Thursday, July 16, 2009

Construction, Canteens and Chemistry

Hans the Builder says Lots of Construction Ahead

We all love summer construction, right? Who’s with me?

Well, that’s too bad because if you live, work or do anything in, near or around downtown you’re going to have a heck of a time avoiding big, yellow vehicles and dug up streets. Already work on a stretch of Norfolk between Waterloo and Macdonell Streets is underway, and soon it’ll be a section of Wyndham Street, between Wellington and Farquhar streets that will be getting an urban makeover. City engineer Rick Henry told the Guelph Mercury that the Wyndham Street reconstruction, and a similar job on Norfolk between Quebec and Norwich, should be underway by mid-August and are to be completed by the end of this year.

By now you’re asking who’s to blame for the stifling vehicular isolation of the core that will make getting anywhere in the centre of town more difficult as we head into fall? As it turns out, it’s your federal and provincial governments whose Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is pleased to bring this and six other similar projects to town this year. In total, 21 different infrastructure improvement projects have been approved for funding. The remaining 15 will proceed next year to be finished by the deadline date of March 31st, 2011.

Away from downtown, the city is also going to begin pavement resurfacing along Woodlawn Road, which will be an endeavour taking up two summers of work. City chief administrative officer Hans Loewig adds that the other three projects slated for this year are non-road approved projects and that they will also go before the hammer and chisel this summer. These include the rehabilitation of the Watson Road transit facility, and improvements to the River Run Centre and the main firehall downtown.

Canada Day featured Clean Canteens

It could have been a riot on Canada Day as the Rotary Club, while trying to score one for Mother Earth, kicked up a bit of dust when they banned the selling of bottled water from celebrations at Riverside Park. “The Rotary Club of Guelph is helping to reduce plastic water bottle waste by offering onsite water solutions for Canada Day in the Park,” said the Club’s Canada Day event webpage. “No bottled water will be permitted or sold on site.” The Rotary Club did have stainless steel water bottles available for purchase on site for $10 and anyone with a reusable water bottle received unlimited refills from a City of Guelph water truck. The city has already been proactive in curbing the use of bottled water by banning it from City Hall and city meetings.

Dropping Chemistry for Art

Guelph artists, long suffering for affordable studio space, must have thought they were dreaming at the announcement that Real estate broker Orval Gates had issued a request for "expressions of interest” about turning the former Uniroyal Building on Huron into a functioning arts centre. Gates has been trying to keep it on the DL, but local artists are buzzing at the prospect of $4 per square foot studio space, especially since the going rate is two or three times that. "It's an incredible asset possibility to the community if it is made available," James Gordon, local musician and activist, told the Mercury.

He said that the building is "in a pretty raw state," having toured it last month, but it’s definitely got potential. Securing an arts centre in the city has been the subject of much discussion, including the possibility of using the current home of the Guelph Civic Museum once it moves to the Loreto Convent in 2010. Gates believes that while his deal will benefit artists it will have the dual effect of revitalizing the community in St. Patrick’s Ward. More news as it develops.

No comments:

Post a Comment