John Galt Day:

On Saturday, August 5, the City will host its annual John Galt Day celebration featuring free activities and family-friendly entertainment in Guelph’s Market Square.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public is invited to take in live entertainment featuring the Silly People, who incorporate comedy, juggling, yo-yo, balloon art and fire manipulation into their act; the Trulee Odd Show, featuring unicycle riding, juggling, stilt walking, balloon twisting and general buffoonery; and the Balloon Maestro’s slapstick, special effects and large scale balloon sculptures.
Also onsite during the festivities is Cleo the Clown and her Painting Pals, the Guelph Water Wagon, and Jeff Mann of TREAD ON IT! T-shirt printing. Attendees are invited to bring along an old T-shirt for re-purposing at the interactive printing booth.
“John Galt Day is a great opportunity for residents staying in Guelph over the Civic long weekend to enjoy lighthearted entertainment, crafts, and games in celebration of our great city,” says Bill Nuhn, manager of Theatres and Civic Events.
In addition to the Market Square celebrations, the Guelph Farmers’ Market will be open and the City’s 2017 RBC Market Mornings Artist, Sarah Mousseau, will launch her Seascapes project in the market parking lot.
At Guelph Civic Museum, visitors will celebrate the day with bubbles, chalk art, plasma car races, and a balloon mural. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission on August 5 only is by donation.
About John Galt:
John Galt was a prominent Scottish novelist who founded Guelph in 1827. As the superintendent of The Canada Company, a large land company in London, England, he conceived the idea of building a town to stimulate and direct the agricultural settlement of the area. Galt planned the community with its distinctive radial design, quite different than the gridiron plan of most cities, making Guelph a unique and special place.
pARTy Charity Fundraising:

Five step-by-step painting pARTies in support five local charities in August at different venues around Guelph. 

Monday, August 14th at 6PM
Swiss Chalet Guelph, 502 Edinburgh Rd. S

Charity: Canadian Cancer Society

Painting: Butterfly

Tuesday, August 15th at 7PM

Location: Kelsey’s Guelph, 124 Woodlawn Rd. 

Charity: Children’s Foundation

Painting: Nerdy Frog

Wednesday, August 16th at 7PM 

Location: Montana’s Guelph, 201 Stone Rd. W. 

Charity: Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis

Painting: Bamboo

Thursday, August 17th at 7PM

Location: Boston Pizza Guelph, 35 Woodlawn Rd. W. 

Charity: Hospice Wellington

Painting: Petals

Friday, August 18th at 6PM

Location: Stampede Ranch Guelph, 226 Woodlawn Rd. W. 

Charity: Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre

Painting: Black Stallion

 Seats are $40/person

A portion of proceeds will be sent to the listed charities. 

ALL materials are provided for you from paint to canvas and smocks! 

Children are welcome to participate at the events on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. 

Registration is required. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.raewrightartistry.ca/product-page/community-heart-fundraiser

World Dwarf Games:

More info HERE!


The tree removal permit for 35-40 Silvercreek Parkway South, also known as the LaFarge lands, was issued on July 26, 2017.
The applicant is now required to post the permit on site for at least five (5) days, after which the applicant can start removing trees from the property following the requirements of the permit. The permit was posted by the applicant on July 27, 2017.

• The City is working with the property owner to ensure the natural heritage features including Howitt Creek are protected during tree removal.

• The large bur oak on the property is being protected and will not be removed.

• As part of the City’s standard process when permitting tree removal, compensation is required to plant new trees within Guelph to offset the loss. 

• For public safety, the City reminds the public to stay off this private property.

Questions and Answers

Why are trees being removed from the site?

The property owner will start removing the trees this summer to get the site into a development ready state. No site plan application has been received by the City.

Does the tree bylaw apply to the property? 

The City’s tree bylaw applies to the property because it’s larger than 0.2 hectares (half an acre). The tree bylaw enables the City to require compensation for trees being removed and to ensure the requirements included in the tree permit are being met. The tree removal permit issued for 35-40 Silvercreek Parkway South complies with Guelph’s tree bylaw.

What will be done to provide compensation for the trees being removed?

Cash in lieu will be provided to plant trees in other areas of Guelph and more than 3400 future tree and shrub plantings will be done on site when development is complete, including potential enhancement of natural areas along Howitt Creek. More than 2800 plantings were also provided previously by the applicant in anticipation of the tree removals on site.

Has a site plan application or other development application been made for the site?

A site plan application is required before development can occur on the property. No site plan application has been received by the City.   

Why is tree protection not being considered as part of the development process?

The property has been zoned for a mix of commercial, high density residential and employment lands. When the zoning applications were approved, impacts including tree removal, tree protection opportunities and the protection of Howitt Creek were considered through the planning process. The area from which the trees are being removed, respects the development limits and tree protection decisions that have been put in place, through the previous planning decisions that have been made. 

Why remove the trees now?

By allowing the tree removals to occur now it enables the owner to get the site into a more development ready state. This will also support the ability for the owner to complete additional technical studies to make a site plan or other development application in the future.

