CITY PAGES: Rinks Open, Artists Wanted, and Holiday Hours

The City of Guelph puts out a lot of information on a weekly basis, and while it all ends up on the City’s website somewhere, wouldn’t it be easier to just scroll through it all on one easy-to-read article on Guelph Politico here…?

The Market Square Rink is Now Open for the Season

Mother Nature has smiled, and the Market Square rink is officially open from 10 am to 10 pm every day. No reservations are needed, but there can only be 25 people at a time on the ice, and you have to stay two metres apart from others. The rink will be open so long as weather permits.

City of Guelph Gets More Money After All

Although there was some concern that we wouldn’t be eligible for the second phase of Safe Restart Funding due to our competent fiscal planning, the City of Guelph still received an additional $1.384 million in additional funding. In this round, the Government of Ontario allocated $299 million to all 444 of Ontario’s municipalities, plus another $396 million that was allocated to 48 specific municipalities that have been especially hard hit by COVID-19. Guelph received $12 million from the Province back in August as part of the first phase of Safe Restart funding.

But What About Help for Businesses?

On the same day, Mayor Cam Guthrie, Guelph Chamber of Commerce CEO Shakiba Shayani, and Downtown Guelph executive director Marty Williams signed a joint letter encouraging upper levels of government to do more to help small businesses. The letter to Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria reiterated some of the points made at a round table discussion last week including the need to get restaurants and small business access to property tax and energy rebates, to increase support for the rent subsidy program, and making sure all businesses have equal access to federal and provincial support. “This is an urgent request, Minister,” the letter said. “We plead with you, on behalf of our local businesses, to act quickly to save them and the jobs they provide.”

New Record Set in Annual Food Drive

Last weekend, Guelph’s emergency services held a physically distant food drive at the Zehrs on Paisley Road, and despite the circumstances, they set a new record for donations. According to a media release from the Guelph Police Service, the equivalent of nearly 20,500 pounds of food was collected last weekend in money and actual food. The police, fire department and paramedics hold this annual “Stuff an Emergency Vehicle” event every year in the weeks before Christmas, and all proceeds go to the Guelph Food Bank.

Wyndham South Will Be Closed for a Week in January

Wyndham Street South between Wellington and York Road will be closed for a week (weather permitting) starting on January 18 so that a tower crane can be installed for the construction of a new building on Wyndham.No City services will be interrupted, and area businesses and residences will still be accessible through the construction period, but a traffic detour will send cars up and down Elizabeth Street for the duration. See the map here.

Looking for the Next Artist in Residence

If you’re a local artist in any media, perhaps you can spend your holiday break planning you’re application to be Guelph’s next artist in residence. The City of Guelph has put out the call for any Guelph-based artists practicing in all art forms including visual, literary or performing arts, architecture and design, or media arts such as sound, video or photography to apply before noon on February 3. The successful candidate would then have to develop a virtual project that engages residents and visitors, animates public spaces, and promotes an appreciation of the arts. The successful applicant will be announced in mid-April, and receive a budget of $6,500 to carry through with their proposal. For more information, click here.

GCAT Suggests Memberships Make a Great Gift

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate this year about increasing Guelph’s access to active transportation driven by the pandemic response, and the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation wants your help to keep up the fight. GCAT is suggesting that if you have an active transportation lover in your life, you should get them a membership with the group for Christmas.  There are four levels of membership ranging from $5 to $25, so GCAT is saying there’s an accessible option for everyone. “Our members help support the advocacy and awareness work that we do throughout the year,” said Yvette Tendick, board member of GCAT. “Membership is a great way to become part of the movement for better and safer active transportation in Guelph.”

Holiday Hours and Details

The City of Guelph has posted the holiday hours for City facilities. The hours are more or less straightforward, but the two-week closure of the Guelph Farmers’ Market is of particular note because it’s taking an hiatus for some maintenance work and a deep cleaning before re-opening on January 9. The City of Guelph is asking everyone to be a “good sort” over the holiday season, meaning that you should all make sure that the excitement of the holidays doesn’t force you to forget how to sort your waste.

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