News Release

City hosts John Galt Day celebration August 1

Wilson Street pop-up new addition to annual festivities

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2015 – On August 1, the City will host its annual John Galt Day celebration featuring free activities and family-friendly entertainment in Market Square.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public is invited to explore craft zones led by Guelph School of Art and the West End Recreation Centre; take shots on net at the Guelph Storm Hockey Tunnel; play in the interactive water feature; and rock out to the sounds of Envirodrum. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles and temporary tattoos will be provided, and Cleo the Clown and her Painting Pals will be onsite during the festivities. Attendees are also invited to bring along an old T-shirt for re-purposing at the ‘Tread on It’ interactive T-shirt printing booth.

In addition to music, games and crafts, John Galt Day will feature the Wilson Street Promenade—a new placemaking initiative spearheaded by students Cyrille Viola and Calen Hamelin who are enrolled in the University of Guelph Masters of Landscape Architecture program.

The urban design project will include a pop-up park and beach, vendors from the Farmers’ Market, temporary art installations, and activities for visitors.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the City on this project. We want to encourage community members to think about their urban spaces and how they can be further used,” says Calen. The Wilson Street Promenade will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to test out a project like this by leveraging an existing public event,” says Danna Evans, manager of Theatres and Civic Events for the City of Guelph. “Expanding the event space to include Wilson Street aligns with the City’s goal to enliven and animate downtown public spaces.”

More details about the Wilson Street Promenade and John Galt Day festivities can be found at

About John Galt

John Galt was a prominent Scottish novelist who founded Guelph in 1827. As the superintendent of The Canada Company, a large land company in London, England, he conceived the idea of building a town to stimulate and direct the agricultural settlement of the area. Galt planned the community with its distinctive radial design, quite different than the gridiron plan of most cities, making Guelph a unique and special place.

For more information

Jen Rafter
Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629


Guelph Transit introducing automated next stop announcements on buses

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2015 – Starting Monday, July 27, Guelph Transit will introduce an automated next stop calling and display system.

“Guelph Transit riders can expect to see and hear bus stop names upon approach,” explains Phil Meagher, general manager of Guelph Transit. “The automated next stop system will make the bus riding experience more accessible and convenient for riders and is in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.”

The new system will be tested on six conventional buses and two mobility buses in July, with the rest of Guelph Transit vehicles being equipped by the end of August.


Guelph Transit fares, schedules and route planning
Guelph Transit Mobility Service

For more information

Phil Meagher, General Manager
Guelph Transit
519-822-1260 extension 3321

City unveils design concepts for Riverside Park’s new play space

Public can vote on preferred option until August 2

Guelph, ON, July 14, 2015 – The City is seeking public input on six design concepts for Riverside Park’s new play space as it plans to replace the aging playground equipment.

From now until August 2, residents can vote online or in person for a preferred design concept. Options show a variety of themes ranging from ships and castles to tree houses and nature inspired settings.

The design concepts can be viewed and voted for online at using MindMixer or in person at City Hall, 1 Carden Street, or at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, located at 683 Woolwich Street. Comments are also accepted by phone at 519-837-5618 or by emailing

During the vision phase—April 13 to May 2—residents helped create a wish list of play components they wanted to see in the new play space. These include swings, varying climbers, multiple slides, sand areas, zip lines, and natural wood features.

“This well-received engagement process involves the opportunity for residents to decide just how this destination park will be equipped—ensuring the playground is not only used but loved,” says Rory Barr Templeton, a landscape planner with the City. “Based on what we heard in the spring, we asked for proposals from play equipment companies to include as many of these elements as possible.”

He adds, “There was also strong desire from the community to make the majority of the play equipment accessible using rubberized surfacing, ramps and links to existing trails within the park. Companies were also encouraged to design a space that is programmed and non-programmed with varying challenges for children aged 18 months to 12 years as well as a for a variety of mental and physical abilities.”

When choosing new playground equipment staff considers equipment that maximizes play value, diversity in play equipment, low-maintenance options, vandalism records, and available budget.

In August, staff will review all comments received from the concept phase to prequalify a play equipment company whose design received the majority of public support. Staff will work with the chosen company to revise the park design based on additional community feedback.

The final phase—to take place this fall—will give residents one more opportunity to review the final park design. Construction is expected to take place in 2016.

The City is responsible for maintaining 87 park playgrounds. Depending on use and location, play structures have an average life span of 12 to 15 years. This year, as part of its annual playground replacement program, the City is replacing aging equipment with new structures that meet current Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) standards for children’s playspaces and equipment in four of Guelph’s parks—Riverside, Windsor, Spurline and Mayfield.

For more information

Rory Barr Templeton
Landscape Planner, Development Planning
519-822-1260 extension 2436


Resuming work on Wellington Street site

Guelph, ON, July 13, 2015–On Friday, construction crews resumed work after the City disposed of one drum, metal debris that appeared to be a second drum, and surrounding soil from a construction site near the intersection of Wellington Street and the Hanlon Expressway.

Odours subsided once the materials were removed, and the two workers who experienced nausea on Thursday returned to work on Friday.

