Guelph Council Initially Endorses Bike Lanes Downtown, Lane Reductions
Guelph council has initially endorsed the introduction of protected bike lanes on Wyndham Street North as part of a broader initiative to revitalize the city’s downtown area.
This proposed redesign, featuring one lane for vehicular traffic moving in each direction, received unanimous support from the council’s committee of the whole on a recent Tuesday afternoon. The committee’s decision came after discussions that highlighted both support and criticism for the proposal.
Tuesday’s meeting focused solely on the road redesign aspect of the larger project. Further discussions on aesthetic enhancements – such as material choices, the installation of benches, the planting of trees, and additional details – along with the potential staging of the project, are scheduled for April and June.
Should the council confirm this decision later in the month, the plan will transform Wyndham Street North to include a single lane for cars in each direction, parallel parking on both sides, and dedicated bike lanes, also on both sides.
This redevelopment will follow the replacement and/or upgrading of outdated underground utilities starting in 2026.
Chuck Nash, leader of the Downtown Guelph Business Association, advocated for keeping the street layout as it currently is, excluding bike lanes and retaining angled parking on one side to allow more room for beautification efforts and pedestrian areas.
Nash emphasized the importance of creating a downtown experience that prioritizes pedestrians and suggested that instead of bike lanes, the focus should be on creating “big, beautiful sidewalks.”
Doug Minett, a founder of The Bookshelf, voiced opposition to the bike lanes, arguing they would reduce on-street parking which is vital for downtown retailers. He suggested that disregarding the needs of downtown’s current shoppers, who rely on parking, could be detrimental to Guelph’s downtown commerce.
The council plans to make a final decision on the design proposals in its meeting on February 27.