News Release

Guelph receives $1.1 million in Provincial funding to promote healthy, active lifestyles among children and youth

GUELPH, ON, September 12, 2014 – Guelph has been chosen to participate in Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge program, which provides $1.1 million in Provincial funding along with training and other resources over four years.

This will enable the City of Guelph to implement community-based programs and activities to promote children’s health, including healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices such as the importance of getting adequate sleep.

Programs will begin to be implemented in winter 2015 and will include breakfast programs; sports programming for teens; toolkits and resources to improve sleep in children and youth; an online portal and cookbook to promote healthy eating; data collection on child and youth health; and the expansion of the successful STEPS recreation program for at-risk youth to elementary school children.

“Guelph’s participation in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge will enable the City and its partners to make a significant difference for local children and youth, and help them develop good habits that will last a lifetime,” said the City’s Executive Director of Community and Social Services Derrick Thomson. “It will help us meet identified needs and improve outcomes across all neighbourhoods in Guelph.”

Under the Challenge’s partnership model, programs and activities will be delivered by a range of community partners, with the City administering the overall program as well as running certain programs through the Community and Social Services division.

Community partners include Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, the local public and Catholic school boards, Perpetual Motion Sports and Entertainment, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph YMCA-YWCA, Guelph Wellington Children’s Foundation, Wyndham House, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, and Guelph Youth Council.

“Collaboration and partnerships have always been one of our community’s great strengths, and this is one more example,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “As a participant in this Challenge, we will improve health and wellbeing for children and youth by building on the tremendous programs and resources that already exist in our community. This is exactly what we have been developing through Guelph Wellbeing–and this support from the Province is one more signal that we are on the right track.”

Mayor Farbridge is the Community Champion for the Challenge, responsible for building support for a shared vision, facilitating partner engagement, and inspiring and creating change.

Guelph is one of 45 communities across Ontario chosen to participate. Selection criteria included clear evidence of need among local children and youth, the community’s ability to establish strong partnerships with local businesses, schools and health organizations, and a demonstrated ability to deliver programs for children and youth.

Guelph’s application to the program was led by the Youth Services team in the City’s Community and Social Services division.

For more information

Adam Rutherford
Project Manager, Youth Services
519-822-1260 extension 2703




Report identifies mixture of solvents found in buried drums

Meeting set to discuss next steps for construction on former landfill

Guelph, ON September 8, 2014 – A report identifying the chemical make-up of the liquid found buried on a local construction has been submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

Last week, crews discovered eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums buried on a construction site near the Wellington Street/Hanlon Expressway interchange. The drums had leaked, and the City pumped and removed 34,700 litres of liquid from the site; a mixture of rainwater and solvents. The City is also removing contaminated soil from the area.

The City hired MMM Group Limited to analyze the contents of the drums and the surrounding soil, and report the results to the MOECC. According to the report, the drums contained a mixture of common substances used in fuels, as solvents, or in manufacturing such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and styrene.

The City also hired Airzone to monitor air quality, and has submitted all test results to the MOECC and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

The area has a history of industrial activity, and was a former landfill site in the 1950s. The City conducted geotechnical scans every 40 to 50 metres before beginning construction, and a more detailed radar scan was conducted last week. The scan shows metal and other debris is still buried in the area, and it is possible more barrels could be found.

“Crews will stop working in this area as we consult with the Ministry,” said project engineer, Majde Qaqish. “A meeting is set for Thursday, September 11 to discuss next steps for construction on the site.”

The City will continue posting updates about this project at


Media contact

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248

City and Urbacon settle out of court for $6.635 million

GUELPH, ON, September 8, 2014 – The City of Guelph and Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. have settled their legal dispute out of court for $6.635 million.

“By reaching a settlement out of court, the City avoids further legal costs and gains certainty on the cost impact. The cost will be accommodated within the City’s capital financing guideline to ensure it does not result in an increase in property taxes, and that the City’s financial position is protected,” says Mayor Karen Farbridge. “As we move on from the litigation, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that today, Guelph has a well-functioning, award-winning City Hall and Market Square that will serve our community well for decades to come.”

