News Release

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.


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

Media contacts

Scott Stewart
Deputy CAO, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3445

Vakis Boutsalis
Senior Account Director
416-578-1741 (cell)


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

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.


Brownfield Redevelopment CIP (webpage)

For more information

Tim Donegani
Policy Planner, Planning Services
Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2521

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 road map 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
  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.


Visit to learn more.


Download population infographic

Download Community Plan handprint

Download make your mark wordmark

Media contact

Jennifer Smith
Manager, Corporate and Community Strategic Initiatives
Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Services, Office of the CAO
519-822-1260 extension 2120

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


  • 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


  • 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


Media contact

Heather Yates
Supervisor, Water Efficiency, Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2831


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 and on Facebook ( and Twitter ( should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media Contact

Blair Caldwell, Supervisor, Distribution
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2181 

Proposed Development Charges presented to Guelph City Council


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.


Media contact

Tara Baker, General Manager, Finance/City Treasurer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2084

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, Urban Design 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

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.


About the business service reviews

Media contact

Heather Flaherty, General Manager
Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2664

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

Media Contact

Kate Sullivan, Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558

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 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

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

Are you on the voters’ list?

Check to see if you’re registered to vote in this fall’s municipal election

Get on the list at

Guelph, Ont., June 13, 2018 –If you’ve just moved to Guelph, are a new voter, or had a name or address change, you might want to check to see if you’re on the voters’ list.

To cast your ballot on October 22 in the municipal election, you need to be on the voters’ list and now is the perfect time to confirm your information, or add your name with a few quick clicks online at

“This voter look up tool is so easy to use and makes voting on Election Day just that much easier,” said Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk for City of Guelph. “We can always add someone to the voters’ list the day of election, but registering in advance makes your voting experience just that much better.”

The tool is administered by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and residents needing assistance when filling out the online form can contact MPAC at 1-866-296-6722. The website tool will be available until the end of August.

Starting in September, voters will be able to add or update their information on the voters’ list on the City’s election website or they can complete an Application to Amend the Voters’ List form, mail or take it to the ServiceGuelph desk at City Hall.

Visit for 2018 Municipal Election information.


Media Contact

Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644

City hosts National First Nations, Inuit and Métis celebration June 21

Guelph, Ont., June 13, 2018 – On June 21, the City of Guelph will host a free, family-friendly event in Market Square celebrating First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.

Share in this national celebration  from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Guelph’s Market Square.

“This celebration is a day for Guelph residents, and all Canadians, to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to our community and communities across our country,” says Bill Nuhn, manager of Theatres and Civic Events with the City of Guelph.

This event offers music,  a territorial welcome, drum circles, dancing, as well as food and craft vendors and children’s activities.

Members of the Wiiji Numgumook Kwe, Guelph Women’s Drum Circle, will lead drummers of all ages in a community drum circle and attendees will be invited to participate in a variety of crafts and community art projects while taking in the sights and sounds of the celebration. The event also features the talents of Ascension Harjo, Teen World Hoop Dance Champion.

City staff worked with members of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Grand River Métis Council and local First Nations and Inuit community members to plan the event.

“We welcome everyone to join us on this National day of celebration for Canada’s First Peoples,” says Jennifer Parkinson, President of the Grand River Métis Council. “There will be lots of drumming, dancing, fiddling, food and activities for all ages to enjoy. Marsii (thank you) to everyone who has worked hard planning this celebration and to the City of Guelph for their continued support.”

About the National Celebration

For generations, many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on June 21  due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

About Ascension Harjo

Ascension Aton:wa Harjo is a 16-year-old Mohawk, Kickapoo, Seminole from Six Nations, Ontario Canada. Ascension has participated in the closing ceremonies of the 2015 Pan Am Games held in Toronto, the opening ceremonies for the North American Indigenous Games (NIAG), and was the 2018 World Hoop Dance Champion in the teen category.

Media Contact

Bill Nuhn, Manager of Theatres and Civic Events
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3476

Guelph-Wellington chosen for international food study


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: | @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

Media Contacts

Cathy Kennedy
Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255

Jana Burns
Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 extension 2525

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.


Guelph Junction Railway 2017 annual report

Media contact

Peter Cartwright
Acting CEO, Guelph Innovation District, Business Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2820

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

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

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

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 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

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.


“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

Media Contact

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255

Jana Burns, Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 extension 2525

Sinkhole repair underway on Paisley Road

Paisley Road closed between Sleeman Avenue and Silvercreek Parkway

Guelph, Ont., May 29, 2018—A sinkhole on Paisley Road just west of Sleeman Avenue was reported to City staff early this morning. No accidents or injuries have occurred.

A broken storm drain has been identified as the cause. Repairs to the drain will continue this evening and asphalt repairs will take place tomorrow morning, May 30.

Traffic, pedestrian and transit impacts

Paisley Road is closed between Sleeman Avenue and Silvercreek Parkway. Local traffic will have access this evening. Both sidewalks remain open. Guelph Transit route 10 and the Community Bus are on detour. Visit for more information.

Courtesy of Google Maps

The City will provide updates at and on Facebook ( and Twitter ( should anything change, or once repairs are complete.

Media Contact

Glen Inglis, Public Works Supervisor/Downtown Maintenance
Operations, Public Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2630

Council unanimously accepts Our Energy Guelph’s community energy recommendations

Council approves City’s continuing partnership with task force

Guelph, Ont., May 29, 2018—Last night, Guelph City Council acknowledged, in principle, the role of Our Energy Guelph as the implementer of the Community Energy Initiative going forward, and approved the City of Guelph’s continued association with Our Energy Guelph as a primary stakeholder and partner.

Council also approved Our Energy Guelph’s recommendations for the community as outlined in the updated community energy plan, including a target for Guelph to become a net zero carbon community by 2050.

The 2007 Guelph Community Energy Plan, now the Community Energy Initiative, was the first of its kind in North America. In 2016, Council directed staff to initiate an update. A community-based task force was recruited to lead the update which proposes new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, an action plan for achieving them, and better measurement and reporting strategies including comparisons with other cities.

“The members of Our Energy Guelph are a dedicated group of people passionate about Guelph and about finding energy solutions for a constantly changing world,” says Alex Chapman, Manager of the City of Guelph’s Climate Change Office. “We’re really thankful for all the time and effort the task force has put into crafting this updated plan. Their commitment to Guelph’s prosperity shows in the quality of their research and recommendations.”

Our Energy Guelph’s main recommendation is for the Guelph community to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The task force also recommended the following actions be put in place now:

  1. Develop energy efficiency retrofit programs for homes built before 1980
  2. Develop energy efficiency retrofit programs for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) buildings
  3. Develop more efficient building requirements for new homes in Guelph (do better than the Ontario Building Code)
  4. Encourage solar panel installations to help homeowners offset their own household electricity use.
  5. Convert Guelph Transit buses to an all-electric fleet

Our Energy Guelph also recommends documenting lessons learned from the City’s experience with district energy.

At last night’s meeting, Council approved a further target for 100 per cent renewable energy use in City operations by 2050. This target is in addition to Our Energy Guelph’s net zero carbon community target.

Council directed staff to report back early next year with corporate targets for greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption based on the Council–approved Community Energy Initiative update. Staff were also directed to provide a detailed report recommending specific initiatives to be considered as part of the 2019 operating and capital budget process for Council approval.

Our Energy Guelph collaborated with the University of Guelph and external consultants to complete comprehensive research and engagement work for the update including:

  • developing revised present-day energy and emissions baselines with projections of energy use and greenhouse gases to 2050
  • reviewing municipal-level actions typically included in community energy planning and determining their feasibility
  • engaging the local community online and through community events

Key research findings

  • Per person greenhouse gas emissions have declined a lot (35 per cent) since 2006: Guelph could reach the original 60 per cent target reduction per person by 2031 if things continued at the same pace.
  • Per person energy use in Guelph has only gone down a little (two per cent) since 2006: a lot more work would need to be done to meet the original target of 50 per cent reduction of energy use per person by 2031;
  • Under a business-as-usual scenario, overall energy use and emissions are expected to be about the same in 2050 as they are today: any gains in efficiency would be offset by more use from growth—both economic and population.
  • It would take a lot to match Ontario’s target of 80 per cent reduction in overall emissions by 2050: aggressive action would be needed to meet the Province’s target, especially if Guelph needed to reach the target without the use of carbon offsets.


