government

Guelph, Ont., August 22, 2018– Mayor Cam Guthrie, Councillors Cathy Downer and Mark MacKinnon, and the City’s executive team return to Guelph today after three days of meetings with members of Ontario’s new government at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference.

In the meetings, the Guelph delegation introduced provincial ministers and parliamentary assistants to key local projects such as the Guelph Innovation District redevelopment proposal, the Community Energy Initiative, and the Guelph-Wellington Smart Cities Challenge proposal. They advocated for the Province’s support for the new main library and south end community centre, better connectivity to the planned new Highway 7, interest arbitration reform, and two-way all-day GO service. A full list of meetings can be found at the following link: Guelph delegation heads to Ottawa for 16 meetings with provincial officials.

“The Guelph delegation had more meetings at this year’s AMO conference than ever before. We are building relationships with the newly-elected decision-makers at Queen’s Park, so that we can continue to move key initiatives forward over the next four years,” said Mayor Guthrie.

Added Chief Administrative Officer Derrick Thomson, “In previous years, Guelph’s advocacy efforts have secured significant results for our city – including more than $20 million in federal and provincial infrastructure funding and a commitment to two-way, all-day GO service. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings to put Guelph on the Province’s radar.”

In addition to delegation meetings with government ministers and parliamentary assistants, the group met with representatives of the NDP and Liberal parties and with the leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Guelph’s MPP Mike Schreiner. Members of the group also attended some of the more than 70 workshops and sessions offered by AMO on topics ranging from managing legalized cannabis, to rising emergency services costs.

“The AMO conference is always a great opportunity to connect with elected officials and staff from other municipalities across Ontario,” added Mayor Guthrie. “Cities face many common challenges and opportunities, the information-sharing that happens at AMO is very helpful to Guelph.”

About the AMO conference

AMO’s annual conference is Ontario’s top educational forum for municipal governments. This year, the conference featured more than 70 sessions and workshops reflecting the broad scope of municipal responsibilities. About 1,900 participants from hundreds of municipalities and organizations participated in the conference, which took place August 19 to 22 in Ottawa.

About AMO

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

Media Contact

Kate Sullivan, Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558
kate.sullivan@guelph.ca

AA+ credit rating reaffirms Guelph’s solid financial foundation

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Guelph, Ont., August 15, 2018 – The City of Guelph’s credit rating remains strong at AA+ as announced today by S&P Global Ratings (S&P).

“This is great news for ensuring the long-term prosperity of Guelph,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “This rating not only reflects the City of Guelph’s solid financial position and practices, it also speaks to our vibrant economy, ability to attract new residents, employers, and investment opportunities.”

S&P is an independent company that looks at corporations around the world and analyses their capacity to meet financial obligations. The City of Guelph’s AA+ rating signifies its ability to meet its financial commitments is between very strong and extremely strong.

Council and City administration’s management of its finances is a big part of why the City’s credit rating has remained at AA+ for six years in a row, but there are other factors that contribute to a high rating. S&P considers Guelph’s proximity to the Greater Toronto Area and location along the Highway 401 corridor to have economic benefits; its fairly high median household income; its high growth in population; and its sizable public sector employment consisting of the university, schools, hospital and government offices that help to balance the large manufacturing sector.

“Our ability to meet our financial obligations is paramount for both Council and staff,” said Derrick Thomson, chief administrative officer for the City. “A great credit rating is our financial foundation that allows us to strategically plan for the future, and a testament to continuous good work.”

Read S&P’s report on Guelph’s 2018 credit rating.

Guelph credit rating from 2011 to 2018. 2011 AA, stable. 2012 AA, positive. 2013 to 2018 AA+, with stable outlook.

About S&P Global Ratings

S&P Global Ratings is a leader in independent credit risk research and market intelligence including credit ratings, research, and thought leadership. It has offices in 26 countries and more than 150 years of experience.

Media contact

Trevor Lee
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260, extension 2281
trevor.lee@guelph.ca

City of Guelph gets down to business with new GM of Business Development and Enterprise  

Guelph, Ont., August 3, 2018 – There’s a new leader in the City of Guelph’s Business Development and Enterprise (BDE) office—Helen Loftin. Loftin joins the City as the new General Manager of BDE on September 10.

“We’ve been looking for someone with international experience, commitment to the community and a true sense of partnership to build an even stronger local economy,” said Scott Stewart, Deputy CAO, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise for the City of Guelph. “I’m confident that Helen has the leadership and foresight to set Guelph on a successful course for the future.”

Loftin comes to the City with over 30 years’ experience working with government, private sector and community partners, most recently as Senior VP Marketing and Communications for Mennonite Economic Development Associates, a regionally-based international NGO. Loftin was also the district manager in Guelph for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, an organization devoted to advocating on behalf of small business.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to contribute to the success of this city. Guelph is known as an innovative leader and progressive-thinking municipality,” said Helen Loftin. “I look forward to joining this stellar team and becoming part of this great city.”

Loftin will oversee the BDE office which provides business development programs and services for the divisions of Economic Development, Downtown Renewal, Community Energy, and Parking. These integrated divisions work to create a city that attracts and supports business investment, fosters collaboration and partnerships, and leverages local assets to create sustainable growth opportunities for the community.

“This is an exciting time for the City,” added Stewart. “Helen will bring important insight and experience as we develop the Baker District downtown, renew our focus for economic development with a new strategic plan, and continue to grow our partnership in the Innovation Corridor.”

Loftin holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and a BA from York University.

Helen Loftin

For more information

Scott Stewart
DCAO, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 3445
scott.stewart@guelph.ca

Water main break at 2 Quebec Street being repaired today

Update: August 2, 2018 at 2: 30 p.m.—Water main repairs complete. Road will reopen around 3 p.m. today.

Westbound lanes closed between Norfolk and Baker Street

Guelph, Ont., August 2, 2018—A water main break occurred at 2 Quebec Street early this morning.

Crews are on site repairing the break and expect to be done later tonight, as long as there are no added complications.

The City is notifying local businesses about the break. People living and working in the area may notice disruptions in water service and changes in water pressure. Impacted properties will be notified by City staff.

Traffic and transit impacts

Westbound lanes are closed and eastbound lanes remain open on Quebec Street between Norfolk and Baker Street.