“Urbacon is proud of its involvement in the construction of the City Hall for the City of Guelph and wishes to express its gratitude to the many trades that assisted in its creation,” says Urbacon’s Chief Executive Officer, Marco Mancini. “We are pleased that, notwithstanding the issues that separated us, Urbacon and the City were able to come together and resolve our disputes.”

There are sufficient funds in City reserves to fund the settlement. The City will fund the settlement costs not already provided for from its capital asset renewal reserve, the Legal/OMB reserve and the Capital Tax Reserve fund. The funds transferred from the capital asset renewal reserve fund will be repaid over a five-year period.

Payback can be accommodated within the capital financing guideline, so there is no impact on the tax levy. This is also not expected to impact the City’s capital program as the repayment has been accommodated in the City’s 10-year capital plan.

“The cost impact of this settlement can be accommodated within the City’s current financial means with no impact on Guelph’s latest credit rating which included consideration for this payment,” says Al Horsman, Guelph’s Chief Financial Officer. “It also releases financial liabilities provided for this item at no increase to the tax levy.”

Finally, while the settlement is for $6.635 million, the City has already made some provisions for this cost, and its holdback will further offset the impact.

“I want to thank Guelph’s CAO, Ann Pappert; our CFO, Al Horsman; Urbacon’s CEO, Marco Mancini; and its COO, Ron Carinci for their diligent work in reaching this settlement,” said Mayor Farbridge.


Supporting information
About City Hall
Litigation backgrounder
City Hall and Courthouse timeline

Ann Pappert
Chief Administrative Officer
519-822.1260 extension 2221

Al Horsman
Executive Director & CFO
519-8221260 extension 5606

City removing eight buried drums from Wellington Street construction site

Drums contain solvents or petroleum-based substances

Guelph, ON September 5, 2014 – Construction crews have discovered a total of eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums while working on a construction site north of Wellington Street. Preliminary chemical analysis shows the drums contained solvents or petroleum-based substances. The City will begin removing the drums for disposal as requested by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

“The liquid and contaminated soil have been contained, and we will begin removing the liquid today,” said Majde Qaqish, project engineer.

The City is monitoring air quality in the area and performing further chemical analysis to identify the liquids.

The City conducted geotechnical scans before starting excavation on the site. A more detailed radar scan was completed yesterday. The area is a former landfill and the radar scan shows more debris buried underground.

“We’re treating the matter very carefully to ensure there’s no risk to people’s safety,” added Qaqish.

The City will continue posting updates about this project at


Media contact

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248

More drums unearthed on Wellington Street construction site

Guelph, ON, September 4, 2014 – The City and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) are investigating the discovery of at least six 170-litre (45-gallon) drums filled with an unknown liquid. The City is working closely with the MOECC to ensure the area is safe and there is no threat to public safety.

“As of this morning we understand there may be six or seven drums on the site, and we have discovered further leakage,” said Majde Qaqish, project engineer. “MOECC is working with the City and our contractor to assess the situation and contain the area in advance of the rainfall we’re expecting later today.”

The area east of the Hanlon Expressway and north of Wellington Street is an historic landfill, and the City conducted geotechnical scans before starting excavation. The City is conducting further scans on the site to locate any more drums or other underground objects.

The City will post updates about this project, including plans to clean up the site at


Media contact

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248

City’s credit rating holding strong

Guelph, ON, August 29, 2014 – Today, Standards & Poor’s Rating Services (Standards & Poor’s) announced that the City of Guelph’s credit rating continues to be strong and remains at AA+ with a stable outlook.

“We are very pleased to see Guelph’s credit rating reaffirmed this year,” said City Chief Financial Officer, Al Horsman “The AA+ rating reaffirms our belief that the City ‘s financial position remains very positive.”

According to the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Direct Research Update the rating reflects Guelph’s, “very strong economic fundamentals, budgetary flexibility, exceptional liquidity position and low debt burden.”

The credit rating, which may help to lower the City’s borrowing rate, also reflects Standard & Poor’s view that Guelph demonstrates strong financial management, as evidenced by very low level of contingent liabilities, low debt levels and strong liquidity which fare much better than many Ontario municipalities.