Media Contact

Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3324

Students turn pillowcases into 72-hour emergency kits

Photo that shows two students holding pillowcases and receiving an emergency blanket from a paramedic.

Chris Baum, a paramedic with Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service, hands out emergency blankets to Grade 4 students Victoria Kang, left, and Isabelle Ozga. The students from École élémentaire L’Odyssée were taking part in Emergency Preparedness Day on May 2 and collecting items for their 72-hour emergency kit.

Guelph, Ont., May 25, 2018 – For a second year, elementary students in grades 3 to 5 took part in The Pillowcase Project—an interactive educational program that teaches children about safety, emotional coping skills, and personal emergency preparedness.

“The Pillowcase Project is a fun and engaging way to get kids involved in preparing for an emergency,” says Dave Elloway, the City of Guelph’s community emergency management coordinator.

This program, developed by the American Red Cross, teaches students to create their own 72-hour emergency supply kit by packing essential survival items in a pillowcase. Such items include: water, a first-aid kit, blanket, flashlight, batteries, spare clothes, and a toothbrush, and a special comfort item such as a stuffed animal. This makes an easy to grab and go kit for an emergency.

This year, 280 students from nine schools participated in The Pillowcase Project, and on May 2 tested their knowledge about being emergency ready at the City’s annual Emergency Preparedness Day at the West End Community Centre.

At the event, the students spent time visiting the display booths of community organizations that assist residents during an emergency, and shared their thoughts on emergency preparedness.

“It was great to hear the students explain how to prepare for an emergency and we encourage them to continue those conversations at home with family and friends,” says Elloway.

Saffron Hodgson, a grades 4 and 5 teacher at École élémentaire L’Odyssée, says her students were both curious and intrigued when asked to participate in The Pillowcase Project. She describes the project has a hands-on approach to Emergency Preparedness Day.

“My students were motivated, more inquisitive and engaged in the process; asking questions and wanting to learn as much as they could during their visit, and making sure to make time for every station to collect items for their 72-hour emergency kit.”

Hodgson adds, “The Pillowcase Project initiative encourages students to think about what it means to take part in their community in a time of distress and to consider what’s most important in an emergency situation.”

In 2017, Elloway, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, introduced The Pillowcase Project to Guelph. In its first year, 100 students went through the program.

Elloway says he expects the number of participating students and schools will continue to increase. “Our goal is to have all students in grades 3 to 5 in Guelph involved in this program at least once.”

Although The Pillowcase Project is geared toward elementary students, anyone can make a 72-hour emergency kit at home.

Visit for more information.

Media contact

Dave Elloway
Deputy Chief, Guelph Fire Department
Manager, Administration and Emergency Preparedness
Community Emergency Management Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2127

Water main break at 28 Waterloo Avenue being repaired today

Road closure between Dublin and Glasgow Street

Guelph, Ont., May 24, 2018—A water main break occurred at 28 Waterloo Avenue around noon today.

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

The City has notified local residents about the break. Some water is pooling on the street and neighbouring yards. People living and working in the area may notice disruptions in water service and changes in water pressure.

Traffic and transit impacts

Waterloo Avenue is closed to all traffic between Dublin Street and Glasgow Street  until the water main is repaired.

Guelph Transit route 9 is being detoured around the area until further notice. Visit for more information.

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

Pedestrian access

The sidewalk on the south side of Waterloo Avenue is closed. Pedestrians are asked to use the sidewalk on the north side of the street by crossing safely at designated crossings.

The City will provide updates at and on Facebook ( and Twitter ( 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

Guelph-Wellington is creating Canada’s first circular food economy

Imagine a food system where there’s no such thing as waste, every citizen has access to healthy food, and new businesses are created as a result

The City of Guelph and County of Wellington will build Canada’s first circular food economy: enhancing access to nutritious food, turning “waste” into resources, and creating new jobs and economic opportunities.

This vision was unveiled today at the Arrell Food Summit in Guelph and Toronto, and is part of the Guelph-Wellington 50x50x50 by 2025 initiative: increasing access to affordable, nutritious food by 50%, creating 50 new circular businesses and collaborations and increasing circular economic revenues by 50% by recognizing the value of “waste” — all by 2025.

“Guelph-Wellington already enjoys the reputation of being a hub of food innovation and environmental sustainability,” said Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph. “Situated in the heart of Ontario’s Innovation Corridor, we are uniquely positioned to achieve this transformative vision and support community wellbeing – both here and more broadly”.

“It is a natural fit for the City and County to take on this challenge”, said Jana Burns, the County of Wellington’s Director of Economic Development. “The County has a vast range of growers that by nature are innovative and resourceful.  A circular food economy created with the realm of expertise we have locally will create a variety of sustainable opportunities that can be replicated worldwide.”

Leveraging local expertise, as well as big data and the latest technology, the 50x50x50 initiative will re-invent how Guelph-Wellington produces, distributes and consumes food. It will transform the local food ecosystem into a “living lab” where researchers, social innovators, farmers, entrepreneurs and other community partners collaborate to solve food problems.

In support of the 50x50x50 goals, Guelph-Wellington will undertake nine initial collaborative community projects that positively support people, the planet and community prosperity:

  • mapping regional food assets and behaviours
  • creating a circular action plan
  • establishing a circular food economy lab
  • coordinating an impact fund
  • fostering new food economy skills and training
  • developing and sharing circular business tools and services
  • launching a “re-imagine food” awareness campaign
  • increasing the circularity of carbon offsets
  • mapping the value of food by-products

The City of Guelph and County of Wellington are also placing food innovation at the heart of their joint proposal for the Smart Cities challenge; communities were asked to identify a complex social problem, and propose a new way of solving it using innovation, data, and connected technology. Guelph-Wellington could be awarded a $10 million prize in support of its 50x50x50 by 2025 initiative.

Why food?

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. Countless innovative community partners and agencies are already actively helping individuals to live sustainable, healthier lives.

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

Media Contacts

Cathy Kennedy
Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 x 2255

Jana Burns
Director of Economic Development
County of Wellington
519-837-2600 x 2525


Water main break at 52 Cassino Avenue being repaired today

Temporary road closure between Anthony Avenue and William Street

Guelph, Ont., May 18, 2018—A water main break occurred at 52 Cassino Avenue early this morning.

Crews are on site undertaking repair work today and estimate to be done by this evening, barring no complications.

The City has notified local residents about the break. People living and working in the area may notice disruptions in water service and changes in water pressure.

Traffic and transit impacts

Cassino Avenue is closed to all traffic between Anthony Avenue and William Street until the water main repairs are complete.

Guelph Transit route 13 will be detoured. Visit for more information.

Delays should be expected and drivers and transit riders are advised to plan extra time for travel.

Pedestrian access

All sidewalks on Cassino Avenue remain open.

The City will provide updates at and on Facebook ( and Twitter ( 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

City shares Solid Waste Resources business service review final report

Final recommendations support continuous improvement

Guelph, Ont., May 17, 2018 – The final report for the Solid Waste Resources business service review will be presented to Council on Monday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.

The report details eleven recommendations for Guelph’s Solid Waste Resources division along with supporting information and data.

The recommendations fall into four categories of continuous improvement:

  1. Operational and service enhancements including:
    • Expansion of leaf and yard waste collection
    • Expansion of multi-residential waste collection
    • Extending the lifecycle of waste collection trucks
    • Optimizing hours of operation at the Public Drop-off
    • Implementing the Simcoe transition strategy at the Material Recovery Facility
    • Creating a financial reserve for Solid Waste Resources
  2. Staff training and engagement including:
    • Increasing financial analysis resources and skills within the division
    • Increasing process engineering and project management skills within the division
    • Formalizing and expanding the Material Recovery Facility blitz team, which finds innovative ways to improve performance and increase revenue
  3. Solid Waste Management Master Plan update improvements including:
    • Validating and improving the waste diversion rate, and developing a long-term growth forecasting model
  4. Legislative changes including:
    • Monitoring and preparing for the upcoming proposed amendments to the Blue Box Program in Ontario

“When implemented, the business service review recommendations will improve our financial viability, empower and develop staff, and help us provide more efficient services, all while increasing service levels in areas where our customers have told us there’s a need—specifically multi-residential, and leaf and yard waste collection,” explains Scott Stewart, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Overall, the solid waste service review moves us forward on the path of continuous improvement and service enhancement; a win-win for City staff and the Guelph community.”

