News Release

Guelph joins WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities

Guelph, ON, December 19, 2014 – The City of Guelph’s commitment to be an age-friendly community has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Late last month, Guelph was accepted as a member of the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities for its promise to make Guelph a great place to live and age well.

More than 250 cities and communities in 27 countries have joined the Network as a part of a growing global movement of cities and communities striving to meet the needs of older residents. By 2031, Guelph’s population will be 175,000 with 57,000 people over the age of 55.

“Being a part of the Network gives us efficient and effective ways to learn about age-friendly initiatives that are already working in other communities,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

The two-year membership gives the City access to new resources like; an online platform where members share experiences and good practices as well as pose questions and discuss challenges.

“In Guelph, we are creating a community that encourages healthy and active aging and the well-being of older people. Being a part of the Network allows us to share information across a global platform and receive guidance on becoming an age-friendly community,” says Wendy Kornelsen, manager of Senior Services.

The City is also establishing a Community Older Adult Leadership Team to guide the actions needed to make Guelph age friendly. The team will work to ensure Guelph is a place that helps people stay healthy and active regardless of age.

About WHO age-friendly cities and communities

WHO age-friendly cities and communities recognize the wide range of capacities and resources among older people; anticipate and respond flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences; respect older people’s decisions and lifestyle choices; protect those who are vulnerable; and promote older people’s inclusion in and contribution to all areas of community life.

About Guelph’s Older Adult Strategy

The purpose of the strategy is to create an age-friendly community that supports older adults to live in security, maintain their health and participate fully in society. In response, the City will adapt its structure and services to be accessible and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.

For more information

Wendy Kornelsen
Senior Services
519-822-1260 extension 2684


Wellington Street reopens to eastbound traffic

Guelph, ON, December 18, 2014—Wellington Street between Gordon Street and Edinburgh Road opens to both east and westbound traffic later today. Dublin Street from Wellington Street north to Surrey Street, and the left turn lane from Wellington Street onto Dublin Street will remain closed until traffic signals are completed.

“We’re opening one eastbound lane from Edinburgh Road to McCrae Blvd, and all eastbound lanes from McCrae to Gordon Street,” explained Ike Umar, project manager, Engineering Services. “One westbound lane will continue to be open from Gordon Street to Edinburgh Road.

McCrae Boulevard (Gow’s bridge) will remain closed to traffic and pedestrians between Wellington Street and the Royal City Park access road (Royal Recreation Trail) until spring 2015 for ongoing work on the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction project . McCrae Boulevard will stay open south of the park access road to allow vehicular to access the park.

“This is a complex project but it has progressed well and we’re very happy to reopen Wellington Street to both directions of traffic,” noted Umar. “We appreciate the patience of our community during this work, including our local businesses, and we ask that people drive carefully as crews continue to work in the area.”

The reconstruction of Wellington Street from Gordon Street to just west of McCrae Boulevard began in June. Traffic on Wellington Street was reduced to one west¬bound lane from Gordon Street to Edinburgh Road. Further work by utilities will be required in the area and may require temporary lane closures or reductions.

The City of Guelph appreciates residents’ patience, understanding and co-operation during this important construction work, and will continue posting updates on , Twitter and Facebook .

Map showing Wellington Street traffic flow

About the construction projects

Wellington Street reconstruction
The City is working to support the development at 40 Wellington Street through the widening of Wellington Street to create on–street parking, and connect underground utilities. The City is also replacing and upgrading storm sewer, watermain, sanitary sewer, decorative street lighting, curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveway aprons, median and asphalt paving as part of the project.

York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction
The City is working on the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain . Water and wastewater services are being installed from Slivercreek Park, east of the Hanlon Expressway, through the parkland to a municipal parking area on the east side of Gordon Street. Phase I of this project includes crossing the Speed River and ends just north of the lattice covered bridge in York Road Park.

For more information about the Wellington and Gordon Street reconstruction

Ike Umar
Project Manager
Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2242

For more information about the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction

Majde Qaqish
Project Engineer
Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2225

City unveils design for McCrae House renovation

The Guelph Community Foundation announces gifts totalling $21,427

Guelph, ON, December 18, 2014 – In anticipation of next year’s centenary of the writing of In Flanders Fields by Guelph-born doctor, soldier and poet John McCrae, the City of Guelph unveiled the design for the renovated McCrae House National Historic Site of Canada.

“Guelph is so proud of Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae and the influence he had on the world,” says Tammy Adkin, manager of Guelph Museums. “We want to present his story in a way that resonates with a diverse group of visitors—from local school children to veterans to European tourists who make a pilgrimage to McCrae House. We want their experiences to inform, inspire and have a lasting impact, and we are delighted that this design sets the stage for such occasions.”