Guelph Transit routes 10, 20 and the community bus are being detoured around the area until further notice. Visit guelphtransit.ca for more information.

Drivers and transit users in the area should expect delays and plan extra time for travel.

Pedestrian access

Sidewalks on the north and south side of Quebec Street remain open.

The City will provide updates at guelph.ca and on Facebook (facebook.com/cityofguelph) and Twitter (twitter.com/cityofguelph) should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media contact

Kier Taylor, Supervisor of Distribution Metering
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2164
kier.taylor@guelph.ca

Local experts gather to tackle food challenges in Guelph-Wellington

The average Canadian household throws away about $1,400 of edible food every year

Guelph, Ont., July 27, 2018—Nationally, $31 billion in useful food ends up in landfills every year. This food waste has an environmental impact approximately equal to the emissions of two million cars on the road, according to social entrepreneur Chef Jagger Gordon, founder of Feed it Forward. About half of this waste happens in homes, the equivalent of $25 to $30 per week per household, and could support people who are not food secure. Our convenience lifestyles and lack of understanding about food waste are key reasons for this waste, notes University of Guelph Associate Professor Dr. Kate Parizeau.

These are just a few of the compelling statistics that experts, entrepreneurs, innovators and community champions from the agriculture, food and government sectors in the city of Guelph and Wellington County heard Friday during a far-reaching planning session to address critical food challenges being tackled in Guelph-Wellington’s Smart Cities Challenge bid. The local proposal to become Canada’s first circular food economy is already a finalist for a $10 million prize to implement the strategy.

The Smart Cities Challenge is a project of Infrastructure Canada, awarding cash prizes in various categories for communities to advance an idea to solve social problems through innovation, data and connected technology.

“Together, we share a vision to be the food community of the future. By exploring our relationship with food, we can produce better social, economic and environmental outcomes for everyone,” said Derrick Thomson, City of Guelph Chief Administrative Officer, as he welcomed 60 stakeholders from across the city and county to kick off the five-hour workshop.

The initial work of the group resulted in Guelph-Wellington becoming one of 10 finalists in a category of 130 applications. As a finalist, the project has been granted $250,000 to build out its ideas and finalize the proposal for the larger prize.

Guest speakers kicked off the day, and created a compelling case for the work. In addition to Gordon and Parizeau, they included Emma Chow, Project Manager of Cities and the Circular Economy for Food with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in London, England.

“Our food economy is linear: we take, make, then dispose. There is waste at each of these stages in the linear flow. This model cannot be functional long-term. Instead, we need to be regenerative and restorative by design,” said Chow. “This can be accomplished with three principals: design out waste and pollution in our processing and packaging; keep products and materials at their highest value possible for as long as possible, so there is as little waste as possible; and, to regenerate natural systems that will continue producing the food we need.”

The circular economy concept is at the heart of the Smart Cities proposal. Throughout the afternoon in several working groups, experts discussed the critical issues and requirements to fulfill three goals, themed “50x50x50 by 2025”:

  • Increase access to affordable, nutritious food by 50 per cent;
  • Create 50 new circular businesses and collaborations; and
  • Increase circular economic revenues by 50 per cent by recognizing the value of waste in the food system

Over the next several months, project leaders will continue to build out the strategy, and will implement nine projects to support the goals.

The final application for the Smart Cities Challenge is expected to be submitted in late 2018 or early 2019.

Resources

Media Contact

Cathy Kennedy, Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

Have your say on the future of leash free dog facilities

A dog with a ball in his mouth.

City invites community to have their say on Leash Free Policy by August 27

Take the survey

Guelph, Ont., July 27, 2018–Guelph’s future leash free facilities is in the hands and paws of the community. Starting today until August 27, residents can provide comment on the Leash Free Policy, a document that will help create future leash free facilities.

“The goal of this policy is more than just putting a fence around a dog park,” says Heather Flaherty, general manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Guelph. “We want to understand how everyone in our community, whether they own a dog or not, experiences our leash free areas.”

Interested community members can participate in online or in-person surveys that aim to:

  1. Understand how the whole community uses leash free areas
  2. Confirm common problems the community has with leash free areas
  3. Rank proposed solutions that can improve new spaces for everyone

Survey results will help create a draft leash free policy that the community can comment on this fall. The final draft Leash Free Policy will be presented to City Council in early 2019.

Media contact

Heather Flaherty, General Manager
Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2664
heather.flaherty@guelph.ca

City of Guelph releases 2017 Report to the Community

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Report highlights accomplishments from 2017

Media release

Guelph, Ont., July 24, 2018– Yesterday, the City unveiled the 2017 Report to the Community as part of the Chief Administrative Officer’s annual update to Guelph City Council.

The City has been reviewing and updating its approach to public reporting to increase transparency and accountability to citizens and stakeholders. The 2017 Report to the Community includes performance data from across the organization—making it easier to understand how the City is using tax dollars, managing assets, and planning for sustainable and prosperous urban growth.

It also includes videos and stories showing how municipal programs and services contribute to Guelph’s high quality of life.

“This isn’t a typical financial or performance report because it’s not just about us. It’s about residents, business, community groups, visitors, volunteers, and our own employees. It’s about people working together to make Guelph a great city,” says Derrick Thomson, the City’s chief administrative officer.

From the City’s perspective, the report demonstrates significant progress and highlights areas where the City needs to focus further to achieve the three goals of the City’s Corporate Administrative Plan—financial stability, service excellence, and innovation.

It also reflects how people throughout the community benefit from municipal programs and services every day.

Resources

Media Contact

Jennifer Smith
Manager Corporate Community Strategic Initiatives
Chief Administrator’s Office, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2120
jennifer.smith@guelph.ca

Celebrate John Galt Day at Market Square on August 4

Guelph, Ont., July 23, 2018 – Over the Civic long weekend, on Saturday, August 4, the City will host its annual John Galt Day festivities featuring free activities and family-friendly entertainment in Guelph’s Market Square.

“John Galt Day is a true community celebration,” says Bill Nuhn, manager of Theatres and Civic Events for the City. “We invite the community to join in the festivities and celebrate our great city!”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the City invites the public to experience:

  • Comedy and tricks by Bob Cates, the Canadian juggling champion
  • Aerial theatrics by Theatre Arcturus
  • KIAM, this year’s Artist in Residence team
  • Face painting by Cleo the Clown and her Painting Pals
  • T-shirt printing by Jeff Mann of TREAD ON IT! (bring an old t-shirt to print!)

