News Release

Guelph Transit offers free service on Clean Air Day

Riders can take bus for free to Guelph Transit Priority Project public event

Guelph, ON, June 1, 2015 – On national Clean Air Day, Wednesday, June 3, Guelph Transit is offering free transit service all day.

“Guelph Transit invites everyone to leave their cars at home and try transit for free on Clean Air Day,” says Phil Meagher, General Manager of Guelph Transit. “Guelph is a well-connected community offering not only a public transit system but also a bike lane network designed for active and sustainable transportation.”

In addition to a free bus ride, community members considering environmentally-friendly travel options can stop by Guelph Central Station between 9 a.m. and noon to pick up free transit and cycling maps, and learn more about accessibility features on Guelph Transit buses and cycling safety.

Also on June 3, the City invites riders to learn about the Guelph Transit Priority Project at City Hall from 6 to 9 p.m. This public event will identify transit priority measures for the short, medium, and long-term, and provide information about developing bus rapid transit on key corridors in Guelph.

About Clean Air Day

Clean Air Day raises awareness and encourages action on clean air and climate change issues. Canadians can show their commitment by participating in activities that contribute to cleaner air, healthier communities and a better quality of life for all. On Clean Air Day consider choosing an environmentally-friendly travel options such as cycling, walking, carpooling or taking public transit.

About Bicycle-friendly Guelph

The Bicycle-Friendly Guelph Initiative is working to make cycling safer and more convenient in hopes of tripling the number of daily bike trips in Guelph by 2018.

In 2014, Guelph was named one of Ontario’s most bicycle-friendly cities by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.

Resources

Guelph Transit maps and schedules
Guelph cycling map

For more information

Phil Meagher, General Manager
Guelph Transit
519-822-1260 extension 3321
phil.meagher@guelph.ca

Dry conditions move Outside Water Use to Level 1 Yellow

Enforced watering restrictions now in effect

Guelph, ON, June 1, 2015—Due to local weather and water flow conditions, the City of Guelph is moving to Level 1 Yellow watering restrictions under the Outside Water Use Program effective immediately. At Level 1 Yellow, lawn watering is restricted to 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even dates by address number—odd numbered houses are permitted to water on odd numbered calendar dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.

“Even with the significant weekend rainfall, overall rain is still much lower than the seasonal average,” said Wayne Galliher, Manager of Technical Services for City of Guelph Water Services. “Our community has always been very good about complying with watering restrictions, and with hot, dry conditions expected to continue this summer, we need residents and businesses to continue their commitment to conserving water outside and inside.”

Indicators including rainfall, local river flows and water demands influence required changes to watering restrictions. The lack of significant rainfall is the primary driver of the current change from Blue to Yellow. Continued monitoring and consultation with the Grand River Conservation Authority will determine the need for further changes throughout the season.

Other outdoor water uses such as tree and decorative or food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at–home vehicle washing are permitted without restriction. At–home vehicle washing is only permitted using a hose with a shut–off nozzle, or with a filled bucket. Responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use is strongly encouraged at all times.

How to report a concern

To report a possible infraction of the Outside Water Use Program, please call By-law Compliance at 519-837-2529 or fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool at guelph.ca. For reasons of privacy, please don’t post pictures of private property to social media to report an infraction. Calling or completing an on-line 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 By-law Enforcement Officers. By-law officers will issue a $130 ticket or court summons per program non-compliance event observed.

Lawn and garden care tips

Lawns

  • Set your mower blade to its highest setting and only your cut 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
  • Water lawns only once per week; use a rain gauge and apply 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the most
  • Use oscillating sprinklers that shoot low to the ground instead of fan­–style sprinklers which lose more water to evaporation and wind

Gardens

  • Use mulch in gardens to retain moisture; apply 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) deep
  • Use a soaker hose or watering can to water plants at their roots and reduce water lost to evaporation
  • Group garden plants by water needs and water only those that need water
  • Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area

Visit guelph.ca/ourstoconserve or call 519-822-1260 extension 2153 for more information about the Outside Water Use Program and for more tips on outdoor water conservation.

For more information

Wayne Galliher, Manager of Technical Services
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2106
wayne.galliher@guelph.ca

Learn, play, collaborate and create with the Library’s new Tech B@r

Have you ever needed tech support but didn’t know where to go? Want to test drive new technologies before purchasing them? Think you’re too old to discover new devices? Your Guelph Public Library (GPL) is here to help and support you as you learn, play, collaborate, and create great ideas with new technologies! The GPL is launching its new Tech B@r on Friday, May 29th at the Main Library (100 Norfolk Street).