The refurbished McCrae House will focus on McCrae’s life as a doctor, adventurer, soldier and artist. In addition to exhibitions about his early life in Guelph, and his medical, military and artistic pursuits, the museum will present the poem In Flanders Fields in a dramatic fashion, with a large-scale script of the poem accompanied by an audio presentation.

BaAM Productions, an exhibition design firm based in Toronto, created the design.

Today, The Guelph Community Foundation also announced gifts totalling $21,427 from the Anne and John Lawrence Fund to support the McCrae House project. John Lawrence was a devoted Museum volunteer for 15 years, and upon his passing in 2010 he left a significant endowment with The Guelph Community Foundation, designating McCrae House as the beneficiary of that fund.

The first gift of $10,000 was made in 2013 followed by a contribution this month of $11,427. The Guelph Community Foundation executive director Chris Willard indicated that McCrae House will continue to receive gifts in perpetuity from the Anne and John Lawrence Fund.

“Anne and John Lawrence’s generosity leaves a legacy that continues to support their interests and build community through their endowment fund held at The Guelph Community Foundation,” says Willard. “This is a wonderful example of a charitable legacy that will have impact for generations.”

For more information

Tammy Adkin
Guelph Museums







Council decides Standing Committee, board and agency appointments

Guelph, ON, December 16, 2014 – Last night, Guelph City Council finalized all appointments to the Standing Committees, Boards and Agencies. Council has aligned its standing committees with City Hall’s new organizational structure, and appointed members for a two year term.

Council Standing Committees

Audit Committee – Mayor Guthrie and Councillors Allt, MacKinnon, Van Hellemond and Wettstein (Chair)
Corporate Services – Mayor Guthrie and Councillors Allt, Billings, Hofland (Chair), and MacKinnon
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise – Mayor Guthrie and Councillors Bell (Chair), Gibson, Piper and Salisbury
Public Services – Mayor Guthrie and Councillors Billings, Downer (Chair), Gordon and Van Hellemond
Governance Committee – Mayor Guthrie (Chair) and Councillors Wettstein, Hofland, Bell and Downer
Nominating Committee – Mayor Guthrie (Chair) and Councillors Wettstein, Hofland, Bell and Downer

Boards and Agencies

Board of Trustees of The Elliott Community – Councillor Gordon
Grand River Conservation Authority – Councillors Bell and Salisbury
Guelph Junction Railway Company Directors – Mayor Guthrie
Guelph Police Services Board – Mayor Guthrie and Councillor Piper
Guelph Public Library Board – Councillor Gordon
MacDonald Stewart Community Art Centre Board – Councillor Allt
Well Interference Committee – Councillors Allt, Gibson and Van Hellemond
Downtown Guelph Business Association – Councillors Downer and Gibson
Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. – Councillor Wettstein
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health – Councillors Billings, Hofland and MacKinnon

Learn more about Standing Committees, Boards and Agencies at

For more information

Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
519-822-1260 extension 5644

Adios old dog licences, there is a new pet registration in town

The following news release was issued by the Guelph Humane Society on December 5, 2014.

Guelph, ON, December 5, 2014 – The Guelph Humane Society is pleased to launch Guelph’s 2015 pet identification program, which for the first time, allows pet owners to purchase their tags online at

This registration process has several new benefits, the most important of which is Docupet’s online lost pet portal to help lost pets return home.

The pet’s identification tag now connects to a public website that engages the whole pet community to reunite lost pets with their owners quickly and safely. The Guelph Humane Society is continuing to provide their in-house lost pet services and are now offering a Free Ride Home Program to registered pets.

“This collaboration between the Humane Society, the City of Guelph, and DocuPet is a welcomed step in supporting pet identification,” says Shane Bateman, Chair of the Guelph Humane Society Board. “The online program will provide a more accessible and convenient way to register pets as well as ensure that properly identified lost pets find their way home.”

Pet registrations for 2015 are now available and can be purchased online at or in person at Service Guelph (dog registrations only) and the Guelph Humane Society. Dog registrations are sold at a discounted rate until February 28, 2015. A City of Guelph bylaw requires that all dogs be registered annually, and the tag must be worn at all times. A fine of $75 will apply if a dog is not registered as per City of Guelph By-law #(1991)-14008.

The pet registration satisfies the dog licensing requirement within the City of Guelph. Cats are not licensed but can be voluntarily registered in the program with all proceeds going to the Guelph Humane Society to support new services and programs aimed at addressing cat overpopulation in the community. In Guelph, only 13 per cent of stray cats that entered the shelter in 2014 were reunited with their families due to a lack of identification.

