(Yes, that’s the Guthrie’s new dog “Rogue”! Posing like he’s all that!)

There have been a number of recent inquiries regarding the Leash Free Policy update and progress on this project.

City Council approved through the Open Space Planning in the 2018 capital budget to begin the process of developing a Leash Free Policy.

The purpose of the project is to determine what the Leash Free Policy for the City of Guelph should look like. To do this, an extensive community engagement plan is being prepared. It is expected that the City will review and receive input on the existing bylaws, policies and off leash facilities to help shape our Leash Free Policy.

The anticipated outcome of the project is to have a Leash Free Policy that is comprehensive and reflects the community needs from all park and open space users (both with and without dogs as members of their household). It is anticipated that the new Leash Free Policy will provide design guidelines and direction for future off-leash facilities. (It is not as simple as putting up a fence around an existing park.)

To date, all inquiries received since mid-2017 will be taken into consideration when developing the new policy. All residents that have shared their thoughts to the City have been added to the list of residents to be engaged directly. The City appreciates residents’ interests on this topic and will be sure to send out invitations to upcoming public meetings so that they may have opportunity to share their thoughts, experiences and expectations.

The community engagement process is expected to start in the spring/summer of 2018. Once the dates are firm, residents will be notified a few weeks.

Take care!


Leak forgiveness and sewer credit programs start this year:

Guelph, Ont., March 27, 2018 – Last night, City Council approved two new credit programs for Guelph water and wastewater customers. The new programs will provide forgiveness on high water bills from unknown residential leaks, and cost relief on wastewater charges for business customers who use or evaporate water during operation or production.

“These credit programs will help address grey areas in our existing billing policies and reduce customer billing concerns,” explains Wayne Galliher, division manager with Guelph’s Water Services. “Now that we have Council’s approval, Guelphites and local businesses will be able to take advantage of water leak forgiveness starting April 1, and sewer abatement credit as of July 1.

The water leak forgiveness program provides residents with a one-time billing credit for a water leak or plumbing failure on the customer’s property that results in an unexpectedly high water bill. The credit would be available on a one-time basis and is not retroactive. Customers must meet the program’s eligibility criteria as outlined in the policy. This program will be administered through the existing water billing appeals process.

The sewer abatement credit program will provide a billing credit to Guelph industrial, commercial and institutional customers whose processes use up or evaporate a significant amount of water, reducing wastewater treatment needs. The credit will be calculated based on the percentage of water not returned to the wastewater system, measured through meters, and paid to eligible applicants as a billing credit once a year.

The approved credit programs are supported by the findings of the billing exemptions study conducted by Water and Wastewater Services. The study included feedback from residents and the business sector, as well as a review of similar policies in comparator municipalities.

This work is part of the ongoing Water and Wastewater Rate Review, initiated in 2015. The rate review aims to ensure equity and fairness for all customer types through the allocation of costs for water and wastewater services received while ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of both utilities.


Water and wastewater rate review

Sewer Abatement and Leak Forgiveness Credits Policies staff report and presentation


City receives provincial award for its age-friendly initiatives!

Guelph, Ont., March 26, 2018 – Earlier today, the City of Guelph was honoured with a 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award at the inaugural Age Friendly Community Symposium held in Toronto. The awards celebrate the work of Ontario communities that are striving to become age friendly.

“Guelph is a great place to live and age well, and I’m proud our efforts to become an age-friendly community have been recognized with this notable provincial award. It’s an award our entire community can celebrate,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

On hand to accept the award were Manon Germain, project specialist with Age-Friendly Guelph, and Adam Rutherford, programming and community development supervisor with the City.

The recognition program, introduced last year by the Ministry of Seniors Affairs, includes two award categories—Community Action Plan, and Implementation and Evaluation.

The City, selected for one of 10 awards under the Implementation and Evaluation category, was recognized for its strong commitment to key principles for creating an age-friendly community, including engagement with Guelph’s seniors, collaboration with a diversity of community partners, and significant impact on the local community.

