Once again, the Friends of the Library have been told we must find a new home for the Giant Book Sale.  The timing is particularly tight this time.  We generally feel we must know we have space by the end of May, so we can begin to plan in earnest to start preparations in August.

The sale, by now, is enormous, which makes the search that much more difficult.  For the past several years we have offered over 100,000 books and related items for sale over a three day period.

These are our needs:

We need the space to be donated.  Profits are used to support the Guelph Public Library.  If we had to pay rent, there would be no point in having the sale.   We are a registered charity, and so can offer a tax receipt.  If necessary, we could pay utilities.

We are insured by the City, and we are very responsible tenants who clean up after ourselves.

The past two spaces we have used have been 25,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft respectively.  A warehouse, accessible to the public with parking nearby works well.  A loading dock, or other large-vehicle access such as a large overhead door is highly desirable.

In a perfect world, we would have access to the space for August, September and October.  We could probably manage with just September and October.

This has become an iconic community event.  We are hoping that, once again, a community member will come forward and make it possible. If you can help please contact me by email or phone.

Thanks!

Virginia Gillham, Chair

Friends of the Guelph Public Library

(519) 821-5874

friendsguelphlibrary@gmail.com

An update as of May 2nd:

City staff and City Council continue to explore every available option to address parking shortages in the downtown. We’re committed to keeping the community informed of our progress.

Come downtown to show some love to all the wonderful shops, restaurants, services and entertainment options our downtown offers!

Below you will find updates on some new parking options we’ve secured.

City staff is working hard to make sure people have places to park when visiting or doing business in the downtown. Staff has put a number of new parking options in place and continue to explore every available option for adding more public parking space in the downtown.

Updates will continue to be posted at guelph.ca/construction and on the West Parkade project page: https://guelph.ca/living/construction-projects/west-parkade-repairs/.

The City will continue to post social media updates (Twitter and Facebook), place print ads in the Guelph Mercury Tribune (City News), and update downtown signs to promote where people can park.

Parking options in place:

 

Shuttle service:

The City will offer a shuttle from the Elizabeth Street lot to the Macdonell entrance of the Old Quebec Street mall. This service will transport the public, and in particular patients attending appointments, to and from the mall. The shuttle will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Details on when the shuttle will be in service and its operating schedule will be announced shortly.

 

 

Free evening and weekend parking:

Starting Saturday, May 5, the City will offer free evening and weekend parking at all seven of its open parking lots. Free evening and weekend parking is temporary while the West Parkade is fully closed for construction.

 

Surrey Street parking:

The City is converting underused permit parking on Surrey Street East between Wyndham Street South and Gordon Street to public parking.

 

Additional actions taken to date:

 

Permit holders

1 Staff relocated most West Parkade permit holders to the Elizabeth street lot, 1.1 km away, at a discounted rate

2 Staff offered Guelph Transit passes to permit holders for transportation from the Elizabeth Street lot to Guelph Central Station

 

Old Quebec Street Shoppes (OQSS), Skyline and the Cooperators:

 

1 Staff reviewed a parking plan with OQSS, representatives of Skyline, and the Cooperators in February when the City expected to close the parkade for two months. Staff followed up with OQSS on March 29 with an update on the extension of the closure via email and telephone. Note: these stakeholders were responsible for consulting with and informing tenants and employees of coming parking changes.

2 Staff relocated OQQS doctors to signed, reserved parking spots at the East Surface lot

3 Staff added more on-street parking to support OQQS medical patients and shop patrons including:

a four accessible spots on Macdonell Street

b six additional on-street spots on the west side of Wyndham Street near OQQS

c two on-street, reserved parking only spots in on the east side of Wyndham Street near OQQS

4 Staff added a loading zone for OQSS deliveries in the laneway off Macdonell

5 Staff placed a parkade attendant at the East Parkade to manage access during core business hours

Western Hotel:

1 Staff relocated reserved parking spaces for overnight hotel guests from the West Parkade to the Macdonell Street lot

Downtown Advisory Committee / Downtown Guelph Business Association:

1 Staff provided updates about the West Parkade closure at the February 22 and April 19 Downtown Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings, and at the April 3 and April 11 Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) meetings

2 Staff worked with business owners to create map of available parking options for their customers

3 Bylaw and Parking staff created an increased downtown parking enforcement plan

4 Staff worked with the DGBA to identify additional parking capacity in the downtown

5 Staff added on-street parking capacity for 15 vehicles in the downtown core (including the 12 spots listed above for OQQS)

6 Staff provided an update on parking mitigation strategies at the DGBA membership meeting on April 30

River Run & Sleeman Centre:

1 Staff from Parking, River Run and the Sleeman Centre worked together to establish a process to determine parking options on an event-by-event basis

2 Staff created maps to help direct patrons to available parking locations

3 Staff added dedicated on-street spaces for drop-offs/pick-ups and short-term (15 minute) parking

Land leasing for additional parking:

1 The City leased two parcels of land on Elizabeth Street to add 250 spots in 2016 (lease continues). This is known as the Elizabeth Street lot

2 Staff investigated leasing options for a privately owned lot on Duke Street; no contract signed

3 Staff is currently negotiating the rental of a private property that would provide parking space for 75 vehicles

Discounts:

1 The City reduced the monthly parking permit fee from $106.01 for the West Parkade to $60.58 for the Elizabeth Street lot, a 43 per cent reduction in cost

2 Staff put permits for West Parkade users who preferred not to move into the Elizabeth Street lot on hold and will not be charged for the duration of the closure; these permit holders can reclaim their space when the lot reopens

Actions still being explored:

 

1 Staff has surveyed the downtown periphery for on-street parking availability and have identified parking spaces for:

a 85 vehicles pending a change to from time-limited parking to all day parking

b 60-90 vehicles pending a change to no parking to all day parking

This addition of up to 175 spaces, in addition to the 15 on-street spaces added in the core, could cover the loss of the 106 casual-use (i.e. non-permit) parking spaces unavailable due to the closure of the West Parkade, as well as the 86 casual-use spaces unavailable due to the closure of the Wilson lot. This option may require Council direction and will be presented at the May 7 Committee of the Whole meeting.

2.    Staff is considering establishing Downtown Ambassadors to walk the downtown and provide assistance to the public in locating on-street and off-street parking, answering questions regarding the West Parkade closure, and handing out materials to downtown businesses relating to parking

Background:

 

Staff had planned for the West Parkade to be closed for two months this summer. Communications about the closure were already underway with key stakeholders, and staff was preparing to communicate the two-month closure publicly in March when planned structural repairs that started in 2017 resumed. Once this work got underway, the contractor determined that more significant structural repairs were needed. These repairs cannot be completed while maintaining safe access to the parkade.

Staff connected directly with key stakeholders to advise them of the earlier start and extension of the closure as soon as possible. This included consultation with Old Quebec Street Shoppes management, the Cooperators, the Downtown Advisory Group and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.

Since then we have been working to address this unexpected loss of parking in a number of ways including:

• adding new parking spaces in the downtown core,

• adding more downtown periphery on-street parking, and

• leasing additional lot space from private owners.

We will continue to provide you with updates as they are available.

52 of them to be exact!

Guelph, Ont., April 24, 2018 – Guelph Transit is installing 52 new shelters at bus stops across the city—bringing the total number of shelters to 110.

The shelters provide riders with a protected area away from wind, rain, or snow, and offer them a place to sit until the bus arrives.

“The new shelters are a part of our ongoing commitment to improving customer service on and off the bus. We’re confident the shelters will be a welcome addition for riders along our routes,” says Robin Gerus, interim general manager at Guelph Transit.

Earlier this month, 15 shelters were installed, including one at Imperial Road at West End Community Centre southbound.

Another 15 shelters will be in place in May and the remaining 22 will be installed in June. Of the 52, only two are replacing existing shelters.

Shelter locations are chosen based on the number of boardings at a bus stop and priority is given to stops that service multiple routes.

The cost to install one shelter, which includes a bench and concrete pad, is between $7,000 and $10,000.

