CITY PAGES: Holiday Stuff, Artists Wanted and Vaccine Proof Changes

The City of Guelph, and it’s various partners and agencies, put 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…?

Holiday Hours at the City of Guelph

Bookmark this for later, but these are the business hours for City of Guelph services over the holidays.

Free Rides for New Year’s Eve on Guelph Transit

If there are still New Year’s celebrations in two weeks, Guelph Transit will once again be offering people a free ride home into the wee hours of 2022. Starting at 7 pm on December 31, Guelph Transit will be free for all passengers. The service will continue its regular schedule until 12:45 am on January 1, when transit will switch over to five zoned routes running every 30 minutes and  connecting riders to downtown Guelph or the University Centre. These buses will run until 2:15 am.

Holiday Night Market Offers Last Chance for Christmas Shoppers

If you’re one of those last-minute shopper types and you like unique, locally-made gifts then you might be interested to know about the Guelph Farmers’ Market’s Holiday Night Market on Thursday December 23 from 3 to 8 pm. According to a City media release, the market, “offers an opportunity for a seasonal celebration and special last-minute shopping with regular and visiting vendors. Pick up everything from local produce, artisan pieces, specialty foods including food trucks, to craft beverages. You’ll also be entertained with live performances just outside the market.” To see a full list of vendors, click here.

GO Transit on Holiday Schedule (and Fares)

Along with local transit, there will be some holiday hours if you need to catch a GO bus or train out of Guelph. All GO Transit services will be running on a Sunday schedule on Christmas and Boxing Day, and then on a Saturday schedule on December 27 and 28. On New Year’s Day, GO will be running their normal Saturday schedule, and will run that Saturday schedule again on Monday January 3. With those weekend schedules extended, GO has also extended the purchase of weekend passes. Between both December 25-28 and January 1-3, customers can get unlimited travel for just $15, and one-day passes are still $10.

Sparkles Means Less Parking at Riverside Park

The main parking lots at Riverside Park, including the lot off Woolwich Street and the gravel and paved lots off Marilyn Drive near the park concession, will be closed from 3 to 9:30 pm every night starting on tonight and running until December 31 because of Sparkles in the Park. Having said that, the park itself, its amenities, and the parking lot off Woodlawn Road and Riverview Drive will remain open for the duration. Learn more about Sparkles in the Park here.

City of Guelph to Initiate Vaccine Mandate Changes

Following up on last week’s announcement from Queen’s Park about changes to the vaccine certification program, the City of Guelph has confirmed that they will follow the new directives. Starting on December 20, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 will have to have proof of vaccination to play organized sports at the City’s rec facilities. As of January 4, anyone wanting to visit a City facility will have to show proof in the form of the QR code generated though the Verify Ontario app, either on their phone or a paper version. Finally, people with a medical exemptions will have to have the enhanced medical exemption, where the doctor or nurses note is submitted though public health. This goes into effect on January 10.

City of Guelph Doing Bylaw Work for Wellington North

The City of Guelph and Wellington North have entered into a unique pilot program starting on January 1, 2022: Guelph will provide bylaw enforcement in the areas of property standards, swimming pools, door-to-door sales, and zoning infractions for the Township during a one-year trial run. “Partnering with the City of Guelph for bylaw enforcement will allow complaints to be handled more effectively in the township,” said Wellington North Chief Building Official Darren Jones in a statement. “Regular reports will be used to assess and modify service and fill in any gaps in delivery, while also assessing the benefits in a years time.”

Guelph Looking for a New Artist in Residence

If you’re a Guelph artist looking for a new gig in the public service realm, would you consider becoming Guelph’s ninth Artist in Residence. The City of Guelph has now opened expressions of interest from local artists practicing in all art forms including visual, literary or performing arts; architecture and design; or media arts such as sound, video or photography. If you’re interested in applying, you have to submit a resume, three examples of previous works and an Expression of Interest outlining a preliminary project proposal through an online form. Artists will be evaluated on their qualifications, experience, body of work, merit of proposal and capacity to engage the community. Deadline is February 1, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

Arts Council Hands Out Awards for Heritage Work

The Guelph Arts Council has award funding for two different projects under their Research and Renewal Award, which creates for local creatives to engage with archives,
collections, and resources in developing research-based art projects.

The first project is from Silas Chinsen and Lizzy Mikulich and it’s called Carved From Stone, which will examine “Guelph’s long history with limestone to use as the creative material for two pieces of music and animation. The work will use field recordings of local limestone and bodies of water, and the animation of historic photos and original drawings.”

The second project is from Siberian-Canadian composer, operatic singer and producer Alia Miroshnichenko, whose musical project will “rediscover the connection between the Guelph community and its plant-based life by creating a series of musical compositions that would involve collaborative musical co-operation between human and non-human subjects like trees, mushrooms, and plants… using an electronic device with censors to read biometric data”

Old Chairs are the New Chairs at Catholic Board

Vikki Dupuis and Sebastian Dal Bo return as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively of the Wellington Catholic District School Board for the next year. Trustees made their choice at the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 6. “I am honoured to be re-elected as Chair and to continue to work with my fellow trustees to advocate for a quality faith-based education and school experience for all of our students,” said Dupuis in a statement. “These are unprecedented times and now, more than ever, we need to provide our children and youth with supportive learning spaces where students’ well-being, mental health and growth in learning are the focus.”

More Details Unearthed From Baker Street

In their latest by-weekly update about the state of the archeological excavation work at the Baker Street parking lot, the City of Guelph said that they’ve now made 37 distinct discoveries of human remains (bone fragments) and 83 grave shafts have been unearthed. At one point, the City thought that there were 84 grave shafts, but it turns out that one of them was only a “non-grave related feature.” Excavation work is expected to continue in the new year.

Metrolinx Taking Electric Buses for a Spin

Metrolinx has started to test drive a pair of double-decker GO buses, but these buses are unique because they’ve been retrofitted with nine batteries that give the buses a total energy of 648 kilowatt hours, which is about 16-times more battery power when compared to a popular commercial EV like the Nissan Leaf, which has one battery with a 40 kWh capacity. Metrolinx will be driving the bus along routes west of Toronto in order to gather data on how the buses perform in different settings and weather conditions. There will be no passengers on the bus, but interestingly, one of the features of the EV buses will be more cargo space for passengers inside and outside the bus, which will be a unique feature for a GO fleet vehicle.

Construction Update

On Friday, there was finally some traffic relief in the Ward as York Road is re-open to traffic, at least until April when construction resumes between Ontario Street and Brockville Avenue. Meanwhile, construction on Stevenson Street between Ferguson Street and the Guelph Junction Railway tracks will continue until mid-January before beginning a planned winter break, according to an update from the City of Guelph. However, a section of Elizabeth Street will be closed between Wellington and Stevenson to install a new sewer pipe and repaving from December 18 to 21.

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