“Through our policies, programs and services we are creating social and physical environments that are more accessible to and inclusive of older adults, enabling them to lead independent, active and healthy lives and to stay engaged in our community. The age-friendly initiatives we’re being recognized for with this award are the result of tremendous staff effort and community involvement,” says Derrick Thomson, the City’s chief administrative officer.

The Age-Friendly Guelph Leadership Team, with support from two community members and the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, nominated the City for the award.

As a recipient of the provincial award, Guelph now has access to streamlined eligibility for national recognition through the Pan-Canadian Age-Friendly Communities recognition framework developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.


By 2031, Guelph’s population is projected to be 175,000, with 53,000 people over the age of 55.

The City’s Older Adult Strategy, approved by Council in 2012, is a framework and implementation plan that guides Guelph in becoming an age-friendly community. Age-friendly communities are characterized by accessible and inclusive environments, both physical and social, that enable seniors to live independent, healthy and active, safe and socially connected lives.

In 2014, the City was accepted as a member of the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities for its promise to make Guelph a great place to live and age well. In June 2017, the City issued its Older Adult Strategy progress report.

The information is also posted on the City of Guelph website: https://guelph.ca/2018/03/help-plan-green-energy-technology-centre-guelph/

Help shape the future of Alectra’s
Green Energy & Technology (GRE&T) Centre

As part of the merger between Guelph Hydro and Alectra, a Green Energy & Technology Centre will be located at Guelph Hydro’s office building on Southgate Drive in Guelph.

About the Green Energy & Technology Centre

The Centre’s mandate is to identify, evaluate, develop and deploy emerging, green energy solutions.

The Centre will serve as a bridge between research, development, commercialization, and adoption of green energy solutions, and position Alectra as a next-generation utility serving customers in Guelph, Rockwood, and across southwestern Ontario.

Join the transitional advisory committee:

A transitional advisory committee will provide guidance on strategy and planning for the Green Energy & Technology Centre.

Senior management from Guelph Hydro and Alectra are looking for people to join the committee. Responsibilities will include providing advice on the development of the Centre, including an accelerator, and making recommendations for potential partners, pilots and demonstrations. We’re looking for people with experience and expertise in:

  • clean energy
  • sustainability
  • customer insights
  • emerging technologies

How to apply:

To nominate yourself or someone you know, please email a resume and supporting documentation by March 26, 2018, to janessa.famiglietti@Alectrautilities.com.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Mayor’s Awards, which recognize people who make the city a better place through volunteer service.

Nominations can be submitted online at guelph.ca/mayorsawards, or by contacting the Mayor’s Office at 519-837-5643 or mayor@guelph.ca to request a nomination form. The deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018.

While it is not mandatory for nominees to live or work in Guelph to be eligible for the Mayor’s Award, they must volunteer in Guelph. Nominees’ achievements may include a mix of volunteer and paid efforts. Self-nominations are not eligible.

The Mayor’s Awards have been presented every year since 1997, when they were established by Mayor Joe Young. Honourees have been recognized for volunteer contributions to many different aspects of community life, including arts and culture; health and mental health; community building; athletics; and the environment. Profiles of honourees from 2001 to 2016 can be found at guelph.ca/mayorsawards.

“Recognizing outstanding citizens through the Mayor’s Awards is one of my favourite parts of being Mayor. This is a chance for us to shine a light on community leaders and unsung heroes who are making our city better, each and every day,” said Mayor Guthrie.

The 2018 Mayor’s Awards will be presented on June 28 at the Guelph Awards of Excellence gala, hosted every year by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. The gala is Guelph’s premier appreciation event where the city’s exceptional individuals and businesses are celebrated. For more information about the Awards of Excellence, visit the Guelph Chamber of Commerce website at guelphchamber.com.

For more information

Kate Sullivan
Communications Advisor
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260 extension 2558