Downtown Rowdiness Cure

At first, I got a good chuckle out of this story, but maybe the City Council of Victoria, BC is on to something…..


Carden Street re-opens to traffic on Saturday, August 13

One-way traffic and parking on-street as construction continues
in Market Square

GUELPH, ON, August 12, 2011 – Starting tomorrow evening,
vehicles will be able to travel on Carden Street while construction continues on
the rink, water feature, pavilion, seating areas, trees and landscaping in
Guelph’s Market Square.

“Crews are still working on site, so we ask that people drive
carefully in the area,” says Richard Henry, City Engineer. “Drivers will be able
to travel one way, eastbound, between Wilson Street and Wyndham Street, and
there are more than 30 parking spaces in front of the shops and

When Guelph’s Market Square, rink, water feature and pavilion
are completed in December, Carden Street will accommodate two-way traffic and

“We are very excited to see the square taking shape,” says Ian
Panabaker, the City’s Corporate Manager of Downtown Renewal. “At this point we
can begin to see how big and beautiful it will be when it’s finished. This
December, we get to skate in the square for the very first time and people will
keep coming downtown, year after year, to skate in the winter and cool off in
the summer. It will be the perfect spot to enjoy a festival, special event, or
to just hang out.”

The City plans to pour the concrete for the rink next month, and
is already working on the oval-shaped glass pavilion which will house public
washrooms, lockers, seating and a drinking fountain. The pavilion will also
store the zamboni and the controls for the rink and water feature.

“Unfortunately, initial submissions to build the pavilion
exceeded the approved budget,” add Henry. “We had to re-work the design of the
building and re-tender this part of the project, and that’s set us back by about
three months on the square.”

The City is already making plans for a grand opening and other
events to welcome people to Guelph’s Market Square. Event announcements and
project updates will be available

Guelph’s Market
Square is designed to create a beautiful community space that will serve as a
year-round setting for civic and cultural events and daily shopping. In front of
City Hall, the square will feature an outdoor rink and water feature, seating
areas, trees and landscaping and an oval-shaped glass pavilion to house
washrooms, lockers, seating and a water fountain. The rink is funded in part by
Federal and Provincial Recreations Infrastructure Funds. As part of the project,
the City is completely renewing Carden Street including watermains, sewers,
sidewalks, landscaping and a new paver brick surface. Construction started in
August 2010 and will continue through December 2011.

– 30 –

Richard Henry, City
Engineer/General Manager
Engineering Services, Planning
& Building, Engineering and Environment

T 519-822-1260 x 2248

Ian Panabaker, Corporate Manager
Downtown Renewal
Office of the CAO

T 519-822-1260  x 2475

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications
and Issues Management Coordinator
T 519-822-1260 x
C 519-829-0999

Carden Street Response

Like most residents of Guelph, including downtown merchants, I am very much looking forward to the opening of Market Square and the new transit hub.    The long term vision for this new civic space will benefit the community for generations to come.

Let’s face it, no one likes construction (except perhaps construction workers!).   Add hot weather and unforeseen delays, and it’s easy for emotions to boil over.    I have been following the commentary that has flowed from a recent email by a downtown merchant naming a city staff member, and the subsequent response that erupted from my response asking him to apologize.

The exchange of email is often an ineffective means of communication — to express humour, response, and for ongoing dialogue.   Recognizing this, I spoke to Mr. Black last week in person.  The two of us came away agreeing on a number of key points, including the need for ongoing communication and a speedy conclusion to the construction and a grand re-opening of the street.     He’s a nice guy and we had a pleasant conversation.

As far as I am concerned, the matter was concluded.