Whether the registration is performed online or in person, the new pet tags will be mailed to pet owners along with two DocuPet Rewards cards and further program information.

“We are equally excited to be able to reward citizens by having them become an exclusive member of DocuPet’s Rewards Program upon registering their pet,” adds Bateman. An annual rewards card gives pet owners access to local deals and discounts offered by participating locations. All active deals can be seen at

The Guelph Humane Society has been sheltering and caring for animals in Guelph and Wellington County since 1893. Each year the GHS cares for approximately 3000 animals in need, providing animal sheltering and adoption services, veterinary care and a progressive spay/neuter program. The Society also boasts strong humane education programs that impact thousands of children and youth annually. Visit to learn more.

For more information

Shane Bateman
Guelph Humane Society Chair

Long-time local success, RWDI announces expansion to new location in Hanlon Business Park

Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Incorporated Logo          Invest in Guelph Logo

World leader in specialized engineering consulting makes commitment to remain in Guelph

GUELPH, ON, December 3, 2014 – Homegrown company, Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Incorporated (RWDI) will be relocating its international corporate headquarters from 650 Woodlawn Road West to 600 Southgate Drive. This building purchase in the Hanlon Business Park provides the company with the capacity to expand its operations, making a long term commitment to continue business within the city.

After close to three years of site selection efforts, Guelph remained the successful proponent among other Southwestern Ontario locations in an aggressive market for investment attraction. “RWDI is very excited about our new facility and the decision to keep our headquarters in Guelph. While there were many communities with very attractive offers and opportunities, our roots, for over 40 years, have been in Guelph. The City has been very helpful throughout the process and we are grateful to have found an excellent building and location to accommodate our continued business growth and exciting research and development in the field of environmental engineering,” says Michael Soligo, RWDI President and Chief Executive Officer. “The new location provides easy access for staff and clients allowing us to continue to attract world class employees and provide our unique services on some of the world’s most interesting projects.”

RWDI is the largest wind and environmental engineering firm of its kind, with over 15 offices and 400 employees world-wide. Plans of significant expansion are expected over the next five years, the Guelph headquarters will be the primary location for this growth, adding an additional 200 employees, doubling their current staff complement.

“On behalf of the City of Guelph I would like to thank RWDI for having the confidence to expand their operations in our city,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie. “A strong local economy depends on our ability to retain local business, and that’s why business retention and expansion is a focus for us. RWDI’s decision to stay and grow in Guelph shows that Guelph is a sought-after location for thriving, growing international companies.” RWDI’s expansion supports the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy by adding to the city’s current supply of high quality labour and strengthening of Guelph’s targeted clean technology sector.

About RWDI

One of Canada’s 50 best managed companies, RWDI is an internationally recognized specialty engineering consulting firm that focuses in the science of buildings, structures and the environment. With over 15 offices worldwide RWDI uses a variety of engineering, computing, and scientific capabilities to help designers create comfortable environments and high performance buildings and structures. RWDI has worked on massive construction projects including the Burj Kaliifa, the tallest building in the world.

For more information

Michael Soligo
Chief Executive Officer
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Incorporated (RWDI)
519-823-1311 extension 2237

Peter Cartwright
General Manager
Economic Development
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2820

Enter the GPL’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

Don’t be shy!  Dust off that horrid holiday sweater your Aunt Jeanie bought you all those years ago and drop into any library location on Wednesday, December 10.  Have your photo taken and enter the Guelph Public Library’s “Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest!”

Vote for your favourite Christmas sweater on the library’s Facebook page

The photo with the most likes will take home a Stone Road Mall gift certificate to help with any last minute shopping!

For more information

Steve Kraft, CEO 519-824-6220 extension 224

City employees raise a record-breaking $79,500 for United Way

Guelph, On, November 27, 2014 – City of Guelph employees raised $79,500 for the 2014 United Way Campaign, surpassing the City’s $65,000 fundraising goal and setting a new donation record.

The City’s 2014 fundraising goal was the highest amount ever set, established after the success of the 2013 campaign, which had a target of $55,000 and raised $66,000.

“Together, City of Guelph employees are providing possibility to those in our community,” says Sean Finlay, the 2014 campaign manager. “We are making a difference in the lives of people in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin counties.”

A volunteer committee, made up of employees, runs the City of Guelph’s annual workplace campaign for the United Way. Mayor Karen Farbridge has chaired the campaign for the last four years.

