CITY PAGES: New GO Service, Flood Warnings, and Tree Planting

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…?

New GO Service Announced Between Hamilton and Waterloo Region

It’s been a long drought since Greyhound pulled up stakes at the beginning of the pandemic, but there’s now an easy and convenient way to get to Kitchener on public transit. Metrolinx has announced that starting on April 8 there will be a new Route #17 that will run from Hamilton to Waterloo with stops in Guelph and Kitchener at least once an hour on weekdays.

Southbound routes will start at the University of Waterloo at 5 am and run Monday to Friday with the last one will leaving at 8 pm. The route passes though Wilfred Laurier University, and downtown Kitchener before hitting Guelph Central Station, the University of Guelph, and the park-and-ride in Aberfoyle. That bus will then go down Highway #6 with stops at the Alderstock GO and McMaster University before hitting the end point at Hamilton GO. The northbound trips from Hamilton GO start at 5:55 am and the last bus leaves at 9 pm.

In addition to the new Hamilton to Waterloo route, there are changes coming on the #31 route which people know better as the Kitchener Line. Starting the week of April 8, the Saturday and Sunday GO Train is being extended to the Mount Pleasant GO Station with easy bus connections that will take one to and from Georgetown, Acton, Guelph and Kitchener.

There will also be changes on other GO routes and you can see if any of them apply to you by clicking here.

New Resilience Program Launched Thanks to Big Cheque from Trillium

Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington launched their Village Finding Project this week with help from $95,500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Village Finding Project hopes to foster connections between caring community members, children, and their families who are struggling or in crisis. Positive connections with caring adults help children feel better and develop resilience to face life’s challenges.

“We admire how OTF has shifted their frameworks, expectations, and budgets to better serve non-profits in an effort to grow and rebuild families’ resilience affected by the
Covid-19 pandemic,” said Daria Allan-Ebron, executive director of Family & Children’s Services in a statement. “We believe that children and youth belong at home with their families whenever possible, and will do everything we can to keep families together. We are grateful for this vital support as we work toward a stronger, healthier community.”

Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner was on-hand for the announcement, endorsing both the grant money and the project itself. “By working together in innovative ways and with community partners, I am confident that our community will continue to reduce childhood risk factors and increase positive factors that protect the health and wellbeing of the next generation,” he said.

VIA Rail Working on Diversity Measures

After an incident earlier this week where a Muslim man was harassed by security after praying in the Ottawa train terminal, VIA Rail says that they’re working on doing better and had a meeting on Wednesday with the National Council of Canadian Muslims to find a way to ensure that VIA provides an inclusive environment where passengers and employees feel safe practising freedom of religion, including the ability to worship.

“VIA Rail representatives reiterated the Corporation’s apologies for the event to the entire Muslim community. They reaffirmed that VIA Rail strongly condemns Islamophobia as well as any form of discriminatory behaviour,” a media release said. “NCCM has also been in contact with the individual involved in the incident and is committed to working with all partners to ensure that together we build a Canada free from Islamophobia.”

The VIA release said that they shared with the NCCM their Diversity and Inclusion policies and training program in order to find improvements. VIA said that they strongly condemn Islamophobia as well as any form of discriminatory behaviour.

GRCA Warns About Flood Risk and Rushing Water

With high temperatures and rainfall forecast this weekend, the Grand River Conservation Authority has issued a warning about higher flows in local waterways that will increase the risk in low-lying areas typically prone to flooding. River flows will be elevated, thus increasing the safety risk around rivers and streams throughout the watershed, so the public is encouraged to exercise extreme caution around all local waterways. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery and, when combined with cold, fast-moving water, pose a serious hazard.

Meanwhile, the GRCA is expecting lake levels to rise by 1.1 metres above the current level sometime between early evening on Saturday and the early morning hours of Sunday, March 26. Communities along the lakeshore are being asked to monitor roads and implement closures as necessary. The public is reminded to stay away from the Lake Erie shoreline due to the potential for strong wave action and elevated water levels and follow the direction of local flood coordinators and emergency officials.

Upcoming Tree Planting Opportunities

The Environmental Committee of the Rotary Club has some opportunities coming up where you can help plant some trees. First, on Earth Day April 22, there will be a tree planting and environmental fair at 335 Laird Road with booths, entertainment, food, and, of course, tree planting. Trees, shovels, mulch, pails and planting instructions will be provided you just have to bring yourself, your boots and your gloves.

If you already have plans for Earth Day, there will be other opportunities to plant some trees. Trees for Guelph is hosting two spring community plantings; the first is on May 6 at Hanlon Business Park from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and the second is at Howitt Park also from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. All you need to do is bring along your work gear, registration will be on site the day of.

Info Night About Forming School Councils

The Upper Grand District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committee is holding an event on Wednesday April 26 at 5:30 to talk about “Building Engaging School Councils.” The event is open to all parents and guardians in order to talk about the role of school councils, communications, fundraising, and how councils work with the school administration. The event takes place at Centre Wellington District High School, 905 Scotland Street in Fergus, and dinner is included so you have to register in advanced.

Additional Notes

REMINDER #1: The City of Guelph is collecting feedback for the review and update of the Private Tree Protection By-law. The deadline to have your say is April 14.

REMINDER #2: The Clean and Green local clean-up campaign returns this April, and you can register right now to sign up your team to make one of Guelph’s parks, trails and open spaces spick and span. Register by April 9.

Mark April 18 on your calendar because that’s when the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw will come back to council for final approval.

Jesse Cook will stop at the River Run Centre as part of his Libre Tour on Tuesday April 18 at 8 pm on the main stage.

Changes to upcoming Wellington County committee meetings:

New and Upcoming Construction

There will be lane reductions on Wyndham Street South between Fountain and Farquhar for two weeks starting on March 27 for the installation of new sewer pipes to support the Metrolinx project for the Kitchener Corridor Expansion Program.

The will be lane reductions on Speedvale Avenue between Glenwood and the Guelph Junction Railway tracks just east of Woolwich starting on March 27. The work – including a road widening, new underground infrastructure, and new sidewalks and multiuse paths – will continue until September.

Downey Road will be closed from Hanlon Creek Boulevard to Teal Drive for one week starting on April 10 for the installation of new sewer pipes.

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