Crews stabilized the walls of the excavation area and began improvements along the banks of Howitt Creek that will allow the waterway to return to its normal flow.

Project updates will be posted at .

Removing drums and debris from the site

The City has removed a total of 44 drums from the site since September 2014:


For more information

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

Update on drums removed from Guelph construction site

Guelph, ON, July 9, 2015 – Earlier today, the City announced it found a metal drum on the construction site near the intersection of Wellington Street and the Hanlon Expressway.

Read the announcement from earlier today.

Since then, the City has confirmed that two members of the construction crew experienced some nausea while on site; they were sent to hospital as a precaution and released shortly thereafter.

Also, while removing the affected soil from the site, crews revealed crushed metal debris that appeared to be a second metal drum, meaning the City has removed a total of 44 drums from the site since September 2014:


For more information

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

One more drum removed from Guelph construction site

Odours expected to subside quickly

Guelph, ON, July 9, 2015 – Construction crews found, removed and contained one more metal drum on the construction site near the intersection of Wellington Street and the Hanlon Expressway.

The City has contacted the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and Guelph’s Emergency Services team has investigated the area and advises anyone who is bothered by the odours to remain indoors, and close all doors and windows until the odours subside.

“We understand the odours are unpleasant; we’ve covered the drum and surrounding soil and will remove them as quickly as possible,” said Kealy Dedman, City Engineer.

Residents with questions or concerns about health can call Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 extension 4753.

A gel-like substance was found on the outside of the drum; it did not contain any liquid, and there was no evidence that material leaked into nearby Howitt Creek. The City’s specialized contractor MGI Construction will transport and dispose of the drum and surrounding soil later today. The City expects any related odours to subside quickly.

Since September 2014, 43 170-litre (45-gallon) drums have been removed from the site:

The City and its contractors believed they had completed cleanup activities on the site. The drum removed today was found in the soil barrier between the excavation area and Wellington Street—outside the construction route, and outside the remediation area identified last fall.

Soil quality in the area is the same as it was before construction started, and similar to conditions in other parts of the construction zone. The City will continue monitoring the area as part of its ongoing management of local brownfields and historic landfill sites.

“Our immediate priority is to manage what we’ve found in this construction zone. The City is also evaluating other old waste disposal sites, and will discuss our findings with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change,” added Dedman.

Visit for updates about the Paisley-Clythe watermain.


For more information

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

Government of Canada and FCM support study of environmental impacts of historical coal gasification plant in Guelph

The City of Guelph is posting this news release on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

July 7, 2015, Guelph, ON – The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Raymond Louie, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and Acting Mayor of the City of Vancouver, BC, today announced a Green Municipal Fund TM grant of $175,000 to the City of Guelph. The City is using the funds for soil and groundwater testing as part of a multi-phase environmental study around a former coal gasification plant. Once all phases of the environmental study are complete, the City will determine what steps are required to restore the brownfield site to economically productive use.

“Our Government is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Minister Rickford. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with the FCM — is helping communities like Guelph build a greener future for our citizens.”

“The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically addresses the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Mr. Louie. “The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

“This grant will enable the City of Guelph to conduct a proactive study on a site that is centrally located in our downtown,” said Guelph’s Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We are grateful to the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for their significant support.”

Previous studies found coal tar residuals within and around the site of the former coal gasification plant, now a parking lot and temporary bus terminal. The City of Guelph drilled boreholes and put in wells to monitor the direction and extent of movement of residuals through soil and groundwater.

The City of Guelph and FCM’s Green Municipal Fund will share information gathered and lessons learned with brownfield developers and other municipalities with coal gasification sites.

The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund TM . The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.

Useful resources:

Revitalize your brownfields
Brownfields resources

For more information

City of Guelph
Prasoon Adhikari, P. Eng., PMP, Environmental Engineer
519-822-1260 ext. 2946

Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Maurice Gingues, Media Relations Advisor
Green Municipal Fund

Natural Resources Canada
Alexandra Lemieux, Communications Advisor
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

Community-developed apps now available

Powered by the City’s Open Guelph initiative

Guelph, ON, June 30, 2015 – The City of Guelph has launched the Open Guelph App Gallery—a result of the City’s second Hackathon event last February.

“The apps hosted on the site were developed by members of the Open Data community, for Guelph residents,” says Blair Labelle, general manager, technology and innovation. “The City, and our Open Guelph platform, is serving as the channel to connect developers, residents and City services.”

Each app uses raw data made available by the City’s Open Data initiative to support web and mobile applications to enhance services offered to the public. Currently, the app gallery offers five applications in three categories and the City is looking to grow this number through future Hackathons and other engagement efforts.

Categories include:

Waste Sorting/Collection – a set of three apps designed to help residents sort their waste correctly

City employee contact – one app allows residents to search for City employees by name and provides email addresses

Adopt-A-Stop – similar to Adopt-a-Road programs, this app allows residents to adopt a bus stop, identify bus stop amenities, submit photos and assist the City with managing its bus stop inventory.