Many of the recommendations support work already underway at Solid Waste Resources, or planned work that has not been put into action yet due to budget or other resource constraints.

“I want to thank all our staff at Solid Waste and staff who were involved in the business service review,” says Cam Walsh, division manager with Solid Waste Resources. “I look forward to implementing the review recommendations with my team over the coming years.”

Implementation of some of the recommendations is expected to create financial efficiencies while others will require up-front financial investment. Pending Council’s approval, staff will work through established processes, such as the budget process, to develop funding plans for this work.

Speak at the meeting or provide written comments

Members of the public and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the Council meeting by speaking as delegates or providing written comments. Those wishing to speak to City Council on May 28 must contact the City Clerk’s Office at 519-837-5603 or email no later than Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m. to register as a delegation. For those who prefer to comment in writing, written comments must be submitted no later than Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m.


Media contact

Scott Stewart, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3445

Artists selected for Wilson Street public art project

Four bronze deer stand in a grassy triangle on Wilson Street to the left of the Farmers' Market. Geometric shapes emerge from their backs: a long cylinder, a square, a triangle and an empty sphere.

Nature and the urban combined in new installation

Guelph, Ont., May 16, 2018– Robert Cram and Eldon Garnet have been commissioned to create the Wilson Street public art project — a permanent, outdoor art installation — at the corner of Wilson and Gordon streets.

“We couldn’t be happier with the winning proposal,” adds Stacey Dunnigan, manager of Culture and Tourism for the City of Guelph. “This artwork will come to life alongside the Wilson Street Parkade and give natural animation to the streetscape.”

Their project concept features four standing, polished bronze deer contrasted against urban downtown Guelph. The deer will be embedded with simple architectural shapes that reference the Basilica of Our Lady, the historic Priory residence, Guelph Farmers’ Market and the former Carnegie Library.

In Cram and Garnet’s proposal, the four deer represent a community living together, both in past wilderness and the present urban moment.

After being one of three shortlisted candidates from 53 entries, the Toronto pair competed in the final stage by developing their preliminary proposal, preparing renderings and a model of their work, and providing a budget and timeline. They presented their work to the selection committee that  recommended Cram and Garnet’s proposal to the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee who unanimously voted in favour of their commission.

“Their [work] is a highly intelligent and compelling project,” says Robert Enright, a selection committee member and research professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music. “I am optimistic that their combination of geometric form and poetic sense of the natural world will make their Wilson Street sculpture a favourite among drivers and pedestrians in the city.”

Cram and Garnet’s final artwork is scheduled for installation in May 2019.

About the Wilson Street Reconstruction Project

The Wilson Street reconstruction project includes the road and streetscape upgrades on Wilson Street from Gordon Street to Macdonell Street, the Wilson Street parkade construction and the replacement of the Norfolk Street pedestrian bridge. The Wilson Street art project will be installed at the foot of Wilson Street as it intersects Gordon Street.

Media Contact

Stacey Dunnigan, Manager, Culture and Tourism
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2533

City launches updated Blue Built Home program

Helping more Guelphites save water and money at home

Guelph, Ont., May 15, 2018—The City has updated its Blue Built Home water efficiency certification program to include retrofits in existing homes and multi-residential building units in Guelph. The original program, launched in 2011, focused on certification of new homes built to  include home fixtures and appliances designed and tested to save water and reduce utility bills.

“By expanding Blue Built Home to include existing homes and multi-residential buildings more people in our community can participate in this water–saving program,” says Stephanie Cote, water conservation programs coordinator.

To get a Blue Built Home certification, a homeowner must complete one of the following three actions:

  • Install a greywater reuse system
  • Install an all-season rainwater harvesting system
  • Complete a minimum of three qualifying water–saving options including installing an Energy Star® washing machine, Energy Star® dishwasher, WaterSense® showerheads, or sub-water meter.

The full list of qualifying water–saving options is available at and provides flexibility to suit a diversity of home types and the preferences of homeowners.

Owners of certified single-family homes or townhouses receive a one-time cash rebate of up to $2,460 and the benefits from long-term water use cost savings. Owners of multi-residential buildings are eligible for rebates of up to $415 per unit.

Certified single-family homes can reduce water costs by as much as 60 per cent without making any compromises on day-to-day water use activities like showering and laundry. Replacing inefficient water fixtures and appliances in apartments can result in water savings of more than 20 per cent per unit.


Guelph’s Blue Built Home program
About greywater reuse systems
About rainwater harvesting systems

Media contact

Stephanie Cote, Water Conservation Programs Coordinator
Water Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2628

Guelph awarded $35,000 to attract foreign direct investment

Guelph, Ont., May 3, 2018—The City of Guelph has been awarded $35,000 in funding from Global Affairs Canada as part of their Invest Canada – Community Initiatives program (ICCI). The funding will be used by the City to promote the Building Partnerships initiative to both Canadian and foreign investors.

Building Partnerships is a City of Guelph initiative aimed at helping businesses and builders “get to yes” as they navigate the process of moving a business to Guelph and applying for planning and development approvals. Years of foreign direct investment research helped to shape the Building Partnerships initiative, and will support Guelph in competing on a global scale.

Guelph is a recognized destination for foreign direct investment. Last year the City was recognized as a top 10 foreign direct investment American city of the future in three categories:

  • Tenth in small cities overall
  • Third in best human capital and lifestyle, small cities
  • Eighth in best business friendliness, small cities

Several international companies have chosen Guelph for their corporate headquarters including Würth Canada, Linamar Corporation and RWDI.

Creating a supportive environment for foreign direct investment is part of Guelph’s economic development strategy Prosperity 2020, and is also part of the foreign direct investment attraction and retention strategy and action plan for Guelph.


“This Global Affairs Canada funding is great news for Guelph. It will help put Guelph on the map as a destination for investment, and ultimately attract jobs and businesses to our city.”
– Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph

“We’ve done our research, consulted businesses and started putting our strategies into action. We make it easy to do business in Guelph and we want the world to know.”
– Scott Stewart, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise, City of Guelph

“Guelph is an excellent location for foreign direct investment activities in the sectors targeted by the ICCI program: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, chemicals and plastics, information and communications, life sciences, services, and clean technology. Having existing strengths in business, research, education and Guelph’s strategic location to key Canadian markets provides an excellent opportunity for businesses looking to locate to Canada. The $35,000 ICCI investment by the Canadian government should provide multiple returns to the local and Canadian economy.”
– Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“Helping communities like Guelph promote their business advantages to foreign investors is fundamental to growing our middle class and Canada’s future economic prosperity. The ICCI program, in partnership with the new Invest in Canada agency, works to ensure that Canada’s municipalities are recognised as locations of choice for international investors and job creation.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

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.

For more information

Barbara Maly, Manager, Economic Development
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2822

Government of Canada logo.

Over 1,300 volunteers made clean and green a breeze!

200 volunteers gather at a picnic shelter at Riverside Park to eat lunch.

3,000 kilograms of garbage picked up  from parks and trails

Guelph, Ont., May 1, 2018 – The 15th annual Clean and Green community clean up broke the record for the number of volunteers who came out to help green Guelph, despite challenging weather.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the number of people who turned out,” says Dave Beaton, supervisor of trails and natural areas stewardship with the City of Guelph. “We got iced out the previous weekend and we were worried the cold would keep people away, but our volunteers are a dedicated bunch.Thanks to them, our community is  greener and cleaner.”

Over 1,300 volunteers participated, cleaning 57 parks and 61 trails and roadways, collecting a total of 3,000 kilograms of garbage.  A barbecue at Riverside Park was held  to thank the volunteers and and community sponsors.

The event was originally scheduled for April 21 on Earth Day, however, an ice storm resulted in postponement of the event.  Special thanks to the many volunteers who were unable to make the new date and still went out on their own to clean up.

About Clean and Green

Every year, Guelph residents come together to participate in Clean and Green, a volunteer, community clean up initiative. Thousands of kilograms of garbage are removed from roads, trails, parks and neighbourhoods to beautify our city and protect our drinking water and wildlife.