About the United Way

United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin is a volunteer-driven, charitable foundation focused on meeting the pressing social needs of the community. The United Way supports and engages the community through social planning, fundraising and fund distribution.

For more information

Sean Finlay
Campaign Manager
City of Guelph


The Barra MacNeils bring An East Coast Christmas to River Run

Guelph, ON November 26, 2014 – Those looking for a truly Canadian dose of holiday spirit need search no further than Guelph’s own River Run Centre. One of the most beloved concerts on the seasonal circuit, the Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas makes its way to the performing arts venue on Friday, December 12. Presented as part of the Richardson GMP Music Series, this Main Stage show starts at 8 p.m.

For 27 years now the Barra MacNeils have been Canada’s ambassadors for Celtic music. Native of Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, this family-based group has been sharing the Cape Breton sound with the world and winning over new fans for over a quarter of a century. The East Coast Christmas event will feature traditional seasonal songs, mixed with entertaining tales and new musical twists; stamped with the lush harmonies and intricate instrumental stylings for which the Barra MacNeils are known. Fans can look forward to hearing classic favourites including: Oh Holy Night, Ave Maria, A Christmas in Killarney and Auld Lang Syne as well as some comedy, seasonal stories, music, singing, and dance.

The Barra MacNeils are comprised of talented multi-instrumentalists: Kyle MacNeil (vocals, guitar, violin, mandolin), Lucy MacNeil (vocals, bodhran, Celtic harp, fiddle, stepdancing), Sheumas MacNeil (keyboards, piano, bodhran, fiddle, bouzouki, vocals), Stewart MacNeil (vocals, accordion, tin whistle, flute, bouzouki, guitar, stepdancing), Boyd MacNeil (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo, percussion, stepdancing) and Jamie Gatti (bass). They have 17 recordings to their credit, including their most recent CD release, O Christmas Tree. In addition to taking home the Juno Award for Roots/Traditional Group of the Year in 1998, they have also won multiple East Coast Music Awards, including Group of the Year, Pop Recording of the Year and Album of the Year.

The MacNeils are widely regarded as one of the greatest live concert acts in the Celtic world. They frequently sell out concert halls during their regular tours of Canada and the United States. A Barra MacNeils live concert experience offers a rich variety: multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments blended with dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture. These musical siblings offer family entertainment at its highest level.

Tickets for this performance start at $44 for adults, and $42 for students and seniors. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000, or online at

For more information

Ella Pauls | Manager of Cultural Development
Culture & Tourism| Community & Social Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2589

Soil on site where drums were found poses no risk to public

City making plans to remove more buried drums and debris

Guelph, ON, November 24, 2014 – The City has completed an examination of the site where construction crews found and removed eight drums of chemicals. The site examination and soil analysis results are being used to develop a plan to remove more buried drums and debris from the area.

“We didn’t encounter any liquid during the examination, but we did find and remove another drum. We also confirmed the presence of at least one more buried drum,” said Kealy Dedman, City Engineer. “The results of the site examination and soil analysis tell us what substances we’re dealing with, and now we can make a plan to remove and safely dispose of more buried drums, debris, soil and fill material.”

According the site examination report by MMM Consulting, the area has been impacted by historic industrial and landfill activities but, in its current condition, the soil poses no risk to the public. On November 18, The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) indicated the report’s conclusions and recommendations are appropriate for planning to remove the drums and resume construction.

The examination of 10 test-pits found some evidence of substances commonly found on sites with a history of industrial or landfill activity; metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Limited amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and petroleum hydrocarbon compounds (PHC) were found at one location.

The soil was tested for more than 100 substances, 15 of which were found to exceed the provincial standard for commercial/industrial sites—12 of these substances are typically associated with charcoal, cinders, ashes or coal-burning operations, and three of the substances are usually associated with solvents. The soil poses no risk to the public in its current condition, and the substances will be addressed in the action plan to remove the materials as required by the MOECC.

A proposed action plan will be submitted the MOECC on Friday, December 5. Once the plan is approved, the City will update the community about cleanup and construction activities to take place in 2015.

While construction in the affected area has been paused, crews are working on other parts of the Paisley-Clythe watermain project. The completion time for the entire project has not changed significantly, and updates on the City’s progress are posted at

Discovering the drums

On September 2 and 3, eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums of chemicals were found on a construction site near the Wellington/Hanlon interchange. The City contained the liquid and affected soil immediately and notified the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The City used clean soil to back fill the area. The liquid was transported from the site for disposal on September 5 and affected soil was transported for disposal on September 9 and 10.

For more information

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer
General Manager, Engineering Services
519-822-1260  extension 2248