City taking soil samples on site where drums were found

Restoring flow of Howitt Creek until construction resumes

Guelph, ON, Monday, October 20 – This week, the City will begin taking soil samples from the site where construction crews found and removed eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums of chemicals last month.

Discovering the drums

On September 2 and 3, eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums of chemicals were found on a construction site near the Wellington/Hanlon interchange. The City contained the liquid and affected soil immediately and notified the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The City used clean soil to back fill the area. The liquid was transported from the site for disposal on September 5 and affected soil was transported for disposal on September 9 and 10.

Site scans and soil samples

On September 18, the City used electro-magnetic and ground penetrating radar surveys to study the construction zone near the Wellington/Hanlon interchange. The results show seven locations where the City could find large metal objects, and smaller metal objects were also detected along the project route.

“We’re taking all necessary precautions before doing any more digging,” said Kealy Dedman, City Engineer. “Based on the survey results we expect to find large metal objects, and we’ll have a spill response team on site for any materials we need to remove, contain or transport for safe disposal.”

As the regulatory agency involved, the MOECC approved the City’s plan to dig eight test-pits and analyze the soil in the area before resuming full-scale construction activity. The construction zone travels through three historic landfill sites and the City will clean up any materials found in the area as required by MOECC.

The City will report the soil sample results to the MOECC before making any further plans to resume construction of the Paisley-Clythe watermain.

“Our next steps will depend on the results of the soil analysis, and we’ll continue updating the community as we prepare to resume construction,” said Dedman.


Work near Howitt Creek to begin October 22

Also this week, the City will remove a temporary bypass pipe from Howitt Creek to restore its normal flow until full-scale construction resumes. The pipe was being used to restrict and redirect the flow of Howitt Creek during construction. This practice is common, and was approved by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA).

On September 21, with the flow of the creek restricted, heavy rain caused Howitt Creek to overflow and send water into the construction site. An Environmental Protection Officer inspected the area. The officer did not see any discharge from the excavated area or evidence of contaminated material flowing into Howitt Creek or downstream, but noted partial erosion of the bank separating the area from the creek.

The City contacted the MOECC about removing the pipe, and a Provincial Officer inspected the area on September 22. The Ministry has approved plans to remove the pipe, install a liner and use clean fill and rock or rubble to prevent further erosion and overflow.

Residents can report spills involving chemicals, oil, paint or any other suspicious materials by calling the Ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.


Questions and answers about discovery of drums on construction site

Map of approximate test pit locations (print quality)

Paisley-Clythe feedermain project map (print quality)

Historic industrial and landfill activity near Wellington Street work site

September 15, 2014 Further sampling and tests required before resuming work on watermain

September 8, 2014 - Report identifies mixture of solvents found in buried drums

September 5, 2014 - City removing eight buried drums from Wellington Street construction site

September 4, 2014 - More drums unearthed on Wellington Street construction site

September 3, 2014 - Unknown liquid unearthed during construction near Wellington Street

About the project: York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain

Media Contact

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248

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Guelph, ON – October 20, 2014  — Guelph Arts Council (GAC) is pleased to be accepting applications for the sixth year of the Youth Opportunities Award. This award is made possible through the Youth Opportunities Fund, held by Guelph Arts Council, at Guelph Community Foundation. Each year, GAC offers the opportunity for local youth and citizens to apply for funds to support their youth led or youth specific initiatives. As always, the goal of this award is to assist local artists, not-for-profit groups, and youth to initiate, enhance, and expand opportunities involving the arts.


Projects should be innovative, original, and creative. Projects can include exhibitions, concerts, publications, classes, mentorship, and any other opportunity to engage youth in the transformative power of the arts. Preference will be given to applicants with a proven record of ability to effectively initiate, expand or enhance opportunities for youth in the arts.


