Category Archives: Uncategorized

RSAC Meeting December 6th @ City Hall

The last meeting of RSAC was cancelled at the meeting due to lack of Quorum. It has been rescheduled to consider the  the re-design of Niska Rd and the 2 lane bridge  for Wed. Dec, 6 from 4-6 at City Hall.
Additional comments have been sent to RSAC regarding the design of Niska. Please see the attached documents.
Hopefully the committee will have quorum this time.

River Systems Advisory Committee (RSAC), Nov 15th 4-6pm

The RSAC will meet Wednesday, November 15th from  4-6 pm at City Hall.  Ken VanderWal (Project Engineer for City of Guelph) will be presenting the design option for Niska Road reconstruction and bridge to the committee.
The agenda which includes the designs and further studies can be found here:
Please attend if possible.
Further studies, after the Environmental Assessment was sent  to the MOECC for approval, found more wildlife species of concern and a federally endangered bat species.  See attached letter to RSAC for more details.
The city has indicated that there will be some type of Public Information Session (PIC)  in December.  We will be holding our own meeting in advance of the PIC.
Dr Hugh Whiteley will be appearing as a delegation to the RSAC meeting. His delegation will address the fact that no Heritage Impact Study has been completed for the identified cultural heritage landscape.  This study was to be completed BEFORE any design work for the road an apparent violation of the MOECC Ministers direction to the City of Guelph.
Documents of interest:

It’s About Cultural Heritage, too

Guelph Mercury – November 17th, 2015: Heritage group pulls its support from Guelph’s controversial plan to replace Niska Road bridge

it is important to emphasize that the 8 hectares currently under OMB appeal contain more than green space because they are part of the overall cultural heritage landscape that extends from the Ptarmigan Drive on both sides of Niska Road. All of these lands including the Bailey Bridge meet the requirements for designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. A Heritage Impact Assessment was supposed to be completed before the Niska Road Environmental assessment was completed and released for public comment in 2016. This never happened (an apparent violation of the EA Act) and to date as far as we are aware the Heritage Impact Assessment is still not complete. It is normal planning procedure to recognize the heritage features valued by the community and to identify these important features before you make a decision on removing a Heritage bridge and widening a road that will change the heritage landscape forever!

What is the city waiting for?

When will the public have access to view the document when it is completed?

How does the re-designation from Open Space to medium density apartments affect the cultural Heritage Landscape and our beautiful view of the Speed River Valley Lands?

This is why the local branch and provincial branches of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario have supported our protection of the Heritage Speed River Valley Lands.

OMB Pre-hearing on GRCA lands on Niska Rd


Only Public outcry in Waterloo prevented the Grand River Conservation Authority from selling off part of their Laurel Creek Conservation Lands to the developers. We can do it too with your support!

Nature Reserve or Apartments???

The Hanlon Creek Conservation is under Threat! The GRCA wants the Ontario Municipal Board to allow development on 8 hectares of Conservation zoned greenspace on Niska Rd in the Speed River Valleylands.

Please Come to the Ontario Municipal Board Pre-hearing on June 21 at 10 at the Provincial Offences Court (Guelph), Court Room 3, Beside Guelph City Hall on Carden Street.

Lets the fill the seats to show you care! The simple act of being there lets the City of Guelph and the Grand River Conservation Authority know that you support the Heritage Speed River Working Group and Dr. Hugh Whiteley’s OPA#48 Appeal to Ontario Municipal Board against the change in use of the former Niska Waterfowl Park (part of the Hanlon Creek Conservation Area lands) from Open Space and Parkland to Medium and low-density Housing. 100%of the original purchase price to protect this area as a nature reserve was paid for out of public dollars. Grand River Conservation Authority as the current landowner paid 10% but stands to gain the most financially if the land is sold for development.With Guelph’s new increased housing density targets we need all our open spaces and parkland; especially this unique area by the Speed River. The land was purchased in 1977 to protect it from development. You can make a difference! Please come to the pre-hearing on June 21.

ACTION ITEM If you believe that a nature reserve is a better use of Guelph’s conservation land than allowing urban sprawl to continue to destroy greenspace next to the Speed River, there is something you can do,please contact the GRCA and let them know that public river valleylands should not be sold for development:

  • Email the GRCA Chair Helen Jowett, Vice Chair Chris White,and Board members of the Grand River Conservation Authority at,
  • post on the GRCA twitter feeds @grandriverca and@grandriverparks and on their Facebook page (#GRCA #protectourgreenspace #guelph)
  • Let the GRCA know that you do not support the sell off of part of the Hanlon Creek Conservation lands on Niska Rd. in Guelph. Protect our greenspace .

Join our Facebook event, invite others and share to raise awareness.

–> Follow us on Facebook

–> Follow us on Twitter

Thank you for your time and support

Please see attached for details and information the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board Pre Hearing on June 21 at 10 AM.
Walk & OMB Pre-hearing Flyer

The Hanlon Creek Conservation Lands are under Threat – Walk & Municipal Board Pre-Hearing


We want to prevent the sell off of 8 hectares owned Grand River Conservation Authority in Speed River Valley lands conservation greenspace to developers!

Please join us on our walk to show your support to protection our conservation lands.

We only need one hour of your time on Saturday June 17 from 11 am to 12 at the corner of Niska Rd and Ptarmigan near the Guelph Transit Route 7 bus stop.
Facebook Event details and RSVP here:

Please see attached for details and information about our walk and the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board Pre Hearing on June 21 at 10 AM.
Walk & OMB Pre-hearing Flyer

Only Public outcry in Waterloo prevented the Grand River Conservation Authority from selling off part of their Laurel Creek Conservation Lands to the developers. We can do it too with your support!

Garage Sale Fundraiser for Heritage Speed River Working Group

garage sale fundraiser image
The Heritage Speed River Working Group is hosting a garage sale on Saturday, June 11th from 9am-1pm and we NEED YOUR HELP!
Join and share the Facebook event here.
> donate items
> volunteer at the event
> attend the sale and get some great items at a steal
> share this event with friends and family
All funds will be used towards our legal and consulting costs for our Ontario Municipal Board challenge in order to prevent the re-designation of 8 hectares along the south side of Niska Rd. of the Hanlon Creek Conservation Area to development lands that could include 6 storey or more apartment buildings. The City of Guelph City Committee Heritage Guelph voted to support the designation of these lands as apart of the cultural heritage landscape west from Ptarmigan Drive to the Speed River.
yard sale donations needed
Items can be dropped of at 70 Downey Rd to Nicole on Thursday, June 9th or Friday June 10th from 4-6PM
(or Call Laura Murr at 519 824 3606 or send an email to to arrange for pickup).

Latest Efforts: Request for Part II Order

Heritage Speed River Working Group Files Part II order for the Niska Road Municipal Class C Environmental Assessment  to  the  Hon. Glen Murray Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
See the attached Part II Request, and a Dec. 3, 2015 letter from the GRCA to the City of Guelph.  Feel free to distribute the information.  

In addition to the webpage, please join us on our Facebook page for updates

Come Celebrate Guelph’s Rivers at the 2 Rivers Festival


Please join us on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at the corner of Ptarmigan Drive and Niska Road for our Speed River Heritage Hike as part of the 2 Rivers Festival in Guelph. Bring your mug for lemonade and cookies at the end of the walk!

Event Information:
When: Wednesday, June 9, 2015 to Sunday, June 14, 2015.

The 2 Rivers Festival offers many great events that celebrate life along the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, including two hikes on both sides of the Speed River in our area.