Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Wednesday Jan 29th - 2014

Celebrate family fun, Canadian winter at 19th annual Winterfest
GUELPH, ON, January 29, 2014 – This Sunday, February 2 enjoy the Canadian winter as neighbourhoods and community groups celebrate Guelph’s 19th annual Winterfest, sponsored by the City of Guelph and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in motion.
Schedule some family time, put on your warmest hats, scarves and gloves, bring your sense of adventure, and join in the fun. Winterfest events, volunteer-led and organized by community and neighbourhood groups, take place throughout the afternoon and range from tobogganing to ice sculpting. Admission is free. Visit Celebrate family fun, Canadian winter at 19th annual Winterfest
GUELPH, ON, January 29, 2014 – This Sunday, February 2 enjoy the Canadian winter as neighbourhoods and community groups celebrate Guelph’s 19th annual Winterfest, sponsored by the City of Guelph and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in motion.
Schedule some family time, put on your warmest hats, scarves and gloves, bring your sense of adventure, and join in the fun. Winterfest events, volunteer-led and organized by community and neighbourhood groups, take place throughout the afternoon and range from tobogganing to ice sculpting. Admission is free. Visit guelph.ca/winterfest.

Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group
Brant Park, 601 Woodlawn Road East
Brant Avenue Public School, 64 Brant Avenue
1-3 p.m.
Seasonal outdoor games and activities.
City of Guelph
Centennial Arena, 376 College Avenue West
1-3 p.m.
Free family skate.

Downtown Neighbourhood Association
Market Square, 1 Carden Street
Ice rink
1-4 p.m.
Winter community engagement and celebration with hot chocolate and cookies.

Exhibition Park Neighbourhood Group
Exhibition Arena, 70 Division Street
1-3 p.m.
Free family skate from 1-1:50 p.m. Entertainment, crafts, games, refreshments and visiting with your neighbours until 3 p.m.

Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group
Peter Misersky Park, Auden Road
1-3 p.m.
Tobogganing, outdoor games, hot chocolate, pizza and prizes.

Hanlon Creek Neighbourhood Group
Jean Little Public School, 56 Youngman Drive
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Skating, sledding, snow painting, bird watching workshop, indoor crafts, wieners and beans, and refreshments.

Kortright Hills Neighbourhood Group
Mollison Park, 85 Downey Road
1-3 p.m.
Ice skating, scavenger hunt, snow/ice sculptures, snowman building, snow painting and hot chocolate.

Our Three Bridges
Royal City Park, 139 Gordon Street
Ice rink at Water and Mary streets
1-3 p.m.
Skating, games, hot chocolate and cider.

Parkwood Gardens Neighbourhood Group
Gateway Drive Public School, 33 Gateway Drive
2-4 p.m.
Indoor crafts and games, refreshments and lots of outdoor winter fun.

Sunny Acres Park Ice Rink
Sunny Acres Park, 45 Edinburgh Road North
1-4 p.m.
Barbecue, apple cider and hot chocolate, skating and games. Please bring a donation for the food bank.

Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group

Lyon Park, 299 York Road
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Nature walk, ice sculpting, skating and hockey, snowshoe, ski races, ice painting, hot chocolate and fun.

Waverly Neighbourhood Group
Waverly Drive Public School, 140 Waverly Drive
Waverley Park, 76 Balmoral Drive
1-3 p.m.
Winterfest fun, games and refreshments.

West Willow Wood Neighbourhood Group

Westwood Public School, 495 Willow Road
1-4 p.m.
Snacks and warm drinks, indoor and outdoor games, skating and tobogganing.

Kelly Guthrie
Community Engagement Coordinator
Community and Social Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2677
E kelly.guthrie@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jan 29th - 2014

Guelph making progress on storm cleanup, recovery

Guelph, ON, January 24, 2014 – City crews are making progress on storm cleanup and recovery following December’s ice storm.

“Crews have been working tirelessly to cleanup after the recent ice storm, providing brush chipping in residential areas and cleanup in City parks,” said Martin Neumann, the City’s manager of Forestry. “Staff is working on addressing priorities, specifically clearing access and removing hazards on main community trails and high-traffic park areas, as well as removing damaged branches from residential areas.”

The City’s forestry activities are prioritized as per the following phases:

1.    Remove highest-risk hazards: branches hanging over hydro wires, near critical facilities, or blocking roadways or driveways.
2.    Address blocked sidewalks.
3.    Clear community trails and high-traffic park areas.
4.    Remove marked trees, clear boulevards and parks, and prune City trees.
5.    Grind up remaining tree stumps and plant replacement trees.