Community members can splash in the Market Square water feature and refill their water bottles at the Water Wagon. Guelph Museums will celebrate John Galt Day with activities and free admission to the museum.

About John Galt

John Galt was a prominent Scottish novelist who founded Guelph in 1827. Galt built an attractive town using a radial design, much like the spokes of a fan. This design for Guelph was innovative in comparison to the gridiron plan of most cities of the time.

Media Contact

Bill Nuhn, Manager of Theatres and Civic Events
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3476
bill.nuhn@riverrun.ca

City announces partner for Baker District redevelopment

An artist rendering showing what the Baker District redevelopment could look like once redeveloped.

Preliminary artist rendering of what the Baker District redevelopment could look like once developed.

Guelph, Ont., July 17, 2018 – The City of Guelph is pleased to announce Windmill Development Group as the preferred partner to lead the planning, design and development for the Baker District project.

The Ottawa-based real estate development company was named last night during a special meeting of Council at which staff presented an update on the project.

“Windmill’s proven development experience, financial strength, ambition and award-winning design excellence align with the City’s vision and objectives for this important downtown project,” says Scott Stewart, deputy CAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise.

He adds, “Awarding this project marks a critical milestone in the Baker District redevelopment project as we’re able to move forward with development concepts, getting us closer to revitalizing this underused urban space.”

“We are delighted to have been selected for the Baker Street District redevelopment project. Our entire team is very excited about the potential of this pivotal site and is keen to engage with the City of Guelph and stakeholder groups in a collaborative manner to become your partners in creating a lively mixed-use community,” says Alex Speigel, partner, Windmill Development Group. “Using the One Planet Living framework as a guide, we aim to deliver transformational sustainability to Guelph’s downtown.”

The development team, led by Windmill, includes Diamond Schmidt Architects, DTAH, and Urban Equation Corporation. The companies, who have successfully worked together before, will work closely with the City and Guelph Public Library to arrive at a final plan for the development.

“We’re confident that Windmill, and their team, has the necessary experience to develop Baker District, and in particular a library building that will meet the expectations of the library board and our community,” says Steve Kraft, CEO of the Guelph Public Library.

Last spring, the City invited four shortlisted development teams to submit proposals. Selecting the preferred partner was done in accordance with the City’s procurement process and the governance framework for capital projects.

Over the coming months, the City will negotiate a development plan with Windmill and their partners. This plan will be presented to Council for consideration and direction in 2020.

Background

The Baker District redevelopment is a City of Guelph development project aimed at transforming the existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use development, including a new main library.

The Downtown Secondary Plan envisions the Baker District redevelopment becoming a model of urban intensification that drives visitors to the downtown and encourages business to thrive within its boundaries by combining residential and commercial spaces.

Windmill will own and develop the residential and commercial components, and partner with the City in developing the public components (e.g. library, parking and public space). The City will support the development of the site by completing technical studies, environmental site preparation and upgrades to off-site infrastructure. The City will also consider whether support for the development project is available through Downtown Guelph Community Improvement Plan grant and loan programs.

There will be multiple opportunities for the community to participate in the development of the Baker District, both through the Guelph Public Library as it develops the new library space and programming, and the City as the Baker District design concepts are developed and refined. Opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community as this multi-year project progresses.

About Windmill Development Group

Windmill is a visionary real estate development company dedicated to transforming conventional development practices using the triple bottom line approach of people, planet and profits. The company harnesses innovations that optimize the use of land, water, air, energy and building materials towards a goal of zero ecological footprint buildings. All of Windmill’s projects have achieved LEED Platinum certification.

For more information, visit guelph.ca/bakerdistrict.

Media contacts

Scott Stewart
Deputy CAO, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3445
scott.stewart@guelph.ca

Vakis Boutsalis
Senior Account Director
kg&a
416-537-0954
416-578-1741 (cell)
vakis@kga-inc.com

 

Councillor Cathy Downer returns to Association of Municipalities of Ontario board

Guelph, Ont., July 12, 2018 – Ward 5 Councillor Cathy Downer has been acclaimed to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) board of directors for a second term as a member of the Large Urban Caucus.

“I am thrilled to continue to provide Guelph’s voice at the table on the important advocacy work of AMO – including issues such as affordable housing, infrastructure, waste management, and climate change,” said Councillor Downer. “The work of AMO is particularly important with the election of a new provincial government. We must ensure that municipalities have the chance to contribute to decisions made at the provincial level.”

Councillor Downer was first acclaimed to the AMO board in August 2016. In her first term, she served as co-chair of the Digital Government Taskforce and was instrumental in a number of advocacy files, including the successful advocacy for reform of the Ontario Municipal Board.

The 38-member AMO board is comprised of municipal officials who represent different caucuses: large urban; small urban; county; northern; regional and single tier; and rural.

“The AMO board is a great way to exchange information and ideas with other municipalities, especially urban areas that are going through some of the same challenges and experiences as Guelph,” added Councillor Downer.

About the Association of Municipalities of Ontario

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

Media Contact

Councillor Cathy Downer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2294
Mobile: 519-827-8390
cathy.downer@guelph.ca

City approves financial incentive program for brownfield redevelopment

Guelph, Ont., July 12, 2018 – On Monday evening City Council approved an update to the City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP provides financial incentives to help offset the cost of environmental investigation and clean-up of brownfield sites.

The CIP update includes changes to the program to make it easier to access funding. The improvements include:

  • an increase in the environmental study grant maximum from $15,000 to $30,000 per study;
  • clarification of the grant program requirements that will ease the application process for both staff and proponents; and
  • an extension of the timeframe for CIP programs for another five years.

“The cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites have a number of benefits for the community,” says Tim Donegani, policy planner. “Investment in these sites can result in improvements to soil and groundwater conditions, lead to job retention and creation, improve public safety and security, and allow for efficient use of existing services in the community. We expect to see new interest in redevelopment of our brownfield sites as a result of our CIP updates.”