Media Contact

Dave Beaton, Supervisor, Trails and Natural Areas Stewardship
Parks Operations and Forestry, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2761

Council passes Election Sign Bylaw

The bylaw comes into effect ahead of 2018 municipal election

Guelph, Ont., April 26, 2018 – Council passed an Election Sign Bylaw that regulates the use of election signs  to minimize  interference along roadways.  The new bylaw will be in effect for the start of municipal election nominations on May 1.

“This new election sign bylaw sets out clear guidelines for placement and size of signs to ensure pedestrian and vehicular sight lines are free of obstruction, ” says David Wiedrick, manager of Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing.

The approved bylaw regulates:

  • The size of election signs to a maximum of 0.47 square metres and a maximum display height of 2.13 metres
  • The placement of election signs to the ward in which the candidate is running
  • The number of signs on a single-family residence to one, but does not restrict the number of signs on multi-residential properties
  • The distance between election signs and City street curbs to a minimum of one metre

Council also directed staff to form a citizen committee  to deal with any future  election sign issues.

The Election Sign Bylaw regulates municipal, provincial and federal election signs, however, because of the timing of this bylaw approval,  provincial candidates are exempt from the bylaw this year.

Media Contact

David Wiedrick, Manager of Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3475

City welcomes new businesses to the Hanlon Creek Business Park

Guelph, Ont., April 30, 2018—Local companies RKD and Zero In recently moved into their new, shared head office in the Hanlon Creek Business Park. They will be hosting their grand opening celebrations on Friday, May 11, which will include greetings from Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Both companies outgrew their previous office space in Guelph and chose to relocate to the Hanlon Creek Business Park because of its convenient access to the 401 and existing local business connections. The new office space also provides options for future expansions. The current move will include the addition of five to ten new jobs.

RKD and Zero In are examples of Guelph’s growing and thriving Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. With Guelph’s central location in the Innovation Corridor, local ICT firms such as RKD and Zero In benefit from proximity to key customers, talent, investors, research and development, academic institutions and other regional assets.

RKD has 23 years’ experience providing custom website design, mobile application and software development. Zero In is Guelph’s only Premier Google Partner specializing in paid search, social advertising and lead generation. RKD and Zero In are committed to building long-lasting relationships and provide a professional, modern and engaging environment for employees and clients.

Join RKD and Zero In for their grand opening on Friday, May 11. Event details are available on Eventbrite.


“I want to thank RKD and Zero In for choosing to stay in Guelph, and grow in Guelph. They are the latest examples of our thriving information and communications technology sector – a sector that is central to Guelph’s place on the Innovation Corridor.”
– Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph

“We’re continually building partnerships with companies like RKD and Zero In to foster strong business relationships and encourage local economic growth. They are both a very welcome addition to the existing mix of businesses in the Hanlon Creek Business Park.”
– Christine Chapman, Economic Development Officer, City of Guelph

“We’re thrilled to have this unique home, designed to be open and welcoming to local businesses, and to inspire creativity and collaboration within our talented team.”
– Thom Ellsom, Partner & Director of Web Services, RKD

“Located in a fast growing area of Guelph, this office is a foundation for continued growth through our third decade of business. We appreciate the existing strong relationships we have with many businesses and associations and look forward to meeting more in our new facility!”
– Rudy Diemer, Founder & Director, Zero In

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

Christine Chapman, Economic Development Officer
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2823

Guelph-Wellington in the running for Smart Cities Challenge

Pitch to be Canada’s first circular food economy could net region $10 million prize

Guelph, Ont., April 27, 2018– The City of Guelph and County of Wellington are vying to win the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge with a proposal to create the first circular food economy in Canada.

The vision behind the proposal was unveiled today at an event where Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Wellington County Warden Dennis Lever, and Chief Administrative Officers of the City and County thanked Guelph’s Member of Parliament, Lloyd Longfield, for his pledge to champion it on Parliament Hill.

Through the Smart Cities Challenge, communities were asked to identify a complex social problem, and propose a new way of solving it using innovation, data, and connected technology. The winning community will win up to $10 million to implement their idea.

Guelph and Wellington worked together on a joint proposal to tackle the fundamental challenge of ensuring healthy, affordable, sustainable food is available to everyone. They aim to replace the current linear “take-make-dispose” economic model with a circular model that strengthens connections between food producers and consumers; values waste as a resource; and creates new businesses and jobs.

“This vision represents a profound re-thinking of how food gets from the farm to the plate – and back again,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Right now, we have a situation where about 30% of food produced never makes it to the plate, and where millions of people in the world are malnourished, while millions more struggle with obesity. The circular food economy is a more efficient, equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically sound model for our food system. It makes perfect sense for it to be pioneered in Guelph and Wellington.”

Added Warden Dennis Lever, “This proposal is the perfect marriage between the strengths of the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington. We have some of the best farmland and farming expertise in Ontario, and we’re also home to the world-renowned agri-food research of the University of Guelph. Our strength is agriculture and food, and through the Smart Cities Challenge, we hope to make a difference on a national and even global scale.”

The Guelph-Wellington Smart Cities application proposes three goals, each with related projects:

  • Cultivate nutritious food: Improve the accessibility of affordable, nutritious, local food by 50% by 2025. Strenghten connections between local food producers and consumers.
  • Value food waste as a resource: Design waste out of the food system, reduce the environmental impacts of food waste, and repurpose and re-use food waste that would otherwise have been disposed of;
  • Create new circular collaborations, businesses and jobs: Create 50 new businesses and collaborations among farmers, food industry leaders, policy makers, technology experts, entrepreneurs, and researchers.

Guelph’s Member of Parliament, Lloyd Longfield, welcomed the proposal. “I am very pleased that Guelph and Wellington decided to collaborate on this Smart Cities proposal, leveraging the outstanding strengths in agriculture and agri-food for which we are known. I look forward to championing this proposal on Parliament Hill in the weeks to come,” said MP Longfield.

Dozens of local business, academic, not-for-profit and civic organizations participated in the creation of the Guelph-Wellington proposal. Guelph’s CAO Derrick Thomson applauded these organizations for their participation. “This proposal was shaped by a wide range of local leaders and perspectives – from community benefit organizations working to address food insecurity, to business leaders from our thriving agri-tech sector. Because of that collaboration, our proposal reflects a full range of economic, environmental, and social benefits that a circular food economy will bring,” said Thomson.

Guelph and Wellington are collaborating with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a world renowned circular economy think tank, on their international Cities and the Circular Economy for Food project.

More information about the proposal can be found on The full Guelph-Wellington Smart Cities Challenge application will be posted online in the coming weeks, after Infrastructure Canada has completed its eligibility review.

Media Contact

Cathy Kennedy
Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255

Guelph Transit installing new bus stop shelters

New bus shelter at the Willow and Guelph westbound bus stop.

Guelph, Ont., April 24, 2018 – Guelph Transit is installing 52 new shelters at bus stops across the city—bringing the total number of shelters to 110.

The shelters provide riders with a protected area away from wind, rain, or snow, and offer them a place to sit until the bus arrives.

“The new shelters are a part of our ongoing commitment to improving customer service on and off the bus. We’re confident the shelters will be a welcome addition for riders along our routes,” says Robin Gerus, interim general manager at Guelph Transit.

Earlier this month, 15 shelters were installed, including one at Imperial Road at West End Community Centre southbound. Another 15 shelters will be in place in May and the remaining 22 will be installed in June. Of the 52, only two are replacing existing shelters.

Shelter locations are chosen based on the number of boardings at a bus stop and priority is given to stops that service multiple routes.

The cost to install one shelter, which includes a bench and concrete pad, is between $7,000 and $10,000.

This work is being funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. In March 2017, the governments of Ontario and Canada announced $9,681,491 in funding for five local transit projects:

  • Bus replacements
  • Fare box replacement
  • Bus stop upgrades/shelters
  • Transportation Master Plan
  • Traffic signal control system upgrade

“Investing in Guelph Transit improves the service we can deliver to our current and future riders,” adds Gerus.

The government funding is being matched by the City of Guelph.