Can the tree removal be delayed until the property owner is ready to sell or develop the property?

Tree removal on the site cannot be delayed now that a tree permit has been issued.

What is being done to protect Howitt Creek on the site?

Through the tree permit the City is requiring mitigation measures to protect the creek corridor including the trees in this area. Fencing will ensure that tree removals only happen within the approved area and remain outside of the creek corridor. Mulch will also be placed on site to help stabilize cleared areas to prevent runoff towards the creek. The fencing will also help filter any potential runoff that may drain from the site to protect water quality in the creek. Staff will be monitoring the site closely to ensure that the fencing remains in place and in good repair.


The City of Guelph has a tree removal and preservation policy. This came into place in August 2010. You can read it HERE.

My issue as of late, with what’s to occur on the Lafarge lands, is one of misinformation. I’ve heard comments and allegations of “council approving clear cutting”. Of “developers always getting their way”. Of “no tree preservation or replanting being done.”

These allegations are not true. 

I’m here to tell you the facts as I know them, as was told to council. And, to tell you my opinions on the matter moving forward.
Here is what was told to council:

The property owner, Silvercreek Guelph Developments Ltd., plans to remove 1,950 trees to ready the site for development. City staff continues to work closely with the property owner on this tree removal application. Activity will start on site within the coming days and the trees will be removed over the next several weeks.
Although the appropriate permitting process is being followed and compensation for the tree removal will be received by the City, the surrounding community currently uses this private property daily for recreation, including dog walking and hiking. The removal of the trees and closure of the site are expected to be poorly received.

Staff will also be sharing this information online and through social media with the community and residents in the immediate neighbourhood (between Paisley Rd, Alma St S and Waterloo Ave) and all others within 120m of the site will also being receiving a notice in the mail. The notice to area residents is also attached for your information.
• The property owner of the former LaFarge land has applied for a City permit to remove the majority of the trees on their site this summer.

• The City is working with the property owner to ensure the natural heritage features including Howitt Creek are protected during tree removal.

• The large bur oak on the property is being protected and will not be removed.

• As part of the City’s standard process when permitting tree removal, compensation is required to plant new trees within Guelph to offset the loss. 

• For public safety, the City reminds the public to stay off this private property.

Questions and Answers:

Why are trees being removed from the site?

The property owner will start removing the trees this summer to get the site into a development ready state. No specific development proposal or site plan application has been received by the City.

What will be done to provide compensation for the trees being removed?

Cash in lieu will be provided to plant trees in other areas of Guelph and more than 3400 future tree and shrub plantings will be done on site when development is complete, including potential enhancement of natural areas along Howitt Creek. More than 2800 plantings were also provided previously by the applicant in anticipation of the tree removals on site.

Does the Tree By-law apply to the property? Has an application to cut/remove trees been submitted to the City?

The City’s tree bylaw applies to the property because it’s larger than 0.2 hectares. City staff has received an application to remove trees on the site and are in the process of issuing the permit now.

 What is the current zoning on the site?

The property is zoned for a mix of commercial, high density residential and employment lands.

Sincerely,
Staff

The media release stated THIS. Please read it.

My opinion and My Commitment to You:

I am greatly concerned that there will be zero development for an extended period of time on any site that has such tree removal. 

It reminds me of the development near my house at the corner of Paisley and Elmira Rd. 

Everyone knew the “forest” on that parcel of land was owned by a developer and was private property. Everyone knew eventually that development would take place. Yet one day it was just clear cut. Gone. 

I kept thinking to myself that if I lived in the subdivision behind that “forest” that I’d be truly disappointed, but I’d also know that it would be temporary. That a development was just around the corner! 

But the reality was that it did sit empty for years.  There was nothing around the corner. When I became the city councillor for that area shortly after I fielded many calls around “when is development happening?” Or “the wind is picking up so much dust of the land now I can’t open my windows in my house anymore!” Or “the amount of waste and litter that is blowing across the land now is ending up in my yard!”  – You get my point. 

There’s now development happening with large high rise buildings, but there was several years of nothing.

So it begs the question, “Why?” “Why cut all the trees down and then not do a thing on the land for years?” 

There very well could be an application or development proposal coming forward soon from the owner of the Lafarge Lands, and I hope there is. But if it sits with nothing for years – that bothers me.

Staff are implementing the tree by-law that is currently in place. The City’s tree by-law does not require that removals have to happen at the time of making an application to build or as part of a site plan. 

Myself and Council need to look at these type of  policies to see if they need to change or be updated to address such concerns as I and others have raised. I am committed to doing exactly that.

In the meantime the events to take place at the Lafarge Lands will be taking place. We can all be somewhat thankful that the owner of the land allowed the public to use it freely for years when they didn’t have to. It could have been fenced off to us all.

So instead, let us all – politicians, city staff, the development community and of course the citizens of this great city engage and focus on what we can do moving forward. We’re Guelph, we’ll figure it out. 

Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Cam 

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.

The Co-operators and the City of Guelph announce 2023 plans for new south end state-of-the-art headquarters:

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.