The staff report to Council also provided a framework for staff to negotiate late payment agreements for development charges associated with brownfield sites. The payment would be reimbursed by the City’s tax increment–based grant program, and would potentially reduce the need for developers to pay brownfield development charges out of their pocket.

The City is now accepting applications from developers under the updated CIP.

What is a brownfield?

Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underused properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. The city has an estimated 400 brownfield sites.

Resources

Brownfield Redevelopment CIP (webpage)

For more information

Tim Donegani
Policy Planner, Planning Services
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2521
tim.donegani@guelph.ca

City launches new online engagement platform with Guelph’s Community Plan

Guelph, Ont., July 10, 2018 – Today the City of Guelph launched its new online engagement platform. The site, Have Your Say Guelph, which will host all online engagement opportunities for City projects, currently features three different activities for the Community Plan project with more to come.

“Finding new and innovative ways to reach and engage our community is important to us,” says Derrick Thomson, chief administrative officer. “We’re excited to test this new platform with the Community Plan, extending our reach into the community and meeting people where they are. These tools give us the opportunity to talk to people about our community’s direction who may not attend public events. We want the community to be heard and to know we’re listening.”

The engagement platform uses eight activities to ensure that in-person engagement activities can be mirrored online.

  • Places – a simple way to gather feedback and ideas onto a map
  • Ideas – a way for people to submit different ideas and show support for others
  • Forums – a tool for transparent community discussion
  • Questions – a tool for asking questions and receiving answers from the project team
  • Guestbook – a space to leave a short comment or note
  • Stories – a space for community members to share stories with one another
  • Surveys – allows for quantitative data collection
  • Polls – allows people to provide a quick answer to one question; results are shown in real-time

Guelph’s Community Plan

The City, alongside community members and partners, is working to build Guelph’s Community Plan, and it needs everyone’s voice. Guelph is growing. Our population is expected to grow from about 130,000 people in 2016 to 170,000 in 2030.

The plan will lay the foundation for a strong, welcoming and prosperous future for our community; one where everyone has a sense of belonging, can access essential services and earn a good living.

Once built, the plan will guide the work of our local government for the next 10 to 20 years and will give community organizations and citizens a shared roadmap to monitor progress and share what we learn.

Be heard. We’re listening.

  1. In person – join the Community Plan team at various community events.
  2. Online – engage in various conversations online at guelph.ca/community-plan.
  3. On your own – have a conversation with family, friends, neighbours and coworkers, then share your thoughts with the Community Plan team. There’s even a DIY conversation guide to help get the conversation started.

#makeyourmark

Visit guelph.ca/community-plan to learn more.

Resources

Media contact

Jennifer Smith
Manager, Corporate and Community Strategic Initiatives
Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Services, Office of the CAO
519-822-1260 extension 2120
jennifer.smith@guelph.ca

Dry conditions move outside water use level up to yellow

Enforced watering restrictions now in effect

Reduce your water use

Guelph, Ont., July 10, 2018—The City is enforcing watering restrictions for level 1 yellow of the outside water use program because of a lack of rainfall, hot temperatures and increased demands on the water system.

At level 1 yellow, lawn watering is restricted to 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even calendar dates by address number—odd numbered houses are permitted to water on odd numbered dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.

“Despite some recent rain, overall rainfall is still much lower than usual,” said Heather Yates, Supervisor of Water Efficiency. “With hot, dry weather expected to last through the summer, we need residents and businesses to continue their commitment to conserving water both outside and inside to ensure a sustainable water supply.”

Indicators that change local watering restrictions include amount of rain, local river flows and water demands. Current hot and dry conditions, and a weather forecast predicting increased temperatures and low rainfall, are the primary reasons for the current change from blue to yellow.

The last time Guelph’s watering restrictions were in level 1 yellow was in 2016.

The City will continue to monitor conditions and work with the Grand River Conservation Authority to decide whether more changes to local watering restrictions are needed throughout the summer.

Outdoor water uses such as tree and flower or food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at–home car washing are still allowed. At–home car washing is only allowed using a hose with a shut–off nozzle or with a bucket of water.

Guelph is a groundwater community. Groundwater comes from rain and melted snow that seeps into open spaces and cracks in soil and rock. That means Guelph’s water supply is limited and dependent on local precipitation, and is why the City promotes responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use at all times.

How to report a concern

To report a possible infraction of the outside water use program:

  • Call 519-837-2529,
  • Use the 311GIS map app, or
  • Fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool by clicking on the “Bylaw compliance and concerns” button.

For reasons of privacy, please don’t post pictures of private property to social media to report an infraction. Calling or completing an online request are the fastest and most effective ways to report a concern.

In level 1 yellow, the outside water use program is actively enforced by the City’s bylaw officers. Bylaw officers will issue a fine or court summons for each observed infraction.

Lawn and garden care tips

Lawns

  • Set your mower blade to its highest setting and only your cut your lawn when grass is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall to grow stronger, deeper roots
  • In severe drought it is better for grass health not to mow at all
  • If you water your lawn, only do so once per week, use a rain gauge and apply 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the most
  • Use oscillating sprinklers that shoot low to the ground instead of fan­–style sprinklers which lose more water to evaporation and wind

Gardens

  • Use mulch in gardens to retain moisture; apply 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) deep
  • Use a soaker hose or watering can to water plants at their roots and reduce water lost to evaporation
  • Water first thing in the morning; watering at night can lead to plant disease
  • Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area

Resources

Media contact

Heather Yates
Supervisor, Water Efficiency, Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2831
heather.yates@guelph.ca

 

Water main break on Speedvale Avenue East being repaired today

Road closed between Delhi Steet and Metcalfe Street

Update, June 30, 2018: the water main has been repaired and the road has reopened.

Guelph, Ont., June 29, 2018—A water main break occurred at 243 Speedvale Avenue east between Metcalfe and Delhi around 3 p.m. today.

Crews are on site repairing the break now and expect to be done later tonight or early in the morning, as long as there are no added complications.

The City has notified local residents about the break. Significant water  has surfaced in the roadway causing asphalt heaving and road flooding. People living and working in the area may notice disruptions in water service and changes in water pressure.

Traffic and transit impacts

Speedvale Avenue East is closed to all traffic between Dehli Street and Metcalfe Street until the water main is repaired. Traffic is expected to be a challenge as Eramosa Road is also shut down between Metcalfe Street and Delhi Street.