Media contact

Robin Gerus
Interim General Manager
Guelph Transit
519-822-1260 extension 3321

2018 municipal election nominations open May 1

Image of Market Square and Guelph City Hall. The Water feature in front of the building is still and reflects the skyline behind in an almost perfect reflection. The tagline, "Your Guelph, Your Vote" is shown as well as "2018 municipal election"

Guelph, Ont., April 20, 2018– The 2018 municipal election kicks off on May 1, the day that candidates can officially submit their nomination papers for the offices of mayor, city councillor or school board trustee.

“Running for City Council or a trustee position is a great way to make a difference in Guelph,” said Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk for the City of Guelph. “We invite anyone who is considering being a candidate in the municipal election to visit our website or contact us in the Clerk’s Office as there are new rules and legislation for this election.”

Nomination packages will be available for pick up at the ServiceGuelph counter at City Hall and online at as of April 30. Candidates are asked to make an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office starting May 1 to file their nomination papers.

Information about nominations:

  • Nominations are open from May 1 to July 27, at 2 p.m.
  • Filing fees are $200 for Mayor or $100 for Councillor or Trustee
  • Photo ID must be shown at time of filing
  • Nomination forms must be filed before candidates can accept election contributions or incur campaign expenses

For information on the municipal election, visit, email or call 519-837-5625.

The 2018 municipal election is on October 22.


The 2018 Guelph municipal election website

Media Contact

Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 5644

City plans for remediation work at Goldie Mill Park

Guelph, Ont., April 16, 2018 — The City of Guelph has received final soil testing results for Goldie Mill Park and is set to begin remediation work this summer.

Site testing has confirmed earlier results; that chemicals in the soil are consistent with those typically found based on the site’s former manufacturing activities. Historically, the Goldie Mill property was used as a sawmill, foundry, cooperage, distillery, piggery and tannery. The west side of Joseph Wolfond Park was used for furniture manufacturing operations.

Remediation work is part of the City’s plan to address soil conditions and sinkholes in the park, which is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and managed by the City. A plan will be put in place to protect workers and contractors who may come into contact with the soil.

The City will cap the soil at certain locations within the park to address shallow soil impacts and eliminate potential health risks. In some cases, an asphalt covering will be used (e.g. trail area). In other areas, a geomembrane—a synthetic membrane liner that prevents material getting through—will be laid down with clean soil and mulch added on top.

This work will eliminate both the safety risk from the existing sinkholes and any health risk posed by the current soil conditions. Once the work is done the park will reopen for public use.

Background and testing

Last June, the City, with support from the GRCA, closed a section of the park after environmental testing commissioned by the GRCA revealed chemicals in the soil may pose health risks. Since then, both the City and GRCA have conducted environmental tests to better understand potential risks at the site and to determine if any actions were needed to address them.

Most chemical impacts were found more than 0.76 metres below the surface. However, impacts were also identified in shallower soils. There were no impacts identified in groundwater.

To ensure the public’s health and safety, the site will remain closed during the remediation work, which includes backfilling the sinkholes.

The City expects to reopen the park in late summer or early fall 2018 and will resume bookings of the site, popular for weddings, for 2019.

The additional environmental testing cost the City about $35,000 and the GRCA about $28,000. The cost to address the soil condition and sinkholes is estimated to be $450,000.

For more information or to access environmental testing reports to date, visit

About Goldie Mill Park

Goldie Mill Park, including the ruins, is owned by the GRCA and the City manages its maintenance and programming, including renting the ruins for events.

Media contact

Mario Petricevic
General Manager, Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2668


City of Guelph Innovation Project Granted OntarioBuys Funding to Improve Municipal Sector Procurement

The City of Guelph, in partnership with the cities of London and Barrie, as well as MaRS Discovery District (MaRS), is embarking on an exciting three-year Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX) project.

The MIX will open new economic opportunities to a range of businesses and help public sector institutions improve how they provide services. It is based on the success of the City of Guelph’s ground-breaking Civic Accelerator model (co-designed with the Guelph Lab) and MaRS’ Innovation Partnership: Procurement by Co-Design health innovation program.

The MIX will improve and expand the practice of innovation procurement in the municipal sector and create practices that are tested, scalable and sustainable. The three cities of Guelph, Barrie and London will be collaborating with vendors and community members to design open, fair, transparent and innovative practices that will be tested through six challenges over the three-year project.

Through the MIX process, businesses will be embedded in municipal planning and operations, providing first-hand experience that will help them develop solutions. A broad scope of businesses will be able to participate, from large established vendors to small and medium enterprises such as start-ups and entrepreneurs often excluded from municipal procurement invitations and tenders.

Lessons learned at the end of the project will be broadly beneficial, with solutions to issues and needs common across the municipal sector. The MIX will also produce a toolkit to help scale models and provide municipalities with proven practices and resources.

The project is funded by OntarioBuys, an Ontario government program, which makes investments to support innovation, facilitate and accelerate the adoption of integrated supply chain, back-office leading practices and operational excellence. OntarioBuys helps drive collaboration and improve supply chain processes in Ontario’s broader public sector.

Additional key sector leaders which have collaborated closely in the design of the MIX include Guelph Lab, Innovation Guelph, Guelph Chamber of Commerce and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


“Guelph has a well-earned reputation as a city that’s willing to do things differently. We are pleased to have the endorsement of the province and along with the cities of Barrie and London, look forward to the benefits the Municipal Innovation Exchange will spark in our communities.”
Cam Guthrie, Mayor of Guelph

“Our ability to improve public services and drive projects like the Municipal Innovation Exchange is possible because we have strong partnerships with industry leaders. Together, we have the ability to adopt and adapt innovative practices that bring value to our community.”
Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

“Our government is committed to funding forward-thinking approaches to procurement. The City of Guelph’s Municipal Innovation Exchange project will demonstrate new ways to create solutions for complex municipal problems by introducing leading-edge procurement practices that are scalable and sustainable. Building an innovative and modern procurement process is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to build prosperity for people across the province.”
Tracy MacCharles, Minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

“I’ve always said the six worst words in government are ‘we’ve always done it this way’. I’m proud that the City of Barrie is a forward thinking organization not afraid to innovate the way we offer services. We’re grateful to be able to partner with two other progressive municipalities on this exciting initiative. Barrie’s growing start-up community and culture of entrepreneurship makes the Municipal Innovation Exchange a perfect fit for our community.”
Jeff Lehman, Mayor, City of Barrie

“This is a partnership that will allow our region to take another step forward together. Over the next three years this will allow us to tackle unique challenges and revise innovation practices as we continue to lead.”
Matt Brown, Mayor, City of London

Media Contacts

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260, extension 2120

Scott Lamantia, Senior Communications Advisor
City of Barrie
705-739-4220, extension 4529

Rosanna Wilcox, Director, Community and Economic Innovation
City of London
519-661-2489, extension 5879

Council approves new design standards for Guelph

Urban design concepts for Gordon Street also endorsed by Council

Guelph, Ont., April 10, 2018—Last night Council approved new built-form standards for mid-rise building and townhouses. The standards are part of the City’s Urban Design Manual and provide clear direction on the design  of new residential and mixed-use mid-rise (four to six storeys) and townhouse (cluster, stacked and street-oriented) developments in Guelph.

The standards address how a site will function  and be designed to implement the vision established in the City’s Official Plan. The document also provides recommendations for a future zoning bylaw review.

“These new standards provide a thoughtful and consistent approach to evaluating building design while allowing for innovation and supporting design excellence,” says David de Groot, Senior Urban Designer. “The standards will also help residents and developers understand the quality of design that we expect in new developments.”

The standards also address design related  to the integration of stormwater management, water efficiency and supporting the urban forest.

Council also endorsed urban design concepts for Gordon Street between Harvard Road and Clairfields Drive, and directed staff to begin using them when reviewing development applications along this corridor. The design concepts provide both developers and staff with additional guidance for preparing and reviewing future development applications in this area.

Both of these new documents are part of the City’s efforts to build partnerships and continuous improvement by making the expectations for development more clear. If followed effectively, the documents will result in a streamlined approval process.