“Seeing our credit rating continue to remain strong is good for our community, and is a testament to Council’s commitment to sound financial management policies and practices,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “It also reflects growing interest in Guelph from the investment and development sectors – an interest the City’s new Enterprise Services Division has helped drive.”

The Standards & Poor’s website offers further information about changes to Guelph’s credit rating and the Ratings Direct Research Update.

For more information on the City’s budget, visit

About Standards & Poor’s
With offices in 23 countries and a history that dates back more than 150 years, Standard & Poor’s is known to investors worldwide as a leader of financial-market intelligence. Today Standard & Poor’s strives to provide investors who want to make better informed investment decisions with market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, indices, investment research and risk evaluations and solutions.

For more information

Al Horsman
Executive Director /Chief Financial Officer
Finance and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 5606

Canadian Public Works Association Elects City of Guelph’s Kealy Dedman, P Eng., as President

The City of Guelph is posting this news release on behalf of the Canadian Public Works Association

View the original news release and accompanying materials at the Canadian Public Works Association website .

Ottawa, ON, August 28, 2014—The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) Board of Directors has unanimously elected City of Guelph’s City Engineer Kealy Dedman, P Eng., to serve as President of CPWA for a two-year term (August 2014–August 2016). CPWA serves as the voice of public works in Canada and its 2,200 members represent all aspects of public works across Canada.

CPWA President Kealy Dedman, P Eng.
In the President’s role, Ms. Dedman will represent CPWA and its members on national public works and infrastructure issues with the Government in Ottawa and will work collaboratively with other stakeholder groups on issues of national concern. She will lead an eight-member Board of Directors that represents CPWA Chapters and their members throughout the provinces. Ms. Dedman is currently the General Manager, Engineering Services/City Engineer for the City of Guelph, and has previously served as Director of Engineering Services for the City of Cambridge. She also has held engineering positions with the City of Mississauga in Ontario, and started her career as a water resources engineer with Phillips Engineering in Burlington in 1997. In addition to her civil engineering credentials, she also recently earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario (2014), and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.

APWA/CPWA Executive Director Peter B. King said, “CPWA is very pleased to have a leader of Ms. Dedman’s caliber take the reins during a very important time for infrastructure and public works in Canada. She has a winning combination of knowledge and leadership abilities that will serve CPWA and public works outreach and advocacy very well. We are both pleased and fortunate to have her as “the voice of public works.”

Ms. Dedman has served as a member of the CPWA Board of Directors representing the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) since 2011. Prior to her involvement on the CPWA Board of Directors, she served in many officer roles for the Ontario Public Works Association, including serving as OPWA President in 2011. Her involvement with OPWA continues and she recently served on the OPWA Host Committee for the APWA International Congress and Exhibition held in Toronto August 17 – August 20, 2015.

“Congratulations to Guelph’s city engineer, Kealy Dedman, on being elected President of the Canadian Public Works Association. Kealy’s leadership, expertise, and passion for public works are greatly valued by the City of Guelph. As President of the CPWA, Kealy will make a difference on the national level as well,” said Guelph’s Mayor Karen Farbridge.

About CPWA
The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA), or Association Canadienne des Travaux Publics, was founded in 1986 to enhance the services of APWA to the Canadian public works community and to improve the quality of public works products and services to Canadian citizens. CPWA’s 2200 members in Canada, plan, build, operate, maintain and sustain the public works and infrastructure that improve our quality of community life.

For more information

To contact the American Public Works Association:
Laura Bynum
Media Relations and Communications Manager

To arrange an interview for with Kealy Dedman (available September 2 and afterwards):
Laura Mousseau
Communications Officer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2463

Tricar’s River Mill Condos will connect to Guelph’s Galt District Energy System

Central facility will provide hot water, heating and air conditioning to units

Guelph, On, August 26, 2014 — River Mill Condominiums will be the first residential building in Guelph to be heated and cooled by district energy.

The Tricar Group, an environmentally responsible builder, announced today that its 18-storey condo development in Guelph’s downtown core will be supplied with heating, hot water, and air conditioning by the Galt District Energy System.