Phase 1 and 2 of cleanup are complete. It is anticipated Phase 3 will be completed by mid-February, and Phase 4 will be wrapped up by late 2014. Crews are concurrently working on Phase 3 and Phase 4 activities to make the most efficient use of equipment and staff resources. The timing of Phase 5 will be based on Phase 4 completion and is estimated to occur in spring 2015 at the earliest.

City crews are working in the hard-hit Brant Avenue/Muskoka Drive area and proceeding to move southward on the city’s east side. Other hard-hit residential areas of the city, including west of the Hanlon Expressway, north of the Speed River, and older residential areas with more mature trees surrounding the downtown have received attention and may be revisited again.

The Eramosa River and the Hanlon Creek trails have been cleared and are open to the public. Work continues on Royal City and Exhibition parks.

The City is asking for people’s patience and assistance during Guelph’s recovery from recent storms.

•    Please be patient as City crews continue to pick up and chip branches and brush. Branches that are frozen in snow banks or buried in snow will be addressed after the snow melts.
•    Continue to report tree hazards to operations@guelph.ca or call 519-837-5628 and include your name, contact information and the street address where the tree is located.
•    Bring fallen branches and brush from private properties to the Waste Resource Innovation Centre at 110 Dunlop Drive for free disposal.
•    Continue to use extreme caution in parks and on trials.
•    In areas where the sidewalks have not been cleared, pedestrians and motorists are asked to take extra care and watch out for each other.
•    Please keep fire hydrants clear of snow.
•    Help keep storm drains clear.

The City’s winter maintenance service helps ensure community safety every day, and in the event of extreme weather. The City will provide continued updates to the community, and invites people to subscribe to updates using Twitter or Facebook.

For more information

Martin Neumann
Manager of Forestry
Public Works Department
519-822-1260 extension 3337

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Wednesday Jan 29th - 2014

Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,

As at 7:00 am, January 29th 2014

The following is an update on winter control in the City of Guelph.  The City is under a wind chill warning (see below) from Environment Canada which will see temperatures as low as -30C.  No significant snowfall is forecast until Friday.

As a result, the winter control team continues to clean-up from last weekend’s event.  The colder than average temperatures are hampering the use of road salt as it will not melt at this time.  This will be re-assessed later in the day.  However, the main and secondary routes are generally clear this morning with only some isolated drifting being reported.  We have plows out on the main routes right now.

Clean-up activities over the last 24 hrs have included snow removal in the Downtown core, City facilities and “shelving” snow banks (grader work to push snow back to allow for more room during the next snow event).  The sidewalk crews have moved into the residential neighbourhoods and continue to clear.

Our longer range forecast is indicating that we may be getting 10+ cm of snow this weekend.  No plowout has been ordered at this time.  That will be decided as the situation dictates.

Staff continue to ask commuters to use caution and adjust to the conditions accordingly.  Further, the size of snow banks in residential neighbourhoods are getting quite high and may prove to be a safety hazard to those backing their vehicles out onto City roadways.  Where possible, residents are asked to lower these snowbanks along their driveways to allow for better sightlines.

Guelph - Erin - Southern Wellington County
4:49 AM EST Wednesday 29 January 2014
Wind chill warning for
Guelph - Erin - Southern Wellington County continued

Cold wind chills finally improving this morning.

A bitterly cold Arctic air mass combined with continuing strong and gusty winds is resulting in wind chills near minus 30 across the regions this morning.

Frostbite (damage, sometimes permanent, to skin and body tissue due to freezing) and hypothermia (a life threatening drop in body temperature) will occur if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors. These can occur within minutes.

The wind chills will slowly improve later this morning as temperatures moderate upward.

A bitterly cold Arctic air mass has once again invaded Southern Ontario. However a slow moderating trend will start later this morning and it is expected that wind chill warnings will end by noon and snow squall warnings may eventually be ended tonight.

Rod Keller | General Manager
Public Works Department
Operations, Transit & Emergency Services

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Saturday Jan 25th - 2014

Good afternoon Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,


The following is provided as an update from this morning.


General Conditions - Update

Below average cold temperatures, wind gusts, and blowing snow prevail and will continue overnight. http://weather.gc.ca/warnings/report_e.html?on38   


We have received approximately 8 cm of new snow over the last 24 hrs.  Due to wind, drifting has exaggerated the depth of snow in many parts of the City.  Public Works staff have gone out to all corners of the City and have taken measurements of snow on residential streets.  Measurements have ranged from 8-13 cm on average with some areas experiencing heavy drifting in excess of 30cm.  Snow is expected to taper off overnight and then start again Sunday evening.   However, we are only expecting 3 cm of new snow Sunday and into Monday morning.