11 MBReport to Council on built form standards for mid-rise buildings and townhouses, April 9, 2018 (page 6) 11 MBReport to Council on urban design concept plans for the Gordon Street intensification corridor, April 9, 2018 (page 47)

Media contact

David de Groot
Senior Urban Designer, Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2358

City introducing water and wastewater credit programs

Leak forgiveness and sewer credit programs start this year

Guelph, Ont., March 27, 2018 – Last night, City Council approved two new credit programs for Guelph water and wastewater customers. The new programs will provide forgiveness on high water bills from unknown residential leaks, and cost relief on wastewater charges for business customers who use or evaporate water during operation or production.

“These credit programs will help address grey areas in our existing billing policies and reduce customer billing concerns,” explains Wayne Galliher, division manager with Guelph’s Water Services. “Now that we have Council’s approval, Guelphites and local businesses will be able to take advantage of water leak forgiveness starting April 1, and sewer abatement credit as of July 1.”

The water leak forgiveness program provides residents with a one-time billing credit for a water leak or plumbing failure on the customer’s property that results in an unexpectedly high water bill. The credit would be available on a one-time basis and is not retroactive. Customers must meet the program’s eligibility criteria as outlined in the policy. This program will be administered through the existing water billing appeals process.

The sewer abatement credit program will provide a billing credit to Guelph industrial, commercial and institutional customers whose processes use up or evaporate a significant amount of water, reducing wastewater treatment needs. The credit will be calculated based on the percentage of water not returned to the wastewater system, measured through meters, and paid to eligible applicants as a billing credit once a year.

The approved credit programs are supported by the findings of the billing exemptions study conducted by Water and Wastewater Services. The study included feedback from residents and the business sector, as well as a review of similar policies in comparator municipalities.

This work is part of the ongoing Water and Wastewater Rate Review, initiated in 2015. The rate review aims to ensure equity and fairness for all customer types through the allocation of costs for water and wastewater services received while ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of both utilities.


Media contact

Wayne Galliher, Division Manager
Water Services, Environmental Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2106

City receives provincial award for its age-friendly initiatives

Guelph, Ont., March 26, 2018 – Earlier today, the City of Guelph was honoured with a 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award at the inaugural Age Friendly Community Symposium held in Toronto. The awards celebrate the work of Ontario communities that are striving to become age friendly.

“Guelph is a great place to live and age well, and I’m proud our efforts to become an age-friendly community have been recognized with this notable provincial award. It’s an award our entire community can celebrate,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

On hand to accept the award were Manon Germain, project specialist with Age-Friendly Guelph, and Adam Rutherford, programming and community development supervisor with the City.

The recognition program, introduced last year by the Ministry of Seniors Affairs, includes two award categories—Community Action Plan, and Implementation and Evaluation.

The City, selected for one of 10 awards under the Implementation and Evaluation category, was recognized for its strong commitment to key principles for creating an age-friendly community, including engagement with Guelph’s seniors, collaboration with a diversity of community partners, and significant impact on the local community.

“Through our policies, programs and services we are creating social and physical environments that are more accessible to and inclusive of older adults, enabling them to lead independent, active and healthy lives and to stay engaged in our community. The age-friendly initiatives we’re being recognized for with this award are the result of tremendous staff effort and community involvement,” says Derrick Thomson, the City’s chief administrative officer.

The Age-Friendly Guelph Leadership Team, with support from two community members and the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, nominated the City for the award.

As a recipient of the provincial award, Guelph now has access to streamlined eligibility for national recognition through the Pan-Canadian Age-Friendly Communities recognition framework developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.


By 2031, Guelph’s population is projected to be 175,000, with 53,000 people over the age of 55.

The City’s Older Adult Strategy, approved by Council in 2012, is a framework and implementation plan that guides Guelph in becoming an age-friendly community. Age-friendly communities are characterized by accessible and inclusive environments, both physical and social, that enable seniors to live independent, healthy and active, safe and socially connected lives.

In 2014, the City 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. In June 2017, the City issued its Older Adult Strategy progress report.

Media contact

Heather Flaherty
General Manager, Parks and Recreation
519-822-1260 extension 2664

Staffing changes being made at City’s Materials Recovery Facility will help business remain viable

March 19, 2018, Guelph, Ontario: The City of Guelph’s Solid Waste division is laying off 18 employees from its Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Affected employees will be accommodated with jobs elsewhere in the organization wherever possible.

“The City appreciates the hard work that all the folks at Solid Waste Resources do to make our operations run smoothly and better our residents’ quality of life,” says Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Through our business service review we’ve discovered that we’re trying to process almost double the amount of recyclables at our materials recovery facility as other comparable facilities. This is resulting in financial losses. In order to be efficient and improve our process for recapturing items that we can sell back to the market, we need to make changes, and that includes getting out of the business of processing recyclables for other communities. Our goal, however, is to make these changes with as little impact on our people as possible, and we’re very disheartened to have to make these layoffs.”

Management consulted with the executive of CUPE 241 about the changes before informing staff earlier today. Both City management and the union representing Solid Waste employees are committed to minimizing the impact of the layoffs on affected employees.

The staffing changes being announced today are, in part, the result of a number of expected changes to waste operations over the next couple of years including changes to the Province’s Blue Box Program which may change how recycling is collected and processed, and a move to focusing on Guelph-only recyclables processing with Guelph multi-residential waste collection starting sometime in 2019.

In recent years, the Solid Waste operation has been operating at a financial loss. The Solid Waste Resources business service review currently underway has brought many positives to light, along with some challenges. The staffing changes being announced today will help address some of those challenges by improving operational efficiencies and allowing the City to maintain fiscal accountability and financial viability.


Solid Waste Resources business service review
Senior City administrators put Solid Waste unit at top of list of service reviews

Media Contact

Peter Busatto, General Manager
Environmental Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3430

Guelph region ninth in Canada for expected growth in gross domestic product

Guelph, Ontario, March 16, 2018: The Conference Board of Canada, a national, independent research organization, has projected economic growth in the Guelph region at 2.2 per cent in real gross domestic product (GDP). The Guelph region includes the City of Guelph, and Guelph/Eramosa and Puslinch Townships.

The Winter 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 ninth highest in Canada and is one of only three Ontario cities in the top 10, along with Toronto and Oshawa.

“We expect Guelph to enjoy continued albeit slower growth in the next two years, with GDP advances of 2.2 per cent and 2.1 per cent in the cards for 2018 and 2019 respectively,” the report states. “Both these figures will slightly exceed the provincial pace [2.0 per cent for both years].”

“This report is further proof that Guelph is a great place for businesses looking to open or expand in Ontario,” says Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise for the City of Guelph. “Guelph is no longer a city that is stumbled upon; we are national growth leaders, and people are taking notice.”

The report highlights Guelph’s manufacturing sector as a major contributor to real GDP growth noting, “Output expanding by an average of 3.5 per cent annually in 2010-17, including a 4.0 per cent burst in 2016. Guelph’s manufacturing output is forecast to expand by a relatively modest 2.3 per cent in 2018; this will still exceed Ontario’s projected 1.4 per cent.”

“Guelph’s diverse economy continues to be headlined by strength in its manufacturing sector, which has enjoyed a strong run since the end of the 2009 recession,” says Alan Arcand, associate director for the Centre for Municipal Studies at the Conference Board of Canada. “Its major university and location in Ontario’s burgeoning Greater Golden Horseshoe has contributed to population growth well above the national average for the last 20 years.”

The report also forecasts a 1.5 per cent growth in employment in Guelph for 2018. Guelph’s employment has grown consecutively over the past five years. As a result, Guelph’s unemployment rate is projected to fall from 5.4 per cent in 2017 to 5.1 percent in 2018, and 5.0 per cent in 2019.

The report sees the economic future as very promising for Guelph. 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.

Media contact

Tyson McMann, Business Development Analyst
Business Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-837-5600 extension 3525

City shortlists teams for Baker District redevelopment

Guelph, Ont., March 16, 2018 – The City of Guelph is pleased to announce the results of the request for pre-qualifications (RFPQ) process for the Baker District redevelopment project.

The four development teams, shortlisted from the 10 proposals received, are:

  • HOK Inc.
  • Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
  • Windmill Development Group
  • Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

“The successful candidates have demonstrated exceptional experience and capabilities, and we’re confident that any one of the four teams, if chosen as our preferred partner, would bring world-class development and design expertise to this important downtown project,” says Scott Stewart, deputy CAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise.

