CITY PAGES: Rail Concerns, Planning Guest, and Elora Gorge Tickets

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…?

City Staff to Address Concerns Around Rail Crossing

There’s been a lot of community outrage about the possibility of a new overpass or underpass at the railroad tracks across Edinburgh Road south of Paisley following a community open house on June 1. If you have questions, and are desperately seeking answers, there will be two follow up virtual sessions on Monday June 20 at 6:30 pm and Wednesday June 22 at 2:30 pm. The City went with virtual sessions so they wouldn’t be constrained with capacity issues, so come one and come all. For more information, or to RSVP to one of the sessions, click here. And to Have Your Say about the rail crossing study, click here until June 29.

Famous Planner Coming to Guelph

The former chief city planner for Vancouver is coming to Guelph to talk about our planning issues. Brent Toderian, who’s known worldwide as a champion for more sustainable, healthy, livable and equitable city-building will be touring Guelph, talking to our City planners, reviewing our master plans, and then giving the people his notes in a live virtual event on Thursday June 23 at 6:30 pm. You will be able to tune in here.

“Thirty years ago, I started my city planning career in the Guelph-Kitchener-Waterloo area—I lived in all three cities—and I’m happy to now be able to provide a fresh perspective around Guelph’s big opportunities,” Toderian said in a statement. “I’m known for my constructive bluntness, so you can expect direct and practical advice, but also a lot of big ideas and inspiration from creative cities of every size around the world.”

GRCA Moving to Online Tickets for Elora Gorge

If you’re planning a day trip to the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, you will have to buy your tickets online before going. Two 4-hour sessions are being offered each day from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm with capacity limited to 200 people or 150 vehicles per session. Tickets must be purchased separately for each session. You can purchase tickets one week in advance at various price points; $10.50 for adults, $5.50 for children, and $15.00  for a vehicle. No walk-up purchases will be permitted and GRCA membership passes will not be accepted. Learn more by clicking here.

More Free Parking Downtown

The City of Guelph has announced, as a pilot project, that the 64 spaces in the parking lot on Macdonell Street will now be available for free, two-hour parking the same as any on-street spaces. This is on top of recent changes to upper Wyndham and Woolwich street to create over 30 new free spaces in the core.

“Downtown is the vibrant and thriving core of our city. We’ve heard from our business community that access to additional parking downtown is critical for them right now as they focus on recovering from the impacts of the pandemic,” said John Regan, general manager of economic development and tourism in a statement. “We’re making parking accessible and convenient for more people coming downtown and we’ve already had some positive feedback from businesses about the changes we’re making.”

New Wayfinding System for Visually Impaired People on Campus

The University of Guelph is expanding the electronic wayfinding system designed to help blind and visually impaired people navigate their way around campus. The system is called BlindSquare, and it uses a network of wall-mounted beacons whose low-energy signals are picked up by the devices of users who have downloaded the BlindSquare app. There are now 400 GPS-enabled BlindSquare service points on campus including at the entrances to all buildings.

The system uses a combination of GPS, Bluetooth and QR codes to assist people inside and out. The GPS covers areas outdoors in a 10-kilometre radius around campus and Bluetooth signals take over indoors while the QR codes give people additional information like what floors a particular elevator accesses or where the gender-neutral washrooms are. The Guelph Lions Club provided $48,000 in funding over four years to extend the BlindSquare system across campus.

City Looking for Help on Rental Working Group

The City of Guelph is looking for volunteers to take part in the new Short-Term Rental Working Group, which will meet this summer between July and September to provide insight into the benefits and impacts of licensing unregulated short-term rental properties in Guelph and as a result help staff create regulations for Council’s consideration. Who can be in the group? If you…

  • own, rent or live in Guelph
  • own a hotel, bed and breakfast or inn
  • operate short-term rentals through Airbnb, Vrbo or other platforms
  • run tourism-related businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues; and
  • work with community agencies such as Guelph Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Guelph Business Association.

…then you can apply by filling out the short-term rental working group application here.

Additional Notes

The Rotary Club is still look for volunteers for their Canada Day festivities in Riverside Park, and for the beer tent they’ll be running during the Guelph Games in Exhibition Park on July 1-3.

The County of Wellington won three Municipal Waste Association (MWA) awards for their “innovative promotional and educational (P&E) materials.”

Guelph Public Library and the Vocamus Writers Community have announced the results of their Teen ETCH Short Story Contest.

There will be a special transit schedule to help get people home from Riverside Park on Canada Day.

Guelph-Wellington’s Smart Cities Office wants to know how climate change has influenced your buying habits. Take their survey anytime before Sunday June 26.

The Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw and Companion Official Plan Amendment will be available for viewing and feedback in an open house on July 6, and the statutory planning meeting will take place on July 13.

John McCormick, the associate chief information officer of the Upper Grand District School Board, was recognized with an award for “outstanding contributions to technology in Ontario schools.”

New and Upcoming Construction

There will be lane reductions for the next week on Metcalfe Street between Emma and Terry to replace the concrete curb and sidewalk.

Work begins on the next phase of the retaining wall replacement project on Speedvale Avenue between Imperial and Royal on June 20 and it will continue for four weeks. Lanes will be reduced during the replacement of a utility poll.

Fountain Street East, Farquhar Street and Freshfield Street will be closed to through traffic from Gordon Street to Wyndham for three weeks starting on June 21 so that curbs can be repaired, and the roads can be repaved.

Cassino Avenue will be closed between Victoria and Stevenson for two weeks starting on June 24 so that curbs can be repaired, and the roads can be repaved.

There will be lane reductions on Bellevue Street between Maple and High Park for a week starting on June 27 to install water service and repair the asphalt roadway.

There will be lane reductions for one day on June 27 on Edinburgh Road South between Wellington and Manor Park as a detailed inspection of the bridge over the Speed River takes place.

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