The #GPLTechB@r will feature:

  • a Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer
  • a Makerbot Digitizer 3D Scanner
  • an iMAC desktop computer
  • a Windows 8 computer
  • iPads
  • Chromebooks
  • Windows Surface Tablets
  • Kobo eReaders
  • Makey Makey circuitry invention kits
  • a Raspberry Pi
  • a Daisy Reader

Tech B@r devices will be available to all library customers for use within the main library during regular hours. The #GPLTechB@r will be also offering technology demonstrations and assistance, creative circuitry activities for kids, beginner Python coding projects, and guidance to help your design and print your own 3D objects!

If you are new to a device and anticipate requiring assistance, GPL recommends you visit the main library between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday for convenient walk up tech support! Stop by the main library, chat with friendly library staff, and find out more about the exciting possibilities of maker technology!

About the Guelph Public Library

The Guelph Public Library Board and staff envision a future where our customers know us, trust us, are proud of us, and inspire us.  The Guelph Public Library benefits the entire community by providing lifelong learning opportunities.  We believe in the freedom to read, learn and discover.

For more information

Steve Kraft, CEO
skraft@GuelphPL.ca
519-824-6220 extension 224
www.guelphpl.ca

Guelph selected for global strategic tourism initiative

Guelph, ON, May 29, 2015 – Guelph has been selected for DestinationNEXT, a global strategic tourism initiative to help grow local tourism economies.

Colleen Clack, general manager of Culture, Tourism and Community Investment, made the announcement at Monday night’s City Council meeting and explained the initiative is a partnership between the City of Guelph and Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4).

“Guelph has huge potential to grow its tourism sector, and this project will help us develop that potential—at no cost to local property taxpayers,” said Guelph’s Mayor, Cam Guthrie.

Clack added, “The due diligence and review processes undertaken in the past few years have served as important building blocks for tourism development in Guelph. This work has been a key factor in positioning Guelph as a city ready to develop a strategic road map for tourism development, and in fact, it’s one of the main reasons Guelph was selected to participate in DestinationNEXT.”

The focus of DestinationNEXT, an initiative of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), is to help destination marketing organizations, such as Visit Guelph, assess their current positions and provide them with practical strategies for success in a dramatically changing tourism world.

“The 2014 public consultation identified the need for a strategy that engages all key aspects of the community. The appeal of the DestinationNEXT project is its focus on developing a community-embraced vision and strategy,” added Clack.

InterVISTAS, an internationally recognized travel and consulting firm based in Vancouver has been engaged to work with the City and RTO4 on the DestinationNEXT initiative.

David Peacock, CEO of RTO4, said he successfully campaigned for InterVISTAS to recommend the City of Guelph to the DMAI for this pilot project “based on its tourism assets, festival and events reputation, historic downtown, and sport tourism capacity, as well as its progressive approach to redefining the role of tourism within the greater city strategy.”

The Township of Centre Wellington has also been selected by DMAI. “These two destinations represent distinctly different tourism environments—one urban with a high level of infrastructure, commerce and services, and one rural with a focus in transient or leisure tourism,” said Peacock. Guelph and the Centre Wellington are the only two communities in Canada participating in DestinationNEXT.

RTO4, a member of DMAI, has committed up to $170,000 over the next two years to execute the DestinationNEXT process. That process will see Guelph create a strategic tourism plan and fund the implementation of that plan. For its part, the City of Guelph will supply staff resources over the course of the project to facilitate public consultation.

In addition, a 20-person steering committee, representing a spectrum of stakeholders including business, government, public, and education, will champion the project. The committee is responsible for activating a community-embraced tourism vision and strategy for Guelph.

Clack said she expects this work will result in a “tourism vision that is embraced by the community and sets the course for tourism to become a significant economic driver. The City of Guelph is thrilled to have been chosen for this project.”

Peacock added, “These engagements are the first of their kind for DestinationNEXT in the world and constitute an in-market development and tests of the DestinationNEXT process that will be shared with the 600 plus members of the DMAI.”

Interim results from the Guelph project will be presented by InterVISTAS to the general membership at the DMAI annual convention in Texas this July.

About RT04

RTO4 is one of 13 regional tourism offices in Ontario. Established by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, RTO4 services the region encompassing Perth, Huron, Waterloo and Wellington.

RTO4 provides leadership and support to the area’s tourism economy. In 2014, the RTO4 played a coordinating role in developing sport tourism in the region by establishing a Regional Sport Tourism Office.

For more information

Ella Pauls
Manager of Cultural Affairs and Tourism
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2589
ella.pauls@guelph.ca

David Peacock
CEO
Regional Tourism Organization Four Inc.
519-271-7000
peacock@rto4.ca

 

Summertime fun in Guelph’s Market Square

Free, family-friendly events and activities

Guelph, ON, May 29, 2015 – The City of Guelph is pleased to announce its summer lineup of free events and activities in Market Square.

Back by popular demand are Movies in the Square, John Galt Day festivities, and Rock the Square. New this year is a National Aboriginal Day celebration hosted by the City.