Drivers and transit users in the area should expect delays and plan extra time for travel.

The City will provide updates at guelph.ca and on Facebook (facebook.com/cityofguelph) and Twitter (twitter.com/cityofguelph) should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media Contact

Blair Caldwell, Supervisor, Distribution
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2181
blair.caldwell@guelph.ca 

Proposed Development Charges presented to Guelph City Council

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Guelph, Ont., June 28, 2018 – Proposed Development Charges (DC) scheduled to take effect March 2, 2019 were presented to Council at a Special Workshop last night.

Development Charges are fees levied on new development that help recover costs associated with growth, as outlined in Guelph’s Development Charges Bylaw.

The proposed DC rate for residential development will increase by 15 per cent to $33,470 for a single/semi-detached unit. The proposed non-residential rate will increase by 21 per cent to $11.72 per square foot. The proposed rates are still very competitive with DC rates in nearby cities, such as Kitchener and Cambridge, who are also in the process of conducting a Background Study.

The proposed rates are the preliminary results of the Development Charges Background Study undertaken by City staff, Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. and a stakeholder group comprised of local residents, developers and commercial property owners. The Background Study, which began in the fall of 2017, will continue through 2018 with final proposed DC rates expected to be released in November.

The Background Study includes a forecast of the amount, type and location of anticipated development; the average level of service delivered in the City; a review of future capital projects; and an examination of the long-term capital costs for the capital infrastructure required for services covered in the DC bylaw. Policy-related matters, including types of exemptions, timing of payment collection and clarity in the by-law language, will be considered and assessed in the remaining phase of the Study. The stakeholder group will also be reviewing the capital needs and the supporting Local Service Policy that are integral to this Study.

The City’s current DC Bylaw and rates will expire on March 2, 2019. The Ontario DC Act requires the City to complete a Background Study at least every five years to forecast future residential and non-residential growth and determine infrastructure needs and costs. This information is then used to calculate the new DC rates. The previous background study took place in 2013 and was used to set the DC rates in the current by-law.

A public meeting will be held in January for residents and stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed DC rates. The updated bylaw and DC rates will be presented to Council in February 2019 for approval. The updated bylaw and DC rates will take effect March 2, 2019.

Resources

Media contact

Tara Baker, General Manager, Finance/City Treasurer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2084
tara.baker@guelph.ca

Guelph’s abuzz with Bee City designation

Guelph, Ont., June 27, 2018 – If residents ever needed proof that Guelph is a hive of activity, they’d need only look at the City of Guelph’s Bee City designation from Bee City Canada.

Monday night, Council approved a staff-recommended Bee City application that commits to three pollinator-friendly goals:

  1. Creating, maintaining and improving pollinator habitat
  2. Educating the community about the importance of pollinators
  3. Celebrating pollinators during International Pollinator Week and other times of the year

“Being officially designated as a Bee City complements all the great work our staff and the community are already doing to encourage pollinators into our city,”  says Dave Beaton, supervisor of Trails and Natural Area Stewardship. “Currently, the City maintains pollinator habitat in parks, trails and gardens,  hosts speakers from Pollination Guelph to drive education, and runs the Healthy Landscapes program that encourages creating pollinator habitat in private spaces.”

Guelph joins 16 other Canadian municipalities as a  Bee City including Newmarket, Whitby, Kitchener and Niagara Falls.

To celebrate, Council cut the ribbon on the City’s first bee condo aptly named  “Air Bee and Bee” on June 25. The condo is a wooden structure  stuffed with bricks, reeds, hollow stems and wooden logs, and thin branches with holes drilled in them, that encourage pollinators to nest. The condo was furnished by Guelph residents on June 12 and on display in City Hall for Pollinator Week before finally moving to its home on City Hall’s green roof.

About becoming a Bee City

Bee City is a designation that encourages cities across Canada to commit to pollinator-friendly goals that encourage education, habitat creation and awareness events.

Guelph’s application is a collaborative effort by staff from multiple departments including Facilities Management, Parks and Recreation, and Planning and Building Services.

Media Contact

Dave Beaton, Supervisor, Trails and Natural Area Stewardship
Parks Operations and Forestry, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2761
dave.beaton@guelph.ca

Council approves Boulevard Maintenance business service review

Guelph, Ont.,  June 26, 2018 – Last night, City Council approved staff recommendations from the Boulevard Maintenance business service review final report keeping boulevard maintenance service levels at current standards, and implementing new processes for efficiencies.

The report recommended no changes to the types or frequency of boulevard maintenance. Improvements will be made to gain efficiencies in maintaining City boulevards. The impacts of those recommendations include:

  • Improved process and data consistency
  • Enhanced processes to help staff forecast
  • Increased collaboration of staff from different departments in the planning, development and inspection of boulevards
  • Improved data collection and performance reporting

Homeowners will continue to maintain the cul-de-sacs, front boulevards and side boulevards on their streets.

What is a boulevard?

A diagram of a fictitious neighbourhood to show what the following are: cul-de-sac, reverse boulevard, residential boulevard, park boulevard, landscaped boulevard, green median and hardscaped median.

Resources

About the business service reviews

Media contact

Heather Flaherty, General Manager
Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2664
heather.flaherty@guelph.ca

Local citizens to be honoured with Mayor’s Awards

Guelph, Ont., June 25, 2018–  Mayor Cam Guthrie will present Mayor’s Awards to five local volunteers and community-builders on June 28 as part of the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala.

Mayor’s Awards have been presented each year since 1997 to recognize individuals who are making exceptional contributions to the Guelph community.

The 2018 honourees are:

Anne Godfrey photoAnne Godfrey, a community leader, member of several local boards, mentor, and volunteer who served six terms on Guelph City Council from 1975-85. Anne played key roles in the establishment of the River Run Centre and the Willowdale day care centre and served on the boards of the Children’s Aid Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Big Sisters, the Guelph Arts Council, Women In Crisis, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Homewood Health Centre, and the Canadian Federation of University Women.

 

Robert Harris photoRobert Harris, a founding member of the board of Silence, a downtown Guelph not-for-profit music venue that hosts more than 400 music-related and community events a year. Silence is committed to providing a space where concerts are affordable, experimentation and improvisation are valued, and as much revenue as possible flows into the hands of musicians.