To view the Open Guelph App Gallery, visit

For more information

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

Multinational Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) opens new facility in Guelph’s south end

invest_logo                OerlikonBalzersLogo

GUELPH, ON, June 30, 2015 –Today, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie joined European and North American Oerlikon dignitaries, customers, suppliers and local guests in celebrating the grand opening of Oerlikon Balzers’ (Canada) state-of-the art, 30,000 square foot coating centre at 935A Southgate Dr.

“I’m thrilled that Oerlikon has chosen Guelph as the location of its only Canadian operation,” said Mayor Guthrie. “I want to thank Oerlikon for its investment in Guelph, and I want to offer its employees a warm welcome to our city.”

Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) will be expanding its current compliment of 17 employees as the company continues to establish new business relationships in the region. The Guelph facility will allow Oerlikon to meet the needs of its customers more efficiently, including locally based Linamar Corporation.

“Guelph is the perfect location for our company,” says Steve Crowley, President, North America and Director of Operations and Sales, Americas. “We are well positioned close to our customer base and can take advantage of the technology we need to keep us competitive in the cutting tool, mold and die markets.”

City staff worked closely with Oerlikon Balzers (Canada) to find a suitable location for its facility and provided assistance in obtaining site plan and building permit approvals.

Advanced manufacturing continues to be the largest employment sector in Guelph and is a key sector for future investment and growth as identified by Guelph’s Economic Development Strategy, Prosperity 2020.

About Oerlikon Balzers
Oerlikon Balzers is one of the world’s leading suppliers of extremely thin and exceptionally hard coatings that reduce wear and improve the performance of precision components and tools. The company develops integrated services and solutions for the metallization of plastic parts with chrome effects. Oerlikon Balzers operates a dynamically growing network of 106 coating centers in 34 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Oerlikon Balzers—part of the Switzerland-based Oerlikon Group,together with Oerlikon Metco—is part of the Surface Solutions Segment of the (SIX: OERL).

About Invest in Guelph
Invest in Guelph represents the business development outcomes associated with the City of Guelph’s economic development strategy, Prosperity 2020. The purpose is to position and promote Guelph, Ontario as an investment ready and responsive community. For more information on the services provided by Business Development and Enterprise at the City of Guelph please visit

For more information

Jim Mairs
Senior Business Development Consultant
Business Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 2821

Sergio R. Lopez
Manager of Marketing and Communications – Americas
Oerlikon Balzers Coating Mexico
+52 (442) 209 68 33


Pictured left to right: Peter Van Den Diepstraten, of Oerlikon Canada, Mayor Cam Guthrie, Dr. Roland Herb of Oerlikon Surface Solutions (Europe) and Steve Crowley of Oerlikon Balzers (Americas).

City improving development planning processes

Guelph’s IOR Annual Report illustrates significant cultural shift

Guelph, ON, June 29, 2015 – The City of Guelph has released the Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Annual Report, which will be shared with the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee at its July 7 meeting.

The report highlights progress made to date on making Guelph a more welcoming place for business and investment and includes 23 recommendations that aim to strengthen the City’s development approval processes.

“By working collaboratively across City departments, examining existing processes and identifying opportunities for improvement, with involvement from the development industry and business community, Guelph can continue to bring about the changes needed to build a welcoming city for business and investment,” says Todd Salter, general manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services. “The IOR implementation plan is more than just a roadmap with deadlines and deliverables; it requires the City to undergo a significant cultural shift from within. As part of the IOR, staff are examining the City’s internal processes and refining them and their related roles to better serve our stakeholders.”

“I want to thank the many members of the development and business community who have given significant time and expertise to this renewed process. We have made strides in the past several months and are on our way to making Guelph a better place to invest,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

IOR implementation will make it easier for the City, the development industry, business community, and public at large to work together. The City is working to be more efficient, accessible and responsive by:

  • Mapping all of the City’s current Development Approval Processes (DAPs) to identify and begin implementing improvements.
  • Implementing a mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee.
  • Developing and implementing an Interim Rapid Response Protocol for high impact Industrial, Commercial and Institutional development and investment opportunities.
  • Piloting performance measurement systems and targets in the development approval process to monitor and track progress. 
  • Improving the City’s webpages to ensure they are user-friendly and intuitive for those looking to develop, invest or do business in Guelph.

“I genuinely appreciate the time and effort that staff have taken to listen carefully to the thoughts and ideas of the industry and consultants and collaboratively work with us to create ‘made in Guelph’ solutions that will help streamline the process while at the same time ensuring a high quality built environment,” says Scott Arbuckle, associate with IBI Group.

“We commend the City of Guelph on the internal review of its planning processes in an effort to gain efficiencies and improve performance while keeping accountability at the forefront. We are hopeful that the implementation of the IOR will be of benefit to many including the City, the development industry and, in particular, home buyers,” says Larry Kotseff, Senior Executive of Land Development, Fusion Homes.

IOR activities proposed for the remainder of 2015 through 2016 will build on the work completed to date and include implementing enhanced DAPs, developing DAP manuals, formalizing the mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee, piloting the Rapid Response Protocol, using performance measurement systems and targets in DAPs, developing a Customer Service Strategy for the IOR and going live with updated webpages on

For more information

Todd Salter
General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2395