Guelph, Ont., July 18, 2017 – Last night, Guelph City Council approved fully building out the Wilson Street parkade with two additional storeys and a total of 496 parking spots, to better serve Guelph’s downtown parking needs sooner.
During a special Council meeting on July 17, staff recommended that an additional $8.5 million in funding be approved, which includes $6.8 million of debt funding forecasted for the future Neeve Street parkade and $1.7 million transferred from existing City reserve funds, to optimize the Wilson Street reconstruction and parkade project.
“We want to build the right parking solution for Guelph’s downtown—one large parkade on Wilson Street is a better and more timely solution than two smaller ones,” explains Peter Cartwright, general manager of Business Development and Enterprise. “By expanding the Wilson Street parkade instead of pursuing a second parkade on Neeve Street in a few years, the City will provide more downtown parking sooner, the most affordable per unit parking spots and the shortest amount of time for the site to be out of service.”
The $8.5 million additional budget covers funding for each of the three components of the Wilson Street project, including $7.7 million for the parkade; $680,000 for completing the reconstruction of Wilson Street from Gordon to Carden streets; and $125,000 for replacing the pedestrian bridge over Norfolk Street.
The City has been working with The Newton Group Ltd., the project’s single proponent of the second request for proposals, on three options presented to Council. The approved option increases the number of storeys—based on the allowable building height— and the number of spots from 302 to 496. It will also ensure the parkade is designed to visually complement the downtown as outlined in the Downtown Guelph Streetscape Manual and Built Form Standards.
A design-build contract for $20.4 million will be awarded to Newton Construction Ltd., the detailed design and approvals process will start immediately, and construction will begin next spring.
About the Wilson Street reconstruction and parkade project:
The Wilson Street reconstruction and parkade project includes building a parkade on the Wilson Street parking lot; upgrading Wilson Street from Gordon/Norfolk Street to Macdonell Street (Schedule B Municipal Class Environmental Assessment); and replacing the aging pedestrian bridge over Norfolk Street.
The Wilson Street parkade was identified as the first major capital project within the Council approved Parking Master Plan.
Co-operative insurer’s new consolidated location will build upon the organization’s 50 year history in the community:
Guelph, Ontario, July 17, 2017 – The Co-operators and the City of Guelph announce plans for the national co-operative insurance and financial services organization to build a state-of-the art facility in 2023, situated in the city’s south end.
“The Co-operators has a proud and vibrant history with the City of Guelph that we are thrilled to see continue,” says Rob Wesseling, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Co-operators. “We are grateful to the City for their support and collaboration in working with us to find a location that allows us to remain rooted in this community as we bring our three Guelph offices together under one roof.”
In anticipation of the expiration of its leases at 130 Macdonell Street, 98 Macdonell Street and 649 Scottsdale Drive, The Co-operators worked closely with the City of Guelph to explore relocation and real estate options within the local community that would meet the company’s immediate and future needs. Through this collaborative effort, a location has been identified in the city’s south end that will become a new state-of-the-art hub for the organization and enable the company to remain in the community that has supported it for half a century.
“In today’s competitive market, I want to thank The Co-operators for choosing to stay in Guelph. We know there were other options. We also appreciate the company’s need to consider their future requirements along with present ones,” explains Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We’re thrilled to welcome The Co-operators to the city’s south end. Most importantly, by staying in Guelph, The Co-operators will continue to provide good jobs and make other important contributions to our community; that’s excellent news for Guelph.”
Plans for what is anticipated to be a new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified development include wellness-based features that support healthy living and reflect The Co-operators strong commitment to sustainability and employee well-being.
About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $44.9 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon; has been among the top ten Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada for the past eight years; and rated as a Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine.
About the City of Guelph:
Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 130,000 people, located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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.
There was a letter to the editor in last weeks Tribune alleging that City Council was wasting taxpayers money by ripping up Stone Road and putting another layer of asphalt down.. I’ve heard this allegation a few times as of late and so I thought I’d post here what my response was, and to tackle a couple of other issues that have been brought up too:
Stone Road Asphalt:
This top asphalt layer being put down on Stone Road is not being re-done, it is the final coat after all the construction was done over the last year. It is best practice for the main road construction work to be completed, allowed to “sit” for approximately 1 year for things to settle and then have the final layer installed. This is not a waste of taxpayers’ dollars, it’s the final part of the overall construction project that was fully budgeted for.
Sidewalks on Stone Road:
In regards to the sidewalks, it is better for the taxpayers when full road redevelopment is taking place to install other active transportation options such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes or other multi-use pathways because the road work is being done at the same time. Use of these sidewalks will only grow over time because the next phase of subdivisions and development work will be occurring at the corner of Stone and Victoria when the Provincial Lands get developed. I’m sure you’d agree that it WOULD be a waste of taxpayers’ money to NOT install sidewalks when we have the opportunity to do so, to only have to rip up the roads and boulevards when the future growth requires these infrastructure upgrades.
Separated Bike & Pedestrian Lanes on Woodlawn:
The new separated bike and pedestrian pathways on Woodlawn Rd were identified as risk mitigation to people both walking and biking down this section of Woodlawn Road a few years ago. This was publicly stated by our head city engineer at the time. It makes sense to have a separated bike and pedestrian pathway done at the same time then to put bicycle lanes on Woodlawn Rd (with a potential risk of losing a lane of traffic) and a pedestrian sidewalk on the boulevard. The increase in use of people walking and cycling on that separated path has jumped significantly since it’s opening. It keeps people safe as it is separated and off the road while at the same time allows traffic flow to be maintained.
The East end of Guelph should know this info: I’d like to thank Councillor Gibson for compiling these links after an inquiry was made by an East end resident to us both – wondering if the city wasn’t addressing their needs?
I had a blog post from the past about this here:
I have written a letter to the editor in response to a letter published by the Tribune in yesterday’s Tuesday paper. My hope is that it is published, but if not, I’ll post it here soon.
York Road and traffic controls
East End Grocery Store and Development