 

 

John Dennis photoJohn Dennis, a member of the board of Transition Guelph who has spearheaded the creation of the Guelph Tool Library, the Urban Sugaring Project, the Repair Café, and Sew North. John has also volunteered with Fair Vote Guelph, Habitat for Humanity, the Social Justice Committee at the Church of St. Matthias and St. James the Apostle, and Living Better on Less.

 

 

McKenna Hilpert photoMcKenna Hilpert, a grade 12 student at St. John Bosco Catholic High School who has served as a student senate representative with the Wellington Catholic District School Board, the student lead for St. John Bosco’s social justice club, and a participant in the Guelph Police Service Youth in Policing Initiative and Youth Engagement Program.

 

 

Sean Hutton photoSean Hutton, a local student who started a Polar Bear Walk when he was seven years old to draw attention to the effects of climate change on Canada’s arctic and the polar bears that call it home. Five years later, this annual walk has gone national, involving more than 30 schools across Canada in addition to hundreds of students in Guelph, and has raised thousands of dollars for the World Wildlife Fund.

 

 

“One of my favourite parts of being Mayor is receiving Mayor’s Awards nominations every year. It’s a window into the great work that people are doing every day to make Guelph a better place. I am honoured and humbled to shine a spotlight on this year’s five worthy award winners,” said Mayor Guthrie.

More information about the Mayor’s Awards and the 2018 honourees can be found at guelph.ca/mayorsawards.

Media Contact

Kate Sullivan, Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558
kate.sullivan@guelph.ca

Activating Guelph’s parks

Canada Day weekend fun in Margaret Greene and Exhibition parks

Guelph, Ont., June 25, 2018 – Get ready kids, the City is expanding its popular Park Activation program by introducing two activation stations in Margaret Greene and Exhibition parks.

“Park activation introduces new and unique ways for families to use park spaces, makes it easier for children to get active, and helps to improve a child’s physical and mental well-being. We’re excited to add the activation stations for a truly interactive park experience,” says Rachel Guerin, project specialist with Energize Guelph.

The activation stations—modified shipping containers—arrive later this summer and when they do they’ll be open to the public, weather permitting, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Margaret Greene Park, and Tuesday and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Exhibition Park. Visit guelph.ca/energizeguelph for updates.

Each container holds equipment designed to help children grow and develop their skills while having fun. For example, the Imagination Playground is a block-based system that children can build with their own imagination. Other activities include sand and water for sensory play, a mini library, chalkboards, magnet boards, and creative spaces for children to be artistic.

To encourage physical activity and gross motor development, there are parachutes and four foot inflatable balls. On the backside of the activation station, children are encouraged to draw and paint on the mural wall. A living wall is also planned for children and families to garden and discover their green thumbs.

Kids and parents visiting 11 of Guelph’s parks  through August 30 will be greeted by park activators (City program staff) who will introduce fun, new activities and ways to explore park spaces.

For the Canada Day long weekend, June 30 to July 2, park activators will be out at Margaret Greene Park from 9 to 11 a.m. and Exhibition Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For the rest of the summer, look for the Energize Guelph flags on:

  • Mondays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    Margaret Greene Park, 80 Westwood Road
    Victoria Road Recreation Centre, 151 Victoria Road North
  • Tuesdays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    Exhibition Park, 81 London Road West
    Lee Street Park, 71 Lee Street
    Riverside Park, 709 Woolwich Street
  • Wednesdays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    Margaret Green Park, 80 Westwood Road
    Royal City Park, 119 Gordon Street
    Waverley Park, 76 Balmoral Drive
  • Thursdays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    Exhibition Park, 81 London Road West
    Northview Park, Bowen Drive at Mullin Drive
  • Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Margaret Greene Park, 80 Westwood Road
    South End Community Park, 25 Poppy Drive
    Sunny Acres Park, 45 Edinburgh Road
  • Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Exhibition Park, 81 London Road West
    Jubilee Park, 11 Sweeney Drive

The City’s program is designed for anyone who wants to participate and parents and caregivers are encouraged to join in on the fun.

Residents looking for more information should call 519-822-1260 extension 3451 or email energizeguelph@guelph.ca.

The Park Activation program is funded by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Community Fund.

Media contact

Rachel Guerin, Project Specialist
Healthy Kids Community Challenge (Energize Guelph)
Parks and Recreation
519-822-1260 extension 3451
rachel.guerin@guelph.ca

Guelph-Wellington chosen for international food study

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A reputation for food innovation and environmental sustainability has garnered Guelph-Wellington international attention

Guelph, Ont., June 11, 2018 – The City of Guelph and County of Wellington has been selected to collaborate with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – headquartered in the UK with recent expansion into North America – as a part of the Foundation’s Cities and the Circular Economy for Food initiative.

The initiative brings together a diverse group of food system stakeholders to rethink our approach to food production and consumption for a more regenerative, effective global food system.

This type of food economy will enhance access to nutritious food, turn “waste” into resources, and create new jobs and economic opportunities. The Foundation is collaborating with selected cities to investigate the potential for regional circular food systems built on the principles of a circular economy.

“To be selected as a focus city for this initiative is a huge honour and a testament to Guelph’s innovative spirit and the collaborative relationship of the City and County. We’re proud of the opportunity to represent Canada and help carve a path for other cities interested in a circular food economy,” said Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph.

Scott Wilson, CAO, Wellington County added: “Food is the heart of many of the world’s most pressing conversations concerning our future. This project brings the smartest minds to tackle some of the biggest issues, and provides an opportunity to commercialize those results. We are certainly thrilled to collaborate with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to do so.”

Guelph-Wellington is already recognized as a global leader in solving food problems. The coordinated and collaborative work of community food leaders to-date in the agri-tech, food science and agriculture sectors are already helping individuals to live sustainable, healthier lives.

Clementine Schouteden, Lead of the Cities and the Circular Economy for Food initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, explains the important role cities play in addressing challenges linked to our global food system: “With its Smart Cities application, Guelph-Wellington is making a firm commitment to leading the change, opening the way for more cities to follow. We are looking forward to working with both the City and the County on this initiative.”