Residential Plowout

As a result, Public Works has called for a plowout of residential streets beginning this evening at 6 pm.  This work is done by several contractors and will happen simultaneously across the entire City.  However, Public Works would like to remind everyone that a full plowout can take anywhere from 12-18 hrs to complete.  Concurrently, we have met the Council approved threshold for residential sidewalks to be plowed.  That work is happening now and is ongoing.  Once again, I remind you that that this work takes up to 5 days to complete after the snow stops.  The removal of parked cars on residential streets will assist in this plowout operation, otherwise plows will be forced to leave a windrow around the parked vehicle which makes future travel and parking difficult.


Staff are also deployed in the Downtown core, City facility parking lots, trails and conducting manual shovelling of City owned facility stairs.  City owned snow plows will continue to plow the main and secondary routes with a view to keeping them clear of drifting snow.  There is no change in the previous update with regards to the use of salt or brine material. 


It should be acknowledged that gusting winds, which will continue until Tuesday at least, will hamper our efforts.  It is highly likely we will have to “re-do” some of the plowout work later.   A decision on that plowout and other mitigating efforts will be made as the conditions dictate.


Further, the Volunteer Centre has been alerted of our plowout in order that they can activate the “Snow Angel” program to assist those that qualify with any windrow issue they may have at the end of their driveway.



Finally, working in conjunction with the Guelph Police Service and our own Communications staff, the message of driving carefully and in accordance with road conditions is helpful to all.  Speeds should be reduced and be consistent with the prevalent road conditions.  We do ask for everyone’s continued patience as we work through this latest weather event.




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Thursday Jan 23rd - 2014

Guelph begins building North America’s first city-wide district energy network
Downtown district energy system first of many in municipal energy plan
Guelph, ON, January 23, 2014 —The new high-efficiency heating and cooling system in the Sleeman Centre in downtown Guelph is an important first step toward building North America’s first city-wide district energy network.
While district energy technology dates back to ancient Rome, and there are thousands of individual systems across the world today, Guelph is the first community in North America to establish and announce a plan for an interconnected thermal grid to serve industrial, commercial and residential buildings across an entire city.
Guelph’s award-winning Community Energy Initiative is internationally recognized for changing the way cities think about energy—from how energy integrates with municipal infrastructure plans to finding ways to manage energy differently, better, than in the past.
As part of the initiative, Guelph’s plans for district energy are centred on a city-wide thermal energy network allowing neighbourhoods to share a more sustainable heating and cooling system. It’s all laid out in Guelph’s District Energy Strategic Plan.
Buildings connected to a district energy system don’t need individual furnaces, air conditioning units, or water heaters. Instead, an underground network of pipes installed alongside water, electricity, and other utilities, allows multiple buildings to share energy for heating, cooling, and hot water. Benefits include lower fuel and equipment costs, reduced space requirements, lower building and maintenance costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The first of many planned district energy facilities began operating just before the New Year at the Sleeman Centre—Guelph’s premier sports and entertainment venue. The system is owned and operated by Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro Inc. and will serve as the central heating and cooling plant for the Galt District Energy System.
The system at the Sleeman Centre uses natural gas to heat water in boilers for space heating, and has a central chilling unit to chill water for cooling. Later this year the system will be expanded to heat and cool Guelph’s River Run Centre for the performing arts and other commercial and residential developments in the area.
The District Energy Strategic Plan identifies other key locations for district energy nodes across the city including the 675-acre Hanlon Creek Business Park.
Guelph’s goal is to use its district energy network to supply at least 50 per cent of the community’s heating needs in the next 30 years.
Several key partners, including Guelph Hydro Inc., and Envida Community Energy Inc., are key implementers of the Community Energy Initiative, making better use of local energy sources, creating local jobs and keeping more energy dollars in Guelph.
“The Galt District Energy System is an excellent example of how we are doing more with less—in this case, providing cost-competitive, and clean heating and cooling while consuming less energy. In addition to the financial and environmental benefits, this project supports the local economy and creates local jobs. It also improves Guelph’s energy security by reducing our reliance on the provincial transmission grid.”
– Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge

“The network can distribute heat from a variety of sources including traditional fuels like natural gas and renewable resources like solar thermal, combined heat and power systems, geothermal, biofuels and even industrial waste heat. This offers reliable, cost-competitive energy services for commercial, industrial and residential facilities, and creates exciting opportunities for energy investors and project developers.”
– Rob Kerr, Corporate Manager of Community Energy, City of Guelph

“We believe the strategy to invest in a more sustainable energy infrastructure to benefit the community and the environment will prove to be a competitive advantage that will create long-term value for the community. Envida Community Energy’s district energy facility in the Sleeman Centre is the beginning of a cleaner, healthier energy future for Guelph.”