This work is being funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

In March 2017, the governments of Ontario and Canada announced $9,681,491 in funding for five local transit projects:

·         Bus replacements

·         Fare box replacement

·         Bus stop upgrades/shelters

·         Transportation Master Plan

·         Traffic signal control system upgrade

“Investing in Guelph Transit improves the service we can deliver to our current and future riders,” adds Gerus.

The government funding is being matched by the City of Guelph.

City plans for remediation work at Goldie Mill Park:

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.

Media contact:

Mario Petricevic, General Manager, Facilities Management

City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2668
mario.petricevic@guelph.ca

Guelph, Ont., April 12, 2018 – The City of Guelph, in partnership with the cities of London and Barrie, as well as MaRS Discovery District (MaRS), is embarking on an exciting three-year Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX) project.

The MIX will open new economic opportunities to a range of businesses and help public sector institutions improve how they provide services. It is based on the success of the City of Guelph’s ground-breaking Civic Accelerator model (co-designed with the Guelph Lab) and MaRS’ Innovation Partnership: Procurement by Co-Design health innovation program.

The MIX will improve and expand the practice of innovation procurement in the municipal sector and create practices that are tested, scalable and sustainable. The three cities of Guelph, Barrie and London will be collaborating with vendors and community members to design open, fair, transparent and innovative practices that will be tested through six challenges over the three-year project.

Through the MIX process, businesses will be embedded in municipal planning and operations, providing first-hand experience that will help them develop solutions. A broad scope of businesses will be able to participate, from large established vendors to small and medium enterprises such as start-ups and entrepreneurs often excluded from municipal procurement invitations and tenders.

Lessons learned at the end of the project will be broadly beneficial, with solutions to issues and needs common across the municipal sector. The MIX will also produce a toolkit to help scale models and provide municipalities with proven practices and resources.

The project is funded by OntarioBuys, an Ontario government program, which makes investments to support innovation, facilitate and accelerate the adoption of integrated supply chain, back-office leading practices and operational excellence. OntarioBuys helps drive collaboration and improve supply chain processes in Ontario’s broader public sector.

Additional key sector leaders which have collaborated closely in the design of the MIX include Guelph Lab, Innovation Guelph, Guelph Chamber of Commerce and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Quotes

“Guelph has a well-earned reputation as a city that’s willing to do things differently. We are pleased to have the endorsement of the province and along with the cities of Barrie and London, look forward to the benefits the Municipal Innovation Exchange will spark in our communities.”

–      Cam Guthrie, Mayor of Guelph

“Our ability to improve public services and drive projects like the Municipal Innovation Exchange is possible because we have strong partnerships with industry leaders. Together, we have the ability to adopt and adapt innovative practices that bring value to our community.”

–      Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

 

“Our government is committed to funding forward-thinking approaches to procurement. The City of Guelph’s Municipal Innovation Exchange project will demonstrate new ways to create solutions for complex municipal problems by introducing leading-edge procurement practices that are scalable and sustainable. Building an innovative and modern procurement process is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to build prosperity for people across the province.”

–      Tracy MacCharles, Minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

 

“I’ve always said the six worst words in government are ‘we’ve always done it this way’. I’m proud that the City of Barrie is a forward thinking organization not afraid to innovate the way we offer services. We’re grateful to be able to partner with two other progressive municipalities on this exciting initiative. Barrie’s growing start-up community and culture of entrepreneurship makes the Municipal Innovation Exchange a perfect fit for our community.”

–      Jeff Lehman, Mayor, City of Barrie

 

“This is a partnership that will allow our region to take another step forward together. Over the next three years this will allow us to tackle unique challenges and revise innovation practices as we continue to lead.”

–      Matt Brown, Mayor, City of London

Media Contacts

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations

City of Guelph

519-822-1260, extension 2120

cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca

 

Scott Lamantia, Senior Communications Advisor

City of Barrie

705-739-4220, extension 4529

scott.lamantia@barrie.ca

 

Rosanna Wilcox, Director, Community and Economic Innovation

City of London

519-661-2489, extension 5879

rwilcox@london.ca