Remaining drums removed from Bristol Street Park

No liquid waste or hazardous materials were found

Guelph, Ont., July 21, 2022 – Excavation of the remaining drums in and around Bristol Street Park is now complete, and the park is fully restored and open to visitors again.

In April this year, City staff closed the park to remove buried drums that remained after the original 2014 excavation. While several drums were removed, no liquid waste and no hazardous materials were found. As each buried drum was removed, the excavated areas were backfilled with new soil suitable for residential and parkland use. Every precaution was taken to ensure the excavation work was completed safely with minimal impact and all materials were removed from the site for safe disposal. Testing showed that conditions at the site did not affect the water quality in Howitt Creek or the Speed River.

More trees planted

Some trees and shrubs were removed or trimmed to safely access the buried drums however, the Kentucky Coffee trees, an at-risk species in Ontario, were transplanted in the park and over 100 new trees and shrubs, native to our region, were also planted.

The excavation work improved the environmental conditions of the park, and the additional native trees and shrubs make the space even more inviting, provide suitable habitat for wildlife and contribute to our overall efforts to increase our tree canopy in Guelph by 40 per cent.

New trees planted in the park

New trees planted in the park

Site history

In 2014, the City was upgrading water infrastructure in the area when drums were discovered underground. City staff notified Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the drums and materials were tested, contained, and removed from the site. Further analysis of the surface soil, air quality and groundwater indicated there was no current risk from the undisturbed drums to residents and the environment. Since then, City staff worked with specialized remediation professionals to evaluate the site to make sure we could remove the remaining buried drums safely and effectively. The City shared its progress with the MECP and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health throughout this project.


Media Contact

Kyle VanderMeer, Environmental Engineer
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3892
[email protected]