Participation in this initiative comes at a perfect time: Guelph-Wellington is placing its circular food economy vision at the heart of their joint proposal for the Smart Cities challenge. The proposal was selected on June 1 as one of ten awarded $250,000 to further develop its bid. The Guelph-Wellington initiative aims to increase access to affordable, nutritious food by 50%, create 50 new circular businesses and collaborations, and increase circular economic revenues by 50% by recognizing the value of “waste” — all by 2025.

The City of Guelph and County of Wellington will be the focus of the Foundation’s analysis over the coming months. Analysis will take place from June to October 2018, with the aim of better understanding the regional food landscape and identifying opportunities with the most potential for shaping a circular food system.

About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision-makers across business, government and academia. The charity’s work focuses on five interlinking areas: insight and analysis; education and training; business and government; systemic initiatives; and communications.

Further information: ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy or visit the Cities and the Circular Economy for Food program page.

About the circular economy

The current “take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model is inherently wasteful and relies on the consumption of finite resources. The circular economy offers a positive way forward, by redefining growth to focus on positive society-wide benefits. It entails redesigning material flows and production systems to eliminate the concept of waste. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital. Such an economy is built on three principles: rebuild natural capital; keep products and materials in high-value use; and design out pollution and waste.

The circular economy is gaining growing attention thanks to the opportunities it offers businesses willing to capture new value from existing operations and resources, for example by redesigning products and business models, building new relationships with customers, harnessing technology to increase the utilisation of assets, and switching to renewable energy. View the animation.

More information about the Guelph-Wellington circular food economy proposal and how to join the discussion can be found on guelph.ca/foodinnovation.

Media Contacts

Cathy Kennedy
Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

Jana Burns
Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 extension 2525
janab@wellington.ca

Guelph Junction Railway delivers first dividend to City

Record revenues for railway in 2017

Guelph, Ont., June 11, 2018—Guelph Junction Railway Limited will present the City of Guelph, its sole shareholder, with a $100,000 dividend at its annual general meeting on June 18, 2018.

“City staff strive to operate the Railway in a safe and profitable manner and have worked hard over the last three years to increase its financial performance,” says Peter Cartwright, acting CEO of Guelph Innovation District. “Operating costs have been reduced, new business has been brought in and safety improvements have been made—all of this has resulted in this positive financial return and illustrates the company’s collective objective of continued improvement.”

City staff from multiple departments worked with the Guelph Junction Railway Board to initiate improvements to the Railway’s business operations in 2015 after Les Petroczi joined the City as the General Manager of the Railway. A focus on financial management, and increased marketing efforts and service delivery have helped improve the Railway’s fiscal and service sustainability.

The Railway’s Board of Directors also approved a dividend policy in December 2016 to ensure the strategic growth of Guelph Junction Railway while adding growth in shareholder value.

“This first dividend helps demonstrate the Railway’s value as an asset to the City,” says Ian Brown, Chair of Guelph Junction Railway Ltd. “Our Board members are confident that Guelph Junction Railway will continue to provide benefit to the community through safe, sustainable and well maintained rail service for our customers.”

Focus on safety

Guelph Junction Railway received a $25,000 grant from Transport Canada in 2017 as part of the Rail Safety Improvement Program. Some funds were used to improve safety at the Macdonell Street rail crossing, and to remove a rail crossing at Elmira Road. More safety improvements will be made in 2018.

Quick facts

  • Guelph Junction Railway was originally established in 1886 by a Special Act of the federal government to foster economic growth in Guelph and the surrounding communities.
  • The City has owned Guelph Junction Railway since 1908. It is managed by a board of directors.
  • Guelph Junction Railway owns 38.6 kilometres of track that runs from the Guelph Junction near Campbellville, Ontario to Guelph’s northwest industrial park.
  • Guelph Junction Railway connects with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway.
  • Guelph Junction Railway has 10 customers and provides transloading services (moving shipments from one mode of transportation to another) to local Guelph businesses as well as others.
  • Guelph Junction Railway is used to move industrial products such as grain, plastics and lumber.

Resources

Guelph Junction Railway 2017 annual report

Media contact

Peter Cartwright
Acting CEO, Guelph Innovation District, Business Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2820
peter.cartwright@guelph.ca

Artist wanted for Market Mornings program

City initiative features hands-on, art-making opportunities

Guelph, Ont., June 8, 2018 – The City of Guelph invites local artists to submit proposals by June 29 for this summer’s Market Mornings program.

Market Mornings features artist-led opportunities for the community to get creative at Guelph Farmers’ Market during the month of August. Interested artists will create an art program that collaborates with the community, brightens public spaces, creates appreciation for contemporary art and considers sustainability— including the reuse of materials.

This year artists are asked to explore the four key questions of the City of Guelph’s Community Plan:

  1. How would you want this community to change, evolve and grow over the next 10 years?
  2. What are Guelph’s greatest strengths?
  3. What are the biggest obstacles or challenges in the way of your vision for Guelph?
  4. What are your favourite things about Guelph, and which ones would you like to see more of?

“We want this year’s artist to explore what Guelph’s future will look like,” says Stacey Dunnigan, the City’s manager of culture and tourism. “The project should take our economic, cultural, educational, environmental and social hopes into consideration while celebrating creativity, imagination and community spirit.”

Artists or artist teams working in any medium or discipline are eligible to apply. They should have proven experience engaging the public and working collaboratively with community members or other artists. They must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and be 18 years of age or older. Applications are due by Friday, June 29, 2018. Artists can learn what’s required and apply online at guelph.ca/marketmornings.

About the City of Guelph Community Plan

Guelph is set to grow from 130,000 people to 170,000 people in 2030. The City is working with the community to build Guelph’s Community Plan to understand your vision for our future. It will reflect the hopes and priorities of people in our community and guide the work of our local government and community organizations.

Media contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

City’s GM of Court Services retires after 29 years

Guelph, Ont., June 6, 2018 – After a distinguished 29-year career with the City of Guelph, General Manager of Court Services, Brad Coutts, will retire on June 22.

“It’s always with mixed feelings that we say good-bye to such a dedicated employee,” said Trevor Lee, Deputy CAO, Corporate Services. “Brad was instrumental in the transfer of Provincial Offences Court Administration and Prosecutions to the City of Guelph from the Province in 2000, and led the design and renovation of Guelph’s historic former City Hall into its current use as the Provincial Offences Court serving Guelph-Wellington. We wish him well in his retirement.”