The previous Youth Opportunities Award was presented to the Children’s Contemporary Art Collective of Guelph. The collective was created by local visual artists Carolyn Meili and Melissa Mazar whose goals in its creation were to eventually establish a not-for-profit gallery specifically for children.  The project for which the Collective requested support was a self-portrait study of Grade 3 students to be displayed at the 11th Annual Art on the Street. They described the portrait show as an excellent way “to encourage children to develop an interest in the arts by providing a public outlet through which they can express themselves.”


Applicants must complete the required application form available online at or at our office at 147 Wyndham Street Suite 404. The deadline for applications is November 14, 2014.


For more information contact the Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280 or at



For more information contact:


Sonya Poweska

Executive Director

Guelph Arts Council


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Southgate Drive site servicing


109 Southgate Drive at east leg of Southgate Drive at Laird Road



The project

This project will provide site servicing to 109 Southgate Drive. The work will be undertaken by Goetz Construction Ltd. under contract to the City of Guelph. The work will entail removal of the asphalt, excavation and installation of underground infrastructure and restoration of the road and shoulders once all services have been installed and commissioned. All work will be done within the City’s right of way.


Construction timeline

The construction is scheduled to begin October 14, 2014 and expected to be complete October 17, 2014, weather permitting.


Road closure

Southgate Drive will have a road closure planned to connect the watermain. All businesses with driveway entrances south of 70 Southgate Drive should enter from the east leg of Southgate Drive from Laird Road. All other businesses should enter Southgate Drive from the signalized intersection of Southgate Drive at Laird Road. Detour routes will be in effect for Guelph Transit services. More information will be available on or by calling 519-822-1811.


Property access and parking

There should be no driveway access closures but delays are to be expected for construction operations and equipment movement during normal business hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at this location.


City services

Waste collection will not be impacted by the construction.  Please continue to place your green, blue and clear waste bags or green, blue and grey carts at the curb as per your regularly scheduled collection time and the contractor will arrange to move them to an appropriate collection area.


The City of Guelph appreciates your patience, understanding and co-operation during this important construction project.


Construction project information is available on the City’s website at


For more information about the 109 Southgate Drive project or if you require this document to be provided in an alternative format as per The Accessibility for Ontarian’s Disabilities Act, please contact:



Grant Ferguson

Manager of Technical Services

Engineering Services

Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment

1 Carden Street, Guelph ON N1H 3A1

T 519-822-1260 x 2251


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Guelph receives $1.1 million in Provincial funding to support active and healthy kids



GUELPH, ON, September 12, 2014 – Guelph has been chosen to participate in Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge program, which provides $1.1 million in Provincial funding along with training and other resources over four years. This will enable the City of Guelph to implement community-based programs and activities to promote children’s health, including healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices such as the importance of getting adequate sleep.

Programs will begin to be implemented in winter 2015 and will include breakfast programs; sports programming for teens; toolkits and resources to improve sleep in children and youth; an online portal and cookbook to promote healthy eating; data collection on child and youth health; and the expansion of the successful STEPS recreation program for at-risk youth to elementary school children.

“Guelph’s participation in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge will enable the City and its partners to make a significant difference for local children and youth, and help them develop good habits that will last a lifetime,” said the City’s Executive Director of Community and Social Services Derrick Thomson. “It will help us meet identified needs and improve outcomes across all neighbourhoods in Guelph.”

Under the Challenge’s partnership model, programs and activities will be delivered by a range of community partners, with the City administering the overall program as well as running certain programs through the Community and Social Services division.

Community partners include Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, the local public and Catholic school boards, Perpetual Motion Sports and Entertainment, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph YMCA-YWCA, Guelph Wellington Children’s Foundation, Wyndham House, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, and Guelph Youth Council.

“Collaboration and partnerships have always been one of our community’s great strengths, and this is one more example,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “As a participant in this Challenge, we will improve health and wellbeing for children and youth by building on the strengths and resources that already exist in our community. This is exactly what we have been developing through Guelph Wellbeing – and this support from the Province is one more signal that we are on the right track.”

Mayor Farbridge is the Community Champion for the Challenge, responsible for building support for a shared vision, facilitating partner engagement, and inspiring and creating change.