– Ron Collins, Vice-president of Business Development and Partnerships, Guelph Hydro Inc.
“The International District Energy Association (IDEA) congratulates the City of Guelph and Envida Community Energy, the Guelph Hydro affiliate, on the commencement of commercial operation of their new downtown district heating system. District heating is a proven approach to enhance community energy resiliency, reduce emissions and strengthen the local economy and we are pleased to welcome the Galt District Energy System to the growing global community of district energy systems around the world.
Robert P. Thornton, President and CEO, International District Energy Association

About the City of Guelph guelph.ca
Located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 120,000 people. Guelph’s community partners and business leaders are making a difference locally and globally in agri-food, technology, environmental enterprise and advanced manufacturing industries. The city’s healthy local economy, thriving arts and culture scene, charming neighbourhoods, parks and green spaces make Guelph among the most livable cities in Canada.
About Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative guelph.ca/energy
Guelph is creating a healthy, reliable and sustainable energy future by improving how Guelph uses and manages energy and water resources. In partnership with the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Inc. and its subsidiary Envida Community Energy Inc. are working together to ensure Guelph uses using less energy in 25 years than it does today, consumes less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities, and produces less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average.
About Guelph Hydro Inc. guelphhydroinc.com
Owned by Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. which is in turn owned by the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Inc. is helping to create a reliable, diversified and sustainable energy supply to ensure the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of the communities it serves – Guelph and Rockwood, Ontario.
About Envida Community Energy Inc. envida.ca
Owned by Guelph Hydro Inc., Envida Community Energy is the primary implementer and key developer of high-efficiency, low-carbon energy projects that are assisting the City of Guelph in achieving targets set out in the Guelph Community Energy Initiative while facilitating economic development in the community. The company operates a 100-kilowatt solar facility, the Eastview Biogas Plant and a district energy facility in the Sleeman Centre in Guelph.

Materials Available:
•    Guelph District Energy Strategic Plan
•    Galt District Energy System
•    Envida District Energy Facility at Sleeman Centre
•    Illustration: Heat Sources for Community Energy
•    Illustration: Galt District Energy System, Guelph
•    Photos: Installing the system at the Sleeman Centre
•    District Energy basics and other resources

Media Contacts:
Rob Kerr, Corporate Manager, Community Energy
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2079

Sandy Manners, Director of Corporate Communications
Guelph Hydro Inc.

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Thursday Jan 23rd - 2014

Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,

As of 7:45 am, 23 Jan 14.

Colder weather prevails in Guelph and early this morning we received approximately 1 cm of new snow. We have plow/salt trucks on all 8 main routes right now and will be switching to secondary routes later this morning. Sidewalk plows continue to treat ice and hard packed snow on various locations across the City.  The sun is expected to come out today which will help our control efforts.

No residential plowout is being planned for the next 24 hours.

Colder temperatures are expected to continue and more snow (5-10 cm) is being forecast over the next 48 hrs. Staff remains on standby to respond to the conditions.

Drive safe and have a great day!



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Wednesday Jan 22nd - 2014

City selects artist Ted Fullerton to design new public art
GUELPH, ON, January 22, 2014 – Guelph’s Civic Precinct will soon be home to a new public art installation.
Earlier this month, the City of Guelph commissioned Ted Fullerton, a celebrated Canadian artist, to create four sculptures for the open space bordered by Wilson, Carden, and Farquhar streets.
Fullerton’s art will create unity between City Hall, Market Square, Guelph Central Station and the Guelph Farmer’s Market building. The four sculptures—Birds of a Feather, A Bird in Hand, Bird/Watching, and Perch—will establish a sightline for individuals to engage with the installation as they move along Carden Street.
“This is an exciting addition to the City’s public art collection,” says Sally Wismer, chair of the Public Art Committee. “Ted’s sculptures will create a playful link between the various areas of the Civic Precinct and contribute significantly to the animation of this space.”
Last summer, the City invited experienced, individual artists, or teams, to apply for the opportunity to create public artwork for the Civic Precinct. A citizen-appointed Public Art Selection Panel reviewed 16 applications and short-listed three artists, including Fullerton, who were asked to submit formal proposals.
The total budget for the art project is $150,000, approved by City Council through the 2013 capital budget process. This is the first piece to be commissioned through the City’s new Public Art Policy, and is being coordinated by the Public Art Committee, a subcommittee of the Council-appointed Cultural Advisory Committee. Installation is scheduled to be completed by July.
About Ted Fullerton
Ted Fullerton is an acclaimed artist who works in contemporary painting, printmaking and sculpture. He has achieved numerous awards such as the Juror’s Award in the CIM Centennial Art Competition and the Boston Printmaker’s Juried Exhibition award. He has exhibited his work across Canada, England, Australia, Spain, and Yugoslavia. Locally, Fullerton’s work can be seen at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Sculpture Park in Guelph, and at the Benton and Charles Street municipal parking garage in Kitchener. Fullerton lives in Tottenham, Ont., and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. To view his work, visit tedfullerton.net.
About the Public Art Selection Panel
Panel members included Janet Rosenberg, founding partner of Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. (designer of Market Square); John Kissick, professor and director of the School of Fine Arts and Music, University of Guelph; and Shawn Van Sluys, executive director of the Musagetes Foundation.
Colleen Clack
General Manager, Culture and Tourism
T 519-822-1260 x 2588
E colleen.clack@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jan 22nd - 2014

