Guelph, Ont., June 29, 2021– Guelph City Council has approved the updated Guelph Trail Master Plan (GTMP) following community support at the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 7.
The GTMP guides how the City will plan, design, fund, build and maintain Guelph’s trail system for the next 10 years using professional expertise of staff, the previous successes of the 2007 master plan and community feedback from 1,700 responses received during engagement.
In addition to passing the Guelph Trail Master Plan, Council directed staff to re-examine options for an underpass at Speedvale Avenue and to evaluate options to develop a short-term trail connection under the Hanlon Expressway. Staff are already looking to create street-level pedestrian connections on Speedvale Avenue using lights to help pedestrians and cyclists cross.
Staff will also work to establish a trail working group that supports the implementation of the GTMP and its recommendations. While the roles and responsibilities of the committee haven’t been established yet, it will include City staff and members of the public from key stakeholder groups.
“We’re excited by the next phase of this opportunity to partner with key supporters of Guelph’s trail network and get future ready together,” says Luke Jefferson, manager of Park and Trail Development. “We recognize that our trail partners are excellent resources for this community. We will engage these advocates to help ensure Guelph continues to have excellent access to trails.
All 13 of the GTMP goals will be implemented over time. These include creating new trail design guidelines, implementing new signage and wayfinding, expanding winter maintenance, building new trails and growing existing ones, using data to drive decision making, building upon the City’s active transportation network and supporting community-led trail projects.
What it means for the City’s budget
Implementing the GTMP adds a $32.4 million capital cost to the City’s budget over the next ten years to maintain the current service levels as Guelph grows. This does not include operating costs for trail maintenance each year. Carrying out the goals of the GTMP means investment through the City’s operating and capital budgets. The City will fund this initiative with support from development charges and grants, in addition to taxpayer funds. Budget requests will be presented to Council through the budget process as elements of the GTMP are implemented.
Luke Jefferson, Manager
Park and Trail Development, Parks
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2527