Starting this week, the property owner will begin the first phase of compensation plantings and restoration work in areas adjacent to Howitt Creek.
The work will include:

• removing invasive buckthorn shrubs, including the roots;

• improving the existing soils to help new plants establish and grow; and

• planting new native shrubs and trees.

It is expected the work will take about three weeks to complete, weather permitting.

Staff will work with the property owner to monitor the plantings over the next couple of years to ensure the proper care to help the plants thrive and grow.

The second phase of work will include further soil improvements, plantings and plant care for areas along the northern railway berms once they are rebuilt. The timeline for the work is unknown at this time.

More than 1,400 plantings are being provided through this phase and, in total, more than 3,400 trees and shrubs will be planted. Financial compensation was also provided to the City to help plant trees in other areas of Guelph at the time the tree permit was issued this past July.

The City is asking the public to stay outside of the work zones and not to disturb the new plantings.

The property owner removed trees from the site this past summer to get the site ready for future development. No specific development or site plan application has been submitted to the City.

Questions and answers:

How is the City ensuring that the trees and shrubs being planted will survive and grow?

Soil improvements and the removal of invasive plant species will help support the establishment of new plants being added along Howitt Creek. Plantings will receive watering and mulching to help them establish and grow. 

The new plants will be monitored and cared for over the next two years to help them establish and grow. After two years, any plants that die will be replaced.

Why is more vegetation being removed?

Invasive buckthorn plants are being removed from the creek corridor so that new native plants species can be planted.

Why is equipment on site?

The work requires heavy equipment to perform the soil improvement work, which involves breaking up the existing soil and mixing in new soil. In addition, equipment is needed for buckthorn removal, specifically root removal.

If you have additional questions about the tree planting and restoration work you may direct them to: April Nix, Environmental Planner,

Ontario Moving Ahead on High Speed Rail to Guelph with Planning Advisory Board

Historic Project Would Cut Travel Times by Half in Toronto-Windsor Corridor

NEWS: October 23, 2017

Our government, under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne, is pushing forward with plans to bring high speed rail (HSR) to the Toronto-Windsor corridor, including Guelph, by establishing an HSR Planning Advisory Board to provide strategic support on the landmark project. Canada’s first high speed rail service will slash travel times for residents in Guelph, providing a faster, greener travel option that creates new opportunities for workers, businesses, post-secondary students, and anyone traveling in this part of the province.

In addition to providing strategic advice on major business issues associated with the project, the HSR Planning Advisory Board will engage with the private sector, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The advisory board members will bring a breadth and depth of expertise to the project, including in the high tech and innovation sectors; engineering, environmental sciences and transportation planning; and the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. Members will include the best and brightest in these fields from across Ontario and Canada.

High speed trains would travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. For residents in Guelph, high speed rail could cut travel time between Guelph and Toronto to a minimum of 39 minutes, down from the current average of over an hour by car. By expanding Ontario’s Innovation SuperCorridor to Windsor, high speed rail will support and enhance opportunities for economic growth in Southwestern Ontario and across the province. It will help businesses attract the best talent and boost their productivity, and help Ontario make the transition to a low-carbon innovation economy.

Investing in high speed rail is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“High speed rail will dramatically change what’s possible for people in Southwestern Ontario. Whether that’s giving people a faster, greener way to get to a great job in the tech industry, allowing family members to visit more often or helping people discover more of our beautiful province. Canada’s first high speed rail service will also help companies along the Toronto-Windsor corridor to continue to attract top talent and take their business to the next level.”

–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“High speed rail will have a transformative impact on travel in Southwestern Ontario, helping people to innovate, connect with each other, and travel for work, study and play. This is just one part of our plan to invest in transit across the province — connecting communities and supporting growth in jobs and the economy.”

–– Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

“High speed rail has immense potential to shape the way we work, study and connect with each other in southwestern Ontario, especially in my community of Guelph. This is an ambitious endeavour and the advice of the HSR Planning Advisory Board will be invaluable in bringing high speed rail to Ontario.”

–– Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph


▪ In order to ensure that HSR is effectively implemented, Ontario is establishing an HSR Planning Advisory Board. In his May report, Special Advisor David Collenette recommended a phased approach to delivering high speed rail in the corridor, and establishing the HSR Planning Advisory Board is part of the first phase towards delivering high speed rail.

▪ Today, Ontario launched a website with details of what high speed rail will mean for people in Southwestern Ontario and across the province, and how people can provide feedback and input.

▪ Ontario will continue to engage with private and public partners, including Indigenous communities and municipalities, while the environmental assessment, design work and ridership forecasting are completed.

▪ The high speed rail line will serve a corridor that’s home to more than seven million people. The proposed stops are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.

▪ The corridor was selected because it is a hub for leading startups, research institutions, and the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, and the region is growing faster than its current transportation network can accommodate.


 For more information, contact:

Jenny Waterston

Office of Liz Sandals, MPP (519) 836 4190

Merger expected to moderate rates and bring new investments to Guelph

Guelph, Ont., October 18, 2017 – After more than a year of gathering community input, conducting industry research and performing in-depth financial analysis, the City of Guelph today announced it will begin merger negotiations between Guelph Hydro Electric Systems and Alectra Inc.

For Guelph Hydro customers, a merger with Alectra would help keep downward pressure on rates, an increased focus on innovation, and continued operations in the city of Guelph that includes the same reliable service and dependable local crews responding to local calls.

Guelph Hydro would become part of a municipally-owned utility that is investing in emerging technologies that will benefit customers and help attract new business to Guelph. As part shareholder of a larger municipally-owned utility, the City of Guelph is expected to receive larger annual dividends, which will be re-invested in our community.

