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Guelph to start building downtown transit terminal

An agreement between the Canadian National Railways and the City of Guelph closed this week, which means the City may now proceed with its plans to build a new transit terminal on Carden Street in downtown Guelph. Construction likely starts in about four to six weeks.

The City has now bought the land