National Aboriginal Day, observed annually on June 21, invites Canadians from all walks of life to celebrate the rich culture, unique heritage and notable achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of Canada. Demonstrations, drum circles, music and dancing will take place in Market Square from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and all are welcome to share in the celebration.

This year’s Movies in the Square series offers a variety of family-friendly favourites. Taking place on select Fridays throughout the summer and beginning at 9 p.m., families, friends, and movie fans are invited to bring a lawn chair (and blankets if cool) and cozy up for a drive-in experience minus the car. The giant screen will show Madagascar on July 3, Despicable Me on July 17, The Mighty Ducks on August 7, Kung Fu Panda on August 21, and The Princess Bride on September 11. This movie series is sponsored by Meridian Credit Union.

John Galt Day is Guelph’s civic holiday and a chance for the community to celebrate its city. On Saturday, August 1, the public is invited to enjoy interactive entertainment, face painting and water play in front of City Hall, as well as walking tours to Guelph Museum’s historic Locomotive 6167.

Rock the Square will round out the summer programming on Friday, September 25 as a kick-off to Guelph’s Culture Days weekend.

All events, except Rock the Square, are rain or shine. The Market Square interactive water feature is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and will remain open throughout most activities and events.

Story Behind the Square

Guelph’s Market Square is a modern interpretation of the City’s original downtown Market Place district. Opened in 2012, this scenic gathering place is ideal for hosting events and celebrations and is the perfect place to meet up with friends. The central attraction is the interactive water feature (that is transformed into a skating rink in the winter) with eye catching lighting and plenty stone benches to sit and relax on.

For more information

Jen Rafter
Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629
jen.rafter@guelph.ca

 

Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service receives Service Award for Geriatric Excellence

Guelph, ON, May 27, 2015 – Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service (GWEMS) was honoured last Friday evening at the 12th annual Service Awards for Geriatric Excellence.

GWEMS took home a Service Award for Geriatric Excellence in the organization category for its Community Paramedicine Program and for demonstrating dedication, leadership and innovation towards care of seniors in the community. Jane McKinnon Wilson, of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo Wellington Dufferin branch, put forth the nomination and there were five other nominees.

“We are honoured to receive a SAGE in recognition of the Community Paramedicine Program. This award highlights our dedication, leadership and innovation in providing the highest quality pre-hospital patient care to our aging population through the integration of medical and social services across Guelph and Wellington County,” says Shawn Armstrong, general manager of Emergency Services at the City of Guelph.

The winner in the organization category had to meet the following criteria: highly responsive to the needs of seniors; provides a high-level and/or broad range of services to seniors and their families; demonstrates coordination and linkage with other services; demonstrates dedication, leadership and innovation; and uses best practices.

Leanne Swantko, deputy chief of GWEMS, accepted the award at the SAGE award ceremony in Stoney Creek on Friday, May 22. During her acceptance speech, Swantko thanked all paramedics for making a difference in their community.

About SAGE

SAGE, a joint initiative of the Regional Geriatric Program central and St. Peter’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, formally recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in positively influencing the health, independence, and quality of life of older adults. Nominations in six categories are typically received from Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin and Halton.

About the Community Paramedicine Program

The Community Paramedicine Program, funded by the Ministry of Health Long-Term Care, was started by Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service last November. The program consists of two components—Paramedic Referrals to the Community Care Access Centre, and Community Health Awareness by Paramedics. The program is designed to reduce the number of repeat emergency medical calls and emergency department visits and hospital re-admissions among the senior population in Guelph and Wellington County.

For more information

Leanne Swantko
Deputy Chief
Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service
519-822-1260 extension 2105
leanne.swantko@guelph.ca

 

 

City of Guelph wins award for leadership in environmental conservation

Guelph, ON, May 25, 2015 – Ontario Nature presented the City of Guelph with the 2014 Lee Symmes Municipal Award on Saturday in recognition of the City’s commitment to the natural environment.

The award acknowledges the City’s leading-edge Natural Heritage System policies developed and implemented over the past 12 years.

“The City is honoured to receive the Lee Symmes Municipal Award in recognition of our Natural Heritage System policies and related work,” says Todd Salter, general manager, Planning, Urban Design and Building Services. “This conservation award is evidence of Guelph’s environmental commitment to the long-term protection of the City’s natural heritage features and areas. This environmental achievement would be not possible without the hard work and dedication of City staff, successive City Councils and community stakeholders.”

Todd Salter accepted the award on behalf of the City of Guelph at the Ontario Nature award ceremony in Cambridge on Saturday, May 23.

About the Lee Symmes Municipal Award and Ontario Nature

The Lee Symmes Municipal Award recognizes municipalities that demonstrate community leadership and exceptional achievement in planning or implementing programs that protect and regenerate the natural environment within a community.

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Since it was established as the Federation of Ontario Naturalists in 1931, Ontario Nature has been a champion for nature in Ontario. Today, Ontario Nature’s voice is sustained by a Nature Network of more than 150 member organizations and 30,000 members and supporters.

About the City’s Natural Heritage System

The City’s Natural Heritage System is a combination of natural heritage features and areas including wetlands, rivers, woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitats, restoration areas and wildlife crossings. The Official Plan policies for the Natural Heritage System establish minimum standards for development within the city to protect natural heritage features and areas including:

  • Woodland and wetland features, including requirements for protective buffers.
  • Portions of the Paris Galt Moraine.
  • Support for the management, enhancement and restoration of the City’s Urban Forest and the Urban Forest Management Plan.

For more information

Todd Salter, General Manager
Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2395
todd.salter@guelph.ca

City asks residents to check their ash trees for emerald ash borer

Guelph, ON, May 21, 2015 – The City is asking residents and land owners to watch for signs of the emerald ash borer (EAB) on their property and to know what options are available for managing an infestation.

“The City has developed a plan to handle the EAB infestation of City-owned ash trees; however, much of Guelph’s urban forest is located on private land,” says Timea Filer, urban forestry field technologist. “We ask residents to check their private property for ash trees, assess the health of those trees, and treat or remove them if their condition calls for it. We all have a role to play in keeping our tree canopy healthy.”

Property owners are responsible for managing an EAB infestation on private property. Trees can be managed either through treatment or removal.

Ash trees can be treated with TreeAzin®, a natural pest control product registered under the Pest Control Products Act for use against the EAB. An ash tree in good health may still benefit if TreeAzin® is administered between April and the end of August, as set out by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Residents are encouraged to check with a certified arborist or tree care professional to assess whether their ash tree is suitable for treatment.

An infested ash tree that is dead or dying can be a hazard and may be in violation of the City’s Property Standards By-Law. To have infested limbs or trees removed safely, a property owner should contact a certified arborist or tree care company.

The City’s Tree By-law may affect tree removal on properties larger than 0.2 hectares (0.5 acres), and a tree removal permit may be required. Property owners may be eligible for an exemption from a tree removal permit if the tree is found to be infested with EAB.

About the Emerald Ash Borer

The EAB is a highly destructive, non-native, wood-boring beetle that feeds under the bark of ash trees. The City has been monitoring its presence since it was first discovered in Canada in 2002. The EAB was confirmed in the south end of Guelph in the fall of 2011 and in 2013 testing confirmed that the EAB was present throughout the city. Now established, it is expected that close to 100 per cent of Guelph’s untreated ash trees will be killed over the next 10 years.

For more information

Timea Filer
Urban Forestry Field Technologist
Parks and Recreation
519-822-1260 extension 3352
timea.filer@guelph.ca

Guelph Central Station temporarily moving to St. George’s Square, May 23 and 24

Guelph, ON, May 20, 2015 – Guelph Central Station will close temporarily on May 23 and 24 as a result of the Galt District Energy System construction taking place along Macdonell and Wellington streets. During this time, Guelph Transit buses will use alternate platform locations within St. George’s Square.

“Guelph Transit is aware the temporary relocation of Guelph Central Station into St. George’s Square will impact weekend riders, and we apologize for this inconvenience,” said Phil Meagher, general manager of Guelph Transit. “Guelph Transit is carrying out the temporary relocation on a weekend when the least number of riders are using the service.”

Updates and complete detour details are available online at guelphtransit.ca > service advisories.

The timing of the relocation is weather dependent.

Background

Information about district energy in Guelph.

For more information

Phil Meagher
General Manager
Guelph Transit
519-822-1260 extension 3321
phil.meagher@guelph.ca

City and Guelph Professional Firefighters’ Association file for conciliation

Guelph, ON, May 12, 2015 – After seven negotiation meetings between the City of Guelph and the Guelph Professional Firefighters’ Association (GPFFA), both parties are seeking assistance from a Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator.

Two more negotiation meetings are scheduled for June 9 and 10. Conciliation is a next step in the collective bargaining process when a union or employer requests assistance from the Ministry of Labour to help the parties reach a freely-negotiated collective agreement.

The City is hoping a Ministry-appointed conciliator will help the two parties come to terms and avoid going to arbitration.

“The current proposal from the GPFFA exceeds Council’s mandate. With the help of a conciliator we are hoping to reach a more affordable settlement that provides equitable and competitive compensation for Guelph firefighters, and is reasonable for Guelph citizens,” says David Godwaldt, Guelph’s general manager of Human Resources.

Negotiation updates and related news are posted at guelph.ca/gpffa.

For more information

David Godwaldt, General Manager
Human Resources
519-822-1260 extension 2848
david.godwaldt@guelph.ca