The City is distributing this media release on behalf of Waste Diversion Ontario.

Guelph wins WDO's first Ron Lance Memorial Award for highest residential waste diversion rate

Toronto, ON,  January 22, 2014  – Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) announced today that the City of Guelph achieved the best residential waste diversion rate in 2012. The residential waste diversion rate is the percentage of Blue Box and other residential garbage reported to WDO that is kept out of landfill. Reports with amounts of these materials are submitted by over 400 municipalities across Ontario under WDO’s annual Municipal Datacall.

Guelph took the top spot with an overall residential waste diversion rate of 67.72 per cent, well above the 2012 provincial average of 47.19 per cent. Guelph also came in first overall in 2012 for diverting the highest percentage of residential organic waste at 31.63 per cent of all residential waste in their program. In 2011, Guelph’s residential waste diversion rate was 48.84 per cent. The 19 percent increase over 2012 can be largely attributed to 2012 being the first full year of reporting on Guelph’s reactivated organics program.   

In recognition of these results, Guelph will become the first recipient of the annual Ron Lance Memorial Award announced in November 2013. For seven years, Mr. Lance managed WDO’s Municipal Datacall, a role that involved working closely with municipalities, First Nations and recycling associations to compile and verify program data and tonnage reports from all Ontario municipal recycling programs. His work on the Datacall helped WDO to develop one of North America’s leading databases on residential garbage collection. Mr. Lance passed away in October 2013.

“Congratulations to Guelph for being the best in Ontario in 2012 at keeping residential waste out of landfill,” said Michael Scott, CEO, Waste Diversion Ontario. “Guelph should be proud of its significant progress since 2011 and of the many people who have helped to make their recycling program such a success.”  

“Guelph’s receipt of the Ron Lance Memorial Award is a fitting tribute to the man who played such a key role in managing the data that help determine the winner,” added Scott. “Each year, we will remember Ron with this award and help to keep his memory alive.”

Guelph will officially receive the first Ron Lance Memorial Award at an upcoming Council meeting.

“I’m thrilled that Guelph is the best in the province when it comes to waste diversion,” said Karen Farbridge, Mayor of Guelph. “This success rests on many shoulders. I’d like to thank City Council for its commitment to the organics facility and other waste diversion programs; City staff for their excellent management of solid waste resources; and residents for sorting their waste diligently every day.”

Each year, WDO requires municipalities to complete the Municipal Datacall to be eligible for funding for the Blue Box Program. In addition, WDO requests the submission of tonnage data for all other waste materials the municipality oversees, including hazardous or special waste, electrical and electronic equipment, organics, garbage, and other materials.

About WDO
Waste Diversion Ontario (wdo.ca) is the not-for-profit organization funded by industry that oversees Ontario’s current recycling programs for electrical and electronic equipment, used tires, Blue Box material, and hazardous or special waste.

For more information
Julie Kwiecinski
Communications Advisor
Waste Diversion Ontario
E juliekwiecinski@wdo.ca

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Wednesday Jan 15th - 2014

January 14th, 2014

Dear Ward 4 residents,

As many of you have heard, I have stepped forward and announced my candidacy to become the Mayor of Guelph on Oct 27th, 2014.

You can read about this announcement here: www.abetterguelph.ca

I want you to know that I am still your ward councillor. I am delivering on what I promised you as a candidate and will not abandon my responsibilities to you.

I am here, just like I promised, and just like I always have been.

So let me know what you need. Let’s continue to meet. I’m committed to make Guelph better just as I believe and hope I’ve made Ward 4 better for you and your families these past years.

Thank you,

Cam Guthrie

City Councillor – Ward 4 – Guelph


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christine.billings@guelph.ca | 519-826-0567

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