Brad, a graduate of Dalhousie University, is a licensed paralegal by the Law Society of Ontario and was a founding member of the Prosecutors’ Association of Ontario in 1995. Brad served six years as the Treasurer of its Board of Directors, and was awarded a lifetime membership with that association in 2002.

Brad is also a founding member of the Municipal Court Managers’ Association of Ontario (MCMA), which was established in 2002 in support of the 52 municipalities operating courts in 64 court service areas. Brad served as the inaugural President of the MCMA, and as its West Region Director until 2005.  He was awarded the MCMA’s Leadership Award in 2016.

In addition to his career at the City of Guelph, Brad has been a part-time professor in the Paralegal Studies Program at Sheridan College since 2009 where he teaches courses in Provincial Offences law, Criminal Summary Conviction law, Torts and Contracts, and Civil Trial Procedures and Advocacy.

“It has been my great honour and pleasure to have served the citizens of Guelph and Wellington over these past decades,” said Coutts. “The dedication of our Court Services team, the justice system stakeholders, and the support of both City and County Administrations and Councils, has resulted in one of the most effective and efficient Provincial Offences Courts in Ontario. I am confident that public access to justice has never been better.”

“In the court of peers, Brad will be missed by his many colleagues at the City,” added Lee.

Media Contact

Trevor Lee
Deputy CAO, Corporate Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260, extension 2281
trevor.lee@guelph.ca

Artists selected for 2018 Artist in Residence program

KIAM looking for images of the six wards for #YourWard project

Guelph, Ont., June 4, 2018 – Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci (KIAM) have been named this year’s Artist in Residence team.

KIAM’s project, titled #YourWard, will use images of each of Guelph’s wards to create six large-scale paintings that explore transitions in the urban environment. Their artistic style uses thick layers of acrylic paint and gel mediums, photographs and washes to create mixed-media paintings that draw attention to the contrasting perspectives on one canvas.

“KIAM’s proposal ticked all of the boxes,” says Stacey Dunnigan, manager of culture and tourism for the City of Guelph. “Their project will foster collaboration and connection with Guelph’s historic wards.”

To complete the pieces, KIAM is asking the community to provide images of their ward, either online or at community events throughout the summer. Residents interested in contributing images to the project are asked to email info@kiamstudio.com or send them via Facebook to @KIAMstudio with your name, email address, photo and ward number.

“We’re asking community members to think about the places that reside in their memories of Guelph that make them feel proud to live in their ward,” says Amanda.

The project will kick off on June 23 at Art on the Street, an event co-presented by Guelph Arts Council and the Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA). Community members are encouraged to stop by booth 60 to see the couple’s work and learn more about their project. The final pieces will be unveiled at the Art Gallery of Guelph during Culture Days weekend on September 29 and 30.

About KIAM

KIAM is a collaborative husband and wife artist team. Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci each hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. The duo offer art classes and workshops from their own studio, Art in the Ward. KIAM was one of 22 submissions for Artist in Residence, 12 of which were from other Guelph-based artists.

About the Artist in Residence program

The Artist in Residence program is offered by the City of Guelph to broaden the community’s experience of the arts. The annual program invites artists to engage with the public and showcase their creative practices while enlivening public spaces.

Media contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager of Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533
stacey.dunnigan@guelph.ca

Guelph-Wellington named finalist in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge

One of 10 awarded $250,000 on road to $10 million prize

Guelph, Ont., June 1, 2018 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced finalists in the national Smart Cities Challenge today, with the Guelph-Wellington County entry named one of 10 in its population category and awarded $250,000 to further develop its bid for a $10 million prize.

The Guelph-Wellington bid is entered in the category for communities with populations up to 500,000, which drew more than 100 proposals. It was developed in partnership with the University of Guelph, Conestoga College and dozens of other experts, entrepreneurs, innovators and community champions.

As a finalist, Guelph-Wellington will continue work with partners in the bid to win one of two $10 million prizes to be announced by the federal government in spring 2019.

Quotes

“This is a huge step on our road to becoming Canada’s first circular food economy. It’s a testament to the incredible talent and expertise in food and agriculture that exists in our region. I want to thank all the partners who helped us make it to the finals, and I look forward to working together in the months ahead to clinch the $10 million prize. Guelph will then be truly living its motto – the City that makes a difference, locally and globally.”
– Cam Guthrie, Mayor, City of Guelph

“Our community has the expertise and experience to create a food economy that is more efficient, more productive, more sustainable and more equitable for everyone. We are eager to solve a complex social problem and the Smart Cities Challenge is a critical element of a solution.
– Dennis Lever, Warden, Wellington County

“I look forward to continuing to champion Guelph-Wellington’s Smart Cities Challenge, which combines our local and regional food expertise in a way that meets the Government of Canada’s goals of sustainability, support for vulnerable people, investing in science, and promotion of Canada as a source for innovation that solves local, national, and global challenges using data and connected technology.  An already excited and committed group of people will be all the more determined to put a plan together that will be world leading.”
– Lloyd Longfield, MP Guelph

“We are intent on creating a sustainable food system and addressing an issue that’s important locally, nationally and internationally. We are honoured to have this opportunity to draw on a rich resource of unique expertise here in Canada’s agri-food hub, in the heart of the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor.”
– Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

“This funding will enable us to create a substantial positive impact on developing systems and products that will be useful around the globe.”
– Scott Wilson, Chief Administrative Officer, Wellington County

 Guelph-Wellington County Smart Cities Challenge entry

Guelph-Wellington is where food problems are solved. With a rich tradition of designing practical, creative solutions to address food issues, this hub is home to more than 1,600 food businesses and entrepreneurs, and more than 40 agri-food research institutes and organizations.

The Guelph-Wellington circular food economy vision is to increase access to affordable, nutritious food by 50 per cent, create 50 new circular businesses and collaborations by using waste as a resource and increase circular economic revenues by 50 per cent, all by 2025.

More information about the Guelph-Wellington circular food economy proposal can be found on guelph.ca/foodinnovation.

Media Contact

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

Jana Burns, Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 extension 2525
janab@wellington.ca