Guelph is one of 45 communities across Ontario chosen to participate. Selection criteria included clear evidence of need among local children and youth, the community’s ability to establish strong partnerships with local businesses, schools and health organizations, and a demonstrated ability to deliver programs for children and youth.

Guelph’s application to the program was led by the Youth Services team in the City’s Community and Social Services division.

– 30 -



Adam Rutherford

Project Manager – Youth Services

Community Services

City of Guelph

519 822 1260 x2703

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Announcement: City of Guelph Wellbeing Grant Program – Open for Applications


Good Afternoon,

This email is to advise you that the City of Guelph Wellbeing Grant Program is now open for applications


The 2015 Wellbeing Grant Program opened applications on Monday, Aug 25th .  Incorporated, not-for-profit community organizations are invited to apply to the City of Guelph for 2015 funding.  Completed applications must be submitted by 4pm on Thursday, Oct 9th electronically to .  Late applications will not be accepted


Eligible organizations can apply for small operating, project or capital grant funding. This means grants can be used for core operating funding, one-off events, projects, or for small capital items.  The program’s policy and forms are found on the City’s website at

The call for applications was advertised in the Tribune on Aug 28th and Sept 4th.  In addition, organizations who applied for 2013 and/or 2014 grants were advised via e-mail of the call for applications.  Two community information sessions were held on September 9th


Please find attached a Frequently Asked Questions Document related to the grants and  direct inquiries to our Grants Co-ordinator, Karen Kawakami ,

Social Services Policy and Program Liaison, at 519-822-1260 x 2094

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Fall Session of Watermain Cleaning Program to Begin on September 14



Hello Mayor Farbridge and Members of Council:

Please be advised that, beginning on Sunday, Sept 14th, Water Services will be completing the Fall session of our semi-annual Watermain Cleaning Program.

At this point we plan to be completed by Friday, October 10th.

This Fall, licensed water distribution operators will clean approximately 91 kilometers of watermain.

Areas to be cleaned are outlined in the attached map.

Customer notification and service activities will include:

●  Local newspaper advertising starting this week and continuing to program end;

●  Local radio advertising starting next week and continuing to program end;

●  Bulk mail notices delivered to all affected customers the week prior to cleaning;

●  Delivery of door hanger notices to all customers on the day before they experience an interruption in water service;

●  Press release distributed this week announcing program start and where customers can get more information;

●  Signage (4 signs) located at key entry points to the areas affected;

●  Posting of relevant information on City web site, including press release, and Frequently Asked Questions; and

●  24/7 customer telephone support (regular hours – 519-837-5627, after hours – 1-866-630-9242).

We anticipate a number of customer inquiries related to the program and are committed to limiting customer inconvenience while ensuring program success.

Please contact Kier Taylor (mailto: of Water Services if you require additional program information and please direct customer inquiries our way.

Thank you for your support.



Peter L. Busatto | General Manager, Guelph Water Services
T 519-837 -5627 x 2165 |

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Statement from the Office of the CAO re: Urbacon Settlement

Last night City Council received a staff report regarding settlement of the City’s litigation with Urbacon and it directed staff to make public the details of the settlement. Read the City Council resolution regarding the settlement with Urbacon.

The City and Urbacon have settled the litigation out of court for $6.635 million.

I’m pleased that both parties were able to come together and reach settlement. Doing so has saved the City of Guelph further legal costs and provides certainty of the outcome.

Next steps

As follow up, I have asked the City’s internal auditor to conduct a full review of risk associated with complex capital projects so that we have the benefit of lessons learned during this project, and so that we can apply that information to future projects.


The entire project (including City Hall and the POA Court) ran a deficit of $257,000 before legal fees and settlement costs. After legal fees and settlement costs, the total project deficit is $8,346,261.

The City’s total legal costs are $2,233,982.

The City will fund the settlement costs not already provided for from its capital asset renewal reserve, the Legal/OMB reserve and the Capital Tax Reserve fund. The funds transferred from the capital asset renewal reserve fund will be repaid over a five-year period.


