‘The Family’ fountain in St. George’s Square gets mechanical makeover

Guelph, Ont., September 3, 2021 – Guelph’s iconic ‘The Family’ sculpture and fountain is a summertime attraction for visitors to St. George’s Square in the city’s downtown core, but this year the water was kept off to allow for much-needed repairs to the fountain.

“While we share in the community’s disappointment that the water didn’t flow this summer, repairs to the underground mechanical setup will ensure the fountain is able to operate efficiently, safely and sustainably for years to come,” says Tammy Adkin, manager, Museums and Culture at the City.

In addition to the underground mechanical work and plumbing for the 34-year-old fountain, new jets are being installed in the basin to improve its overall display. The sculpture, assessed and treated by a public art conservator in 2017, remains in good condition.

Repairs and renovations are estimated to cost $130,000 from the City’s capital project budget. It’s expected the fountain’s water will be turned on in time for the Victoria Day long weekend next May.

About ‘The Family’ sculpture and fountain

Prominently located in the heart of Guelph’s downtown, ‘The Family’ is a sculpture depicting a life-sized, bronze man, woman and child in the centre of a fountain. The nude figures were sculpted by renowned Canadian artist William McElcheran (1927-1999), and unveiled by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé on July 4, 1985.

The idea for the sculpture was first proposed by a group of Guelph residents of Italian descent who wanted to present the City with a gift for its downtown. The Family, fountain and sculpture, is dedicated to the people who immigrated to Canada, and to the community of Guelph. The adjoining frog waterspout, installed in 1987, was the artist’s gift to the community.

For more Information

Tammy Adkin, Manager
Museums and Culture, Culture and Recreation
519-836-1221 extension 2775
[email protected]