Last November, the City embarked on an open and competitive process to pre-qualify development teams who have the financial capability, master planning and design expertise, and ambition to realize a unique, mixed-used development for the district in partnership with the City.

The process to identify the shortlisted teams was done in accordance with the City’s procurement process and Tier 1 governance framework for capital projects.

Request for proposals

The City will now proceed with the request for proposals (RFP) stage with the shortlisted candidates.

“The final awarding of the RFP will mark a critical milestone in the Baker District redevelopment project as we’ll be able to work on on the preliminary development concept, moving us closer to revitalizing this underused urban space,” says Stewart.


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.

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. Opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community as this multi-year project progresses, with events expected to begin in 2019.

For more information, visit

Media contact

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


Guelph transit gets federal-provincial funding boost

Up to $106 million available for local priorities

Guelph, Ont., March 16, 2018 – A new provincial-federal agreement earmarks up to $106 million over 10 years for potential Guelph transit infrastructure projects.

“Improving transit in our city has been a priority for me and for Council,” said Cam Guthrie, Mayor of Guelph. “Knowing that we have this funding commitment enables us to plan with certainty and to implement the right infrastructure for our growing community.”

The bilateral agreement was announced by the governments of Canada and Ontario earlier this week. The allocation for municipalities is based on a formula that sets funding according to transit ridership. The fund provides 73 per cent for project costs, with municipalities and partners providing 27 per cent.

In the coming months, city staff will identify potential projects for city council assessment of priorities and budget requirements. The city then will submit proposals to the federal-provincial program for approval.

“We will incorporate the federal-provincial commitment in our 10-year capital forecast that reviews needs across all services and assets,” said Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph. “Our objective is to provide information and options to help council assess and commit to priorities that meet the needs of our city.”

Media contact

Liz Borowiec, Communications Advisor
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2442

City settles outstanding land use appeal on official plan amendment

Comprehensive staff planning upheld

Guelph, Ont., March 16, 2018—An appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) on a site-specific land use designation in the City of Guelph’s official plan amendment has been withdrawn after a settlement agreement was reached. The site under appeal, commonly known as the Niska Lands, is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA).

The subject lands, an 8–hectare (20–acre) farm field located on the south side of Niska Road at  Pioneer Trail, is to be designated for low- to medium-density residential use, which would permit a future development application to propose detached, semi-detached and duplex dwellings, or multiple unit residential buildings such as townhouses, row dwellings and walk-up apartments.

“This is good news for everyone involved in the appeal, and for the community,” says Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design. “The settlement allows for better communication and consultation with our community for an area that is special to many people in Guelph. We’re pleased the solid planning behind the residential land use designation has been recognized and upheld, and look forward to working with the community on future trail access on the former Kortright Waterfowl Park  once the future of those lands is decided.”

The terms of the settlement provide for more public notification and opportunities for public comment as the GRCA works to create a management plan, not only for the site that was the subject of the appeals, but also the surrounding lands owned by GRCA. More information about the process to complete a management plan for the property is available on the GRCA website.

Once the GRCA management plan is finalized, the City will support this effort by establishing, with the GRCA, a joint working group to help determine future public access to the GRCA lands within the City which comprised the former Kortright Waterfowl Park. The joint working group will include members of the public.

About OPA 48

The City’s Official Plan Amendment (OPA) 48 provides clarity and direction for development while ensuring Guelph achieves sustainable growth targets, population densities and land uses. Highlights of the official plan amendment include updated policies addressing:

  • The protection of Guelph’s water resources;
  • Public health and safety regarding natural and human-made hazards;
  • Proactive climate change planning;
  • Transportation planning with a greater focus on transit, walking and cycling; and
  • Affordable housing needs.

OPA 48 was approved by the OMB with some modifications last fall, and the City’s amended Official Plan has been in effect since then. Some minor items were still under appeal at that time, including the settled appeal announced today. Appeals for one policy and some site–specific items remains to be addressed through future Ontario Municipal Board hearings.

About the Official Plan

The City’s Official Plan is a statement of goals, objectives and policies that guide Guelph’s growth and development in the years leading up to 2031. The Official Plan is developed based on input from the community and is updated every five years. The plan is focused on sustainability and establishes policies that have a positive effect on Guelph’s social, economic, cultural and natural environment. The Official Plan strives to maintain a high quality of life for the residents of Guelph, reduce uncertainty concerning future development, and provides a basis for the Zoning Bylaw and other land use controls.

Official Plan Amendment No. 48 was the final phase of the Official Plan Update. This amendment ensures that the Official Plan meets legislative requirements under the Planning Act and that Guelph’s Plan is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.


Guelph’s Official Plan
OPA 48 – Official Plan Update
Minutes of Settlement for the Niska Lands

Media contact

Melissa Aldunate, Manager, Policy Planning and Urban Design
Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2361

City wins Canadian Climate Leadership Award

GLOBE Series recognizes Guelph for being at the forefront of action on climate change

Guelph, Ont., Thursday, March 15, 2018—The City of Guelph was awarded the Large Municipal Trailblazer Climate Leadership Award from GLOBE Series at last night’s GLOBE Forum in Vancouver. The awards recognize exceptional Canadian organizations that are at the forefront of action on climate change.

Mayor Cam Guthrie and Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer for the City’s Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise service area, were on hand in Vancouver to accept the GLOBE award.

The City of Guelph was selected for one of four awards from among 86 self-nominating applicants. The City was recognized for its multi-faceted and holistic approach to fighting climate change by a panel of judges with members from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative, and BASF Canada, along with officials from GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group.

The City’s application was based on its successful and ongoing work on energy management and retrofits, renewable energy projects, carbon pollution and waste reduction efforts, ambitious emissions target setting, and water conservation efforts.

The staff-led initiatives and projects that contributed to the award win include:

  • Guelph’s pioneering work (first in Canada) on its Community Energy Plan, now the Community Energy Initiative, which is being updated with new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, an implementation plan for achieving them, and enhanced measurement and reporting, including comparisons with other cities;
  • The award-winning Guelph Innovation District Secondary Plan to concentrate development in areas appropriate for district energy and transit-accessible, exemplifying green/sustainable community design and development;
  • Guelph Transit’s increased ridership through route optimization and its use of biodiesel in its fuel supply, and rainwater harvesting in bus washing operations;
  • The Corporate Energy Management Plan which provides a community leadership example of energy efficiency including the use of LED lighting and efficient facility heating and cooling;
  • The biogas-fueled cogeneration plant at the City’s wastewater treatment plant;
  • The construction of LEED®–certified facilities including Clair Road Emergency Services Centre and Guelph Civic Museum;
  • The Guelph Energy Efficiency Retrofit Strategy pilot program to help Guelph homeowners make energy efficiency improvements to their homes by providing up-front funding support which will be paid back at low-interest rates though property tax bills;
  • The use of 10 hybrid gas-electric cars in the City fleet – half of the City’s fleet of cars- and the construction of Guelph’s first electric vehicle charging station at Stone Road Mall in 2012; and
  • Improvements to cycling infrastructure that earned the City a Share the Road Cycling Coalition Silver Award in 2014, and which continue to be a focus for improving transportation in the community.

Guelph City Council recently endorsed joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared commitment to measurable climate and energy initiatives. Members of the Global Covenant commit to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to implement and report on plans to achieve those targets. In Guelph, this work is already underway as part of the CEI update.

In early March, Mayor Guthrie and City staff participated in a Change for Climate Summit in Edmonton, which was hosted by the Global Covenant of Mayors in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Mayor of Edmonton. At the Summit, Mayors from across Canada and around the world discussed how municipalities can influence research efforts and address data gaps on climate change. While in Edmonton and Vancouver, Mayor Guthrie also met with municipal active transportation staff to learn about those cities’ bicycle infrastructure, trails, and transit programs.

The GLOBE Climate Leadership Awards were presented with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal department of Environment and Climate Change, and in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.