As the first electric utility in Southwestern Ontario to merge with Alectra, Guelph stands to benefit from local employment opportunities, including a Southwest Ontario Operations Hub at the site of Guelph Hydro’s current headquarters and a new Green Energy & Technology Centre, allowing for the development of innovative technologies and green energy solutions here in Guelph.

Public consultation has been a cornerstone of this initiative since it launched one year ago, and citizen-selected decision-making criteria helped inform Guelph City Council’s decisions thus far. Guelph Hydro customers can learn more and have their say at one of several opportunities for public input, to be announced in the coming weeks. Community members can also visit for more information and to submit questions and comments about the merger.

Following the next phase of community consultation, Guelph City Council will vote on the merger at a public meeting scheduled on December 13, 2017.


“This term, Council has been dedicated to reviewing city assets to ensure they achieve their greatest potential and value for our citizens and businesses. Guelph Hydro is one such asset that was reviewed over the past year. Throughout this process we listened to our residents. You told us you wanted better rates, the same reliable service, a local presence and to be properly positioned for the future. We’re confident that a potential merger with Alectra would be best way to deliver on these goals.” – Cam Guthrie, Mayor of Guelph.

“Guelph Hydro and Alectra share the same values as they are both municipally-owned utilities committed to excellent service and innovation. Guelph is a recognized energy leader and Alectra is one of the most innovative utilities in the business. A partnership will result in a Southwest Ontario Operations Hub and a new Green Energy & Technology Centre—important investments that will benefit our city in the years to come.” – Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph.

“The exceptional reliability, service, and dedication to finding innovative energy-saving solutions that Guelph Hydro provides to customers will be preserved and enhanced by the opportunities presented by a merger with Alectra. Our industry is changing and the ability to maintain the level of service our customers have come to expect will be challenged in years to come. Through this partnership, Guelph Hydro customers will continue to receive service from local crews while at the same time benefitting from the depth of resources that Alectra brings in the areas of innovation and technology. – Jane Armstrong, Chair, Guelph Hydro Electric Systems.

“Our history of bringing utilities together has taught us that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, especially when it comes to providing customers with reliable, cost-effective service and more choices through the use of emerging energy technologies. We believe the City of Guelph and Guelph Hydro’s vision for how to serve customers, now and in the future, aligns well with that of Alectra and our shareholder municipalities.” – Brian Bentz, President and CEO, Alectra Inc.  

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.:

Guelph Hydro is a medium-sized local distribution company delivering electricity in a safe and reliable manner to more than 55,000 customers in Guelph and Rockwood, Ontario. You can learn more about Guelph Hydro at

About the City of Guelph:

Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 120,000 people, located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Guelph City Council has the authority to make the final decision about the ownership of Guelph Hydro. Learn more about Guelph City Council at

About Alectra Inc.

Alectra’s family of energy companies distributes electricity to nearly one million customers in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe Area and provides innovative energy solutions to these and thousands more across Ontario. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc., Alectra Utilities Corporation and Alectra Energy Solutions.


 · Energizing Tomorrow: ask us anything

· Energizing Tomorrow: process and timeline
· Energizing Tomorrow: compare both options
· Energizing Tomorrow video: the future of Guelph Hydro
· Energizing Tomorrow: fact sheet (print-friendly)
· Energizing Tomorrow: backgrounder (print-friendly)
· About Alectra Utilities (print-friendly)
Media Contact:

Tara Sprigg, APR, General Manager

Corporate Communications and Customer Service

City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2610

 Eric Fagen, Director, External Communications, Government and Corporate Relations Alectra Inc.


Guelph, Ont., October 19, 2017 – The City of Guelph, University of Guelph and area regions have come together to support the Toronto Region’s bid for Amazon HQ2.
Amazon, the U.S. tech giant in the business world, sought bids from across North America in search of a location for its second headquarters. Toronto Region’s bid provides 10 sites as possible locations for Amazon HQ2.
“This is an unparalleled opportunity for the entire Innovation Corridor. Guelph is pleased to bring our strengths to the table to make Toronto Region’s bid even more competitive. Those strengths include a pool of highly skilled talent and the research strengths of the University of Guelph,” said Guelph’s Mayor, Cam Guthrie.
Guelph provides a unique offering of skilled local talent with 65.6 per cent of the population aged 25 to 64 holding a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, which is higher than the provincial rate. Guelph’s labour force includes more than 96,000 people as of July 2017, up eight per cent since 2012.
The city and University are also important to the agriculture and agri-food industry, which contributes $37.5 billion annually to the Province’s gross domestic product.
“As Canada’s Food University, the University of Guelph is an international research powerhouse in agri-food, making us a strong partner for Amazon and its Whole Foods division. By choosing Ontario’s Innovation Corridor, Amazon will have access to our world-class researchers and facilities and strong government and industry collaborations,” said Franco Vaccarino, President, University of Guelph.
The University’s ability to attract talent to the city, and the city’s ability to keep that talent at home with employment opportunities, makes Guelph an ideal location for business development.
“Guelph ticks all of the boxes when it comes to providing an environment for research, innovation and the talent Amazon needs for their business to grow and thrive,” said Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise for the City of Guelph.
Guelph is ready to welcome Amazon to the Toronto Region and contribute to the talent, innovation and quality of life that will help Amazon HQ2 succeed.
To see details on Toronto Global’s bid, visit

For more information:

Barbara Maly, Manager, Economic Development

Business Development and Enterprise Services 

City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2822

Lori Bona Hunt, Director, Media Relations 
University of Guelph 

519-824-4120 extension 53338

It’s massive. It’s huge. It’s GIANT!

It’s the Friends of the Guelph Public Library Book Sale! Thank you to all the volunteers that make this happen! 

Watch this video to learn more about this great event and clear your weekend calendar because you’ll want to be there!

Click HERE for video!