For more information

Ann Pappert
Chief Administrative Officer
519-822-1260 extension 2221

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Final rollout of waste carts



Good morning Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,


I’d like to provide you with an update on the implementation of Guelph’s conversion to fully automated cart collection.


The 2014 waste cart rollout to the final one-third of Guelph households will take place over a six-week period, starting Monday, September 22.


As you may recall from last year, residents will receive a comprehensive carts user guide and collection schedule in their green cart. For your reference, hard copies will be delivered to your City Hall office this afternoon. The information in all these resources is also available on


Starting Thursday, September 11, households in 2014 cart distribution neighbourhoods will receive a door hanger with the date cart delivery starts, when to put their carts out at the curb for collection and additional information about the upcoming cart roll out.


Upcoming key dates

  • September 9
    • Advertising and promotion begins
    • September 22
      • Cart delivery starts
      • October 31
        • Cart delivery ends
        • November 3*
          • Automated cart collection begins in residential neighbourhoods

*Dependent upon the collection schedule a household follows.


Key messages

In preparation for questions from residents and the media you may field, below is a refresher on this program’s key messages:

  1. The City is committed to completing the third and final rollout of waste carts to achieve continued success reducing the amount of waste Guelph sends to landfill, lowering operating costs and decreasing Guelph’s carbon footprint.
  • To date, Guelph has the highest waste diversion rate—68 per cent—of all Ontario municipalities.
  • Automated cart collection allows for a reduction in the number of waste collection trucks on Guelph roads.
  • To realize the forecasted $460,000 cost savings all Guelph residents and businesses already served by the City’s curbside waste collection program must take part in the new automated waste collection program.
  1. The City recognizes residents and businesses in the downtown core have unique waste collection needs.
  • The City acknowledges waste carts are not a one-size fits all waste collection solution for everyone in the downtown core.
  • The City invested resources this past summer to provide individual consultations with downtown residents and businesses to inform a customized approach for waste collection solutions to ensure those living and working in the downtown voices are heard and their needs will be met.
  1. The City is diligently working with downtown businesses and households to provide site specific solutions for three-stream waste collection.
  • The City can offer downtown properties—businesses and households—a number of flexible, three-stream waste collection options to best suit their individual needs.


Click here for a link to all updated waste cart FAQs on


What’s different from last year?

The downtown core will transition to automated waste cart collection late this fall. The City recognizes downtown residents and businesses have unique waste collection needs. Recognizing waste carts are not a one-size fits all waste collection solution for every household and business in the downtown core, the City is offering the following three-stream sorting options:


A. An individual set of green, blue and grey carts

B. A communal set of carts to share with other businesses and/or residents

C. Use of public space containers along the street

D. Use of public space containers at designated locations that are less visible from the street


Downtown households and businesses are welcome to use any combination of these four options.


Cart delivery starts in the downtown core in late November with automated collection beginning in December. Households and businesses in the downtown core will also receive a customized comprehensive automated waste collection user guide.


More information on waste collection in the downtown core, as well as, a copy of the downtown waste collection user guide will be shared with you prior to November. Click here for a link to all updated information on waste collection in the downtown core.


What are downtown residents and businesses saying?

This past summer, City staff worked with the Guelph Downtown Neighbourhood Association (GDNA) and the Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) to encourage their members—residents and businesses—in the downtown core to schedule an onsite consultation to voice their preference and make an informed decision about choosing the most suitable waste collection option for their residence or business.


To date, City staff have consulted 99 per cent of the businesses in the downtown core that are on public collection and have received selections from 90 per cent of them. The City has also received selections from 30 per cent of the residents in the downtown core, although this number does not include business owners that accounted for their residential units in their selections. Based on the selections received, 52 per cent of businesses have chosen individual or shared sets of carts, 39 per cent have chosen use of public space containers along the street and two per cent chosen use of public space containers at designated locations that are less visible from the street. Seven (7) per cent have chosen a combination of carts and public space containers.


Questions and more information

If you have further questions about the program, please contact me.

To manage all incoming inquiries as quickly as possible, I will field those from the media directly and I ask that residents’ inquiries are directed to Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598 or Additional information is also available at







Heather Connell | Manager, Integrated Services
Solid Waste Resources | Planning & Building, Engineering and Environmental Services
City of Guelph

T 519-822-1260 x 2082 | F 519-767-1660

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Report identifies mixture of solvents found in buried drums

Meeting set to discuss next steps for construction on former landfill

Guelph, ON September 8, 2014 – A report identifying the chemical make-up of the liquid found buried on a local construction has been submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

Last week, crews discovered eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums buried on a construction site near the Wellington Street/Hanlon Expressway interchange. The drums had leaked, and the City pumped and removed 34,700 litres of liquid from the site; a mixture of rainwater and solvents. The City is also removing contaminated soil from the area.

The City hired MMM Group Limited to analyze the contents of the drums and the surrounding soil, and report the results to the MOECC. According to the report, the drums contained a mixture of common substances used in fuels, as solvents, or in manufacturing such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and styrene.

The City also hired Airzone to monitor air quality, and has submitted all test results to the MOECC and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

The area has a history of industrial activity, and was a former landfill site in the 1950s. The City conducted geotechnical scans every 40 to 50 metres before beginning construction, and a more detailed radar scan was conducted last week. The scan shows metal and other debris is still buried in the area, and it is possible more barrels could be found.

“Crews will stop working in this area as we consult with the Ministry,” said project engineer, Majde Qaqish. “A meeting is set for Thursday, September 11 to discuss next steps for construction on the site.”

The City will continue posting updates about this project at


For more information

Majde Qaqish
Project Engineer, Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2225


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City and Urbacon settle out of court for $6.635 million

GUELPH, ON, September 8, 2014 – The City of Guelph and Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. have settled their legal dispute out of court for $6.635 million.

“By reaching a settlement out of court, the City avoids further legal costs and gains certainty on the cost impact. The cost will be accommodated within the City’s capital financing guideline to ensure it does not result in an increase in property taxes, and that the City’s financial position is protected,” says Mayor Karen Farbridge. “As we move on from the litigation, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that today, Guelph has a well-functioning, award-winning City Hall and Market Square that will serve our community well for decades to come.”

“Urbacon is proud of its involvement in the construction of the City Hall for the City of Guelph and wishes to express its gratitude to the many trades that assisted in its creation,” says Urbacon’s Chief Executive Officer, Marco Mancini. “We are pleased that, notwithstanding the issues that separated us, Urbacon and the City were able to come together and resolve our disputes.”

There are sufficient funds in City reserves to fund the settlement. The City will fund the settlement costs not already provided for from its capital asset renewal reserve, the Legal/OMB reserve and the Capital Tax Reserve fund. The funds transferred from the capital asset renewal reserve fund will be repaid over a five-year period.

Payback can be accommodated within the capital financing guideline, so there is no impact on the tax levy. This is also not expected to impact the City’s capital program as the repayment has been accommodated in the City’s 10-year capital plan.

“The cost impact of this settlement can be accommodated within the City’s current financial means with no impact on Guelph’s latest credit rating which included consideration for this payment,” says Al Horsman, Guelph’s Chief Financial Officer. “It also releases financial liabilities provided for this item at no increase to the tax levy.”

Finally, while the settlement is for $6.635 million, the City has already made some provisions for this cost, and its holdback will further offset the impact.

“I want to thank Guelph’s CAO, Ann Pappert; our CFO, Al Horsman; Urbacon’s CEO, Marco Mancini; and its COO, Ron Carinci for their diligent work in reaching this settlement,” said Mayor Farbridge.

About City Hall
Litigation backgrounder
City Hall and Courthouse timeline

For more information
Ann Pappert
Chief Administrative Officer
519-822.1260 extension 2221

Al Horsman
Executive Director & CFO
519-8221260 extension 5606

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