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 guelph.ca/goldiemillpark.
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.