Buildings connected to a district energy system don’t need individual furnaces, air conditioning units, or water heaters. Instead, an underground network of pipes installed alongside water, electricity, and other utilities, allows multiple buildings to share energy for heating, cooling, and hot water—minimizing energy consumption and producing less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional systems.

As a result, River Mill residents will benefit from the reliability, convenience and lower fuel costs associated with district energy.

Starting this fall, insulated, underground pipes will be installed along Macdonell, Woolwich and Wellington streets. These pipes will transport hot and chilled water in a closed loop system to the River Mill site where they will pass through a heat exchanger located in an energy transfer station in the new condominium building.

The heating and air conditioning equipment in the 139 condominium suites will look the same as conventional equipment. Individual programmable thermostats will enable residents to monitor and control the temperature in their units to ensure comfort.

The Sleeman Centre, which serves as the central heating and cooling plant for the Galt District Energy System, owned and operated by Envida Community Energy Inc., uses natural gas to heat water in boilers for space heating, and has a central chilling unit to chill water for cooling.

The addition of Tricar’s River Mill Condominiums development to the system is an important step in Guelph’s plans to build North America’s first city-wide district energy network to supply at least 50 per cent of the community’s heating needs in the next 30 years.

Several key partners, including Envida Community Energy Inc., are key implementers of Guelph’s award-winning Community Energy Initiative—making better use of local energy sources, creating local jobs and keeping more energy dollars in Guelph.


“At Tricar we have long prided ourselves on being innovators in the high rise condominium industry and have always been committed to improving communities on economic, cultural and environmental levels. To have an opportunity to further raise the bar environmentally through the use of sustainable technology in the form of district energy is something we are very excited about. We are proud to be working with Envida Community Energy and the City of Guelph to bring an innovative and green technology to a great residential development in the downtown core.”

- Adam Carapella, Vice President Operations, The Tricar Group

“Congratulations to Tricar for leading the way with Guelph’s first residential building to be heated and cooled through a district energy system. This reflects not only Tricar’s commitment to corporate citizenship and environmental sustainability, but also their confidence that district energy makes good business sense. This system provides reliable, cost competitive, and clean heating and cooling while consuming less energy – a prime example of doing more with less.”

- Karen Farbridge, Mayor, City of Guelph

“Tricar is to be commended on their commitment to the environment. By incorporating district energy into their building design and architecture they are proving that by combining a desire to seek out cleaner energy solutions with some advance planning it is possible to achieve luxury living with a reduced carbon footprint.”

- Barry Chuddy, Chief Executive Officer, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

About The Tricar Group
The Tricar Group has been developing and managing award-winning multi-family high-rise buildings for almost 30 years. We are committed to fostering long-term relationships with the communities in which we build. We have dedicated ourselves to create projects that enhance the cultural, social, environmental and economic fabric of the area and have been a driving force in the revitalization of downtown cores. It’s who we are as a responsible builder.

Tricar has an impressive portfolio that has grown to over 5000 quality homes across Southwestern Ontario including both luxury condominiums and premier high-rise apartment rentals. Our innovative and quality craftsmanship have earned us numerous awards for architecture and design excellence and our personal, dedicated attention to customer care has earned us the honour as Builder of the Year in Ontario by Tarion Warranty Corporation.

About the City of Guelph
Located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 120,000 people. 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.

About Envida Community Energy Inc.
Owned by Guelph Hydro Inc., Envida Community Energy is the primary implementer and key developer of high-efficiency, low-carbon energy projects that are assisting the City of Guelph in achieving targets set out in the Guelph Community Energy Initiative while facilitating economic development in the community. The company operates a 100-kilowatt solar facility, the Eastview Landfill Biogas Plant and district energy facilities in the Sleeman Centre and the Hanlon Creek Business Park in Guelph. A combined heat and power facility is now under development in the Hanlon Creek Business Park.

About Guelph Hydro Inc.
Owned by Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. which is in turn owned by the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Inc. is helping to create a reliable, diversified and sustainable energy supply to ensure the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of the communities it serves—Guelph and Rockwood.

Materials available

District Energy – Backgrounder
District Energy Strategic Plan
Envida District Energy Facility at Sleeman Centre – Backgrounder
Galt District Energy System, Guelph – Backgrounder
Galt District Energy System, Guelph – Illustration

Photos available upon request

District energy system at the Sleeman Centre

Related links

Community Energy Initiative
District Energy 
District energy, energy prices, and property taxes
District Energy Strategic Plan

Media contacts

Adam Carapella, VP Operations
The Tricar Group
519-652-8900 extension 119

Rob Kerr, General Manager
Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.
519-822-1260 extension 2079

Sandy Manners, Director of Corporate Communications
Guelph Hydro Inc.


City demonstrates how easy it is to vote online

Gearing up for the 2014 Municipal Election

Guelph, ON, August 25, 2014 – The 2014 Municipal Election is just over two months away but eligible voters who would like a hands-on demonstration of the internet voting system are invited to attend a presentation on September 3.

“Online voting isn’t new to some Ontario municipalities but it is for Guelph. We have worked closely with our vendor to ensure the platform functions properly. This presentation will help assure the public of the voting process through a hands-on mock vote,” says Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk.

“The biggest advantage to online voting for residents is access. Electors can access the online voting platform from home, work or on the go through their mobile device. It only takes a few minutes and can be done anywhere you have access to the internet, at any time of the day.”

City staff will be joined by Dr. Nicole Goodman, Research Director, Centre for e-Democracy Assistant Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto for a presentation on alternative voting processes in place across the province, highlighting the benefits of the online voting process. Following a demonstration of the internet voting system, residents will be provided mock voter profiles which can be used to vote for mock candidates in the demo election.

The online voting presentation will be held in Council Chambers, City Hall on Wednesday, September 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Residents wishing to attend are asked to bring their own personal devise – laptop, smartphone or tablet. A limited number of computers will also be available for those without a mobile device.

For more information on the 2014 Municipal Election, visit

2014 Municipal Voting Options

Vote online from anywhere, on any platform, at any time.

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 7, 2014, midnight (12 a.m.) – Friday, October 24, 2014, 11:59 p.m.

Vote early – residents can vote at any location within the city.
All advanced voting locations will offer accessible devices for voting: hand held touch pad, paddles, and sip and puff.

Date & Time: 
October 15 and 16, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
October 17 and 18, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
October 19, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Guelph City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Room 112
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, 683 Woolwich Street
Stone Road Mall, 435 Stone Road West, 2nd Floor, Unit R2

Vote Election Day – residents can vote at any location within their ward. One location in each ward will offer accessible devices for voting: hand held touch pad, paddles, and sip and puff.

Date & Time:  October 27, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Locations:      please visit for a complete list of locations

For more information

Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
Corporate and Human Resources
Office of the City Clerk
519-519-822-1260 extension 5644


South end construction, closures and detours

Guelph, ON, August 21, 2014 – Construction projects along Gordon Street in Guelph’s south end will start today as the City continues improving infrastructure and road conditions.

Gordon Street between Edinburgh Road South and Arkell Road has been reduced to one lane in each direction. The City expects to finish installing underground water, wastewater and utility services for the condominium development at 1291 Gordon Street by August 22, weather permitting.

Clair Road between Gordon Street and Gosling Gardens, at the Birds Landing subdivision, will be completely closed to all traffic starting August 25 as the City works on the sanitary sewer and watermain and installs traffic signals. Construction at this site is expected to be completed by August 29, weather permitting. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes.

Starting September 2, construction will continue at the Birds Landing subdivision on Gordon Street between Clair Road East and Poppy Drive. Northbound and southbound traffic will be maintained with one lane in each direction while the watermain extension and connection and traffic signal updates are completed. Construction at this location is expected to be completed by September 5, weather permitting.

“Bike lanes will be closed but sidewalks will be open so people will have access to a safe crossing,” explained Grant Ferguson, project manager, Engineering Services. “We understand how difficult it can be to get around and through construction zones, and we appreciate everyone’s patience while these projects are completed.”

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

For more information

Grant Ferguson
Project Manager
Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2251