National Public Works Week – May 20 to 26

 This is our chance to say “thank you” to Public Works employees who help keep roads and sidewalks safe and contribute to our quality of life.

 What does the Public Works department do?

  • Traffic control (signs; traffic signals; school crossing guards)
  • Road and sidewalk maintenance
  • Downtown parking facilities
  • Maintain the City’s fleet
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Snow plowing
  • Forestry (planting/ maintaining City trees)
  • Drive big trucks (lots of buzz on this detail amongst the toddler-set)

Environmental sustainability initiatives:

  • Recycle 100% of wood generated from tree trimming (wood chips are used in City parks and planters and provided to the community
  • Recycle all asphalt used in road repairs  
  • Compost leaves collected during loose leaf collection  
  • Use brine (saltwater) on roads for snowplowing (means we can use less salt)  
  • Replace traffic signals with LED lights whenever possible (use 90% less electricity) 
  • Reuse sand collected during street sweeping (used for road construction) 
  • Use gasoline blended with 10% ethanol, and bio-diesel fuel 
  • Fleet has 8 hybrid vehicles

Today, 20 local students in the Specialist High Skills Major Program worked side-by-side with Public Works employees to get hands-on experience (asphalt, sidewalk, and sewer repairs on a residential street that was closed to traffic). City engineers and Human Resources staff meeting with University of Guelph engineering students and internationally-trained engineers to talk about municipal engineering careers.

Public Works Open House
Saturday, May 26
9 a.m. – noon 
50 Municipal Street

  • Kids can explore City vehicles and equipment, paint on a real snowplow blade and enter a colouring contest
  • Bring an item for the Food Bank to get a ride in a bucket truck.
  • Enter to win a tree from the forestry division.


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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