“Guelph is walking the talk when it comes to climate change and energy, and I’m proud our efforts have been recognized with this prestigious national award. This award belongs to our whole community. As we continue to show leadership on this file, we continue to connect with other cities, share data and metrics, and find solutions to common problems..”
– City of Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie

“In Guelph, we’re all environmental leaders. We see efforts to address climate change from individual community members, big and small local business, and from our City’s administration and Council. The initiatives we’re being recognized for with this award are the result of enormous staff effort and community involvement.”
– Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

“Businesses and municipalities across Canada are at the forefront of action on climate change. I’m proud to recognize these exceptional local and corporate leaders working hard to reduce carbon pollution, promote more sustainable practices, and put clean energy solutions into action. Their innovation, creativity, and leadership will help inspire others to take action – making our communities stronger, creating new jobs and business opportunities, and growing Canada’s clean economy.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“These outstanding Canadian businesses and municipalities are shining examples of what leadership in the 21st century looks like. They are paving the way for other organizations to not only survive but thrive in the clean economy.”
– Mike Gerbis, CEO, GLOBE Series


2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Award news release
City of Guelph application for the 2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Award
Supporting video for award application


Image shows a group of 12 people standing in front of a waterside view

The 2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Awards recipients. Photo by John Lehmann.

People standing in a line in front of a screen

Guelph accepts it’s GLOBE Forum award for Large Municipal Trailblazer Climate Leadership. Left to right: Mike Gerbis, CEO GLOBE Series; Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie; Deputy CEO Scott Stewart, City of Guelph; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.


GLOBE Series is a Canadian-based convener of events that educate, empower, and connect leaders in pursuit of a cleaner, more prosperous world. Since 1990, our events have brought together over 170,000 participants from business, government and civil society across 97 countries. GLOBE Series’ flagship event is GLOBE Forum, North America’s largest and longest-running Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business, which takes place in Vancouver every two years. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @GLOBE Series

Media Contact

Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
Corporate Energy, Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3324

City sharing groundwater modeling analysis with Nestlé Waters Canada to meet new provincial guidelines for water-taking permits

Use of City’s model will provide Nestlé Waters Canada with latest science-driven data

Guelph, Ont., March 7, 2018—The City of Guelph has signed an agreement to provide Nestlé Waters Canada with access to analysis from its science-based groundwater flow model through a consultant. The model was developed by the City with the Grand River Conservation Authority and Guelph-Eramosa Township and uses the best available science to determine the effects of water-taking impacts on groundwater availability.

The City’s consultant will add Nestlé Waters Canada’s data into the City’s model and provide Nestlé Waters with the results from the model’s analysis. Nestlé Waters will use the results to inform their permit to take water renewal application to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) expected later this year.

Nestlé Waters Canada’s water taking application will be posted on Ontario’s Environmental Registry after it has been submitted, at which point the public and the City will have an opportunity to review and comment on it.

Changing requirements for permits for bottled water

The MOECC has asked the City to share analysis from its existing groundwater flow model with Nestlé Waters Canada to support new requirements for permit-to-take-water applications for companies that bottle water. Nestlé Waters Canada has agreed to use the City’s existing, peer-reviewed model which, once it includes the Nestlé Waters Canada data, will provide the best available analysis on groundwater for the area.

“It’s important that people understand that this data sharing agreement is not an endorsement for Nestlé Water Canada’s water taking applications, rather it’s a matter of ensuring the best available science is used to evaluate any water taking application and is therefore in our community’s best interests,” says Peter Busatto, General Manager of Environmental Services for the City. “The public told the Province they wanted science-based policy decisions around water bottling. This data sharing supports that by using a peer-reviewed, science-based model to determine what impacts Nestlé Waters Canada’s water takings will have on the aquifer.”

The City will continue to provide formal comment on any water-taking application or renewal that Nestlé Waters Canada submits, including those that use data from the City’s model.

Better data

Data sharing will benefit both the City and the Guelph community in a number of ways, including:

  • Improving and updating the City’s model by incorporation of Nestlé Waters Canada data from hydrogeological (occurrence and distribution of water) studies on their property;
  • Ensuring the best possible science is used to assess water-taking applications and renewals; and
  • Ensuring that water taking permit applications in the same area are using the same science and data for analysis.

The City will retain ownership and control over the model and any data that is added. Nestlé Waters Canada will pay for the consultant’s costs and the consultant will work through the City, providing results from the model to Nestlé Waters Canada.

The City is also working with partners to see how its model might be shared more widely.

About the groundwater model

The Grand River Conservation Authority, as the Source Protection Authority for the Lake Erie Source Protection Region, led the development of the computer model in collaboration with the City of Guelph and Guelph/Eramosa Township. The model was developed to support Source Water Protection efforts and looks at how much water enters a watershed, is stored, and leaves the watershed.


Media contact

Peter Busatto, General Manager
Environmental Services, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3430

Never miss your waste collection day again!

Free Guelph Waste app helps you sort too

Download the free Guelph Waste app or sign up for reminders

Guelph, Ont., March 8, 2018 – The City of Guelph is making it easier for residents to get information about waste sorting and collection schedules through a new mobile app.

The free, easy-to-use Guelph Waste app for Apple and Android devices is now available in app stores. Residents who can’t use the app can still sign up for waste collection reminders at

“This new app is great for anyone living or working in Guelph,” says Heather Connell, manager of Integrated Services with Solid Waste Resources. “It takes just one minute to sign up for waste reminders, and the app gives you on-the-go sorting info at your fingertips.”

By signing up, residents can:

  • Get collection day reminders by email, phone call, text message and/or Twitter
  • Find out how to sort waste items using the Waste Wizard search function
  • Download their waste collection schedule to their personal Google, iCal or Microsoft Outlook calendar
  • Get a PDF copy of their waste collection schedule to print

Residents who already get waste collection reminders were automatically upgraded to the new tool on March 1 and will keep getting reminders as usual.

Residents without smartphones or internet access can sign up for telephone reminders by calling 519-767-0598.

Media contact

Heather Connell, Manager, Integrated Services
Solid Waste Resources
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2082

Call for nominations: 2018 Mayor’s Awards

Guelph, Ont., March 7, 2018 – Nominations are now open for the 2018 Mayor’s Awards, which recognize people who make the city a better place through volunteer service.

Nominations can be submitted online at, or by contacting the Mayor’s Office at 519-837-5643 or to request a nomination form. The deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018.

While it is not mandatory for nominees to live or work in Guelph to be eligible for the Mayor’s Award, they must volunteer in Guelph. Nominees’ achievements may include a mix of volunteer and paid efforts. Self-nominations are not eligible.

The Mayor’s Awards have been presented every year since 1997, when they were established by Mayor Joe Young. Honourees have been recognized for volunteer contributions to many different aspects of community life, including arts and culture; health and mental health; community building; athletics; and the environment. Profiles of honourees from 2001 to 2016 can be found at

“Recognizing outstanding citizens through the Mayor’s Awards is one of my favourite parts of being Mayor. This is a chance for us to shine a light on community leaders and unsung heroes who are making our city better, each and every day,” said Mayor Guthrie.

The 2018 Mayor’s Awards will be presented on June 28 at the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala, hosted every year by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. The gala is Guelph’s premier appreciation event where the city’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated. For more information about the Awards of Excellence, visit the Guelph Chamber of Commerce website at

For more information

Kate Sullivan
Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558

City of Guelph bidding for $10 million in Smart Cities Challenge

Smart Cities Challange Canada

Guelph, Ont., March 6, 2018 – The City of Guelph is leading a bid that will capitalize on the community’s expertise in agri-tech, food sciences and agriculture, and could result in a $10 million prize through the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

“Guelph has a huge depth of experience and knowledge in agriculture and food, along with a well-deserved reputation for thinking outside the box. The Smart Cities Challenge is the perfect opportunity to use these strengths to tackle complex food problems,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

The Canada-wide challenge encourages communities to improve quality of life through a smart cities approach which involves innovation, data and connected technology. Finalists will receive funding to develop proposals. Winning communities will be awarded prize money to support implementation. Guelph is eligible for a $10 million funding prize, along with other communities with populations under 500,000.

“Through the Smart Cities Challenge, the City of Guelph, technical experts and industry innovators will work together to help tackle food problems with solutions that can be applied in our community and around the world,” says Derrick Thomson, Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Guelph is working with local partners and businesses to develop its bid. Visit Cities must submit their proposals to the challenge by April 24, 2018. Finalists will be selected this summer and will receive a $250,000 grant to develop their final proposal. Final submissions must be submitted in winter 2019. Winners will be announced spring 2019.

Media Contact

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2255