Transforming St. George’s Square in downtown Guelph

City changes traffic signals, adds parking and turns bus shelters into art galleries

GUELPH, ON, May 11, 2012 – With Guelph Transit’s move to Guelph Central Station on Sunday, St. George’s Square is set to become a new creative, community space.

For the next three months, bus shelters in the Square will be transformed into pop-up art galleries showing the work of local artist Ella Dawn McGeough. The colourful artworks will playfully promote discussion about transformation and transition.

The conversion of these shelters into pop-up galleries is the first step in the City’s plan to explore the changing use of St. George’s Square now that City buses are moving into Guelph Central Station on Carden Street on May 13.

“This innovative project will get people thinking about other new and exciting things we can do in St. George’s Square,” said Ian Panabaker, corporate manager, downtown renewal. “As more people explore and experience the square in new and different ways, we expect to hear some great ideas for renewing and revitalizing this important community space.”

The pop-up gallery project was developed in partnership with the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music.

“The School of Fine Art and Music has a long-standing commitment to public art production,” said John Kissick, director, School of Fine Art and Music, University of Guelph. “The opportunity to partner with the City to enliven the downtown core and highlight student work is at the centre of a larger ongoing relationship between the City and the University to enhance the visual culture of community.”

Artist Ella Dawn McGeough is a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Guelph. Her previous work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. The exhibit runs from May 15 until August 3.

Changes to traffic and parking in St. George’s Square

On Monday, May 14, the City will add 30 new parking spaces in St. George’s Square, and begin using a typical three-way traffic signal at the intersection of Wyndham and Quebec Streets.

Starting Monday, pedestrians will use the crosswalk to cross either Wyndham Street or Quebec Street at the same time as vehicular traffic. The current “pedestrian scramble” operation, which allows people to cross the street in all directions while traffic is stopped on both Wyndham and Quebec Streets, will end.

The traffic signal changes will reduce delays for vehicles while giving people enough time to safely move through the intersection. The advanced green signal for vehicles travelling northbound on Wyndham Street will remain, and vehicles will be permitted to turn right during red traffic signals.

In light of these traffic changes the City asks pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to use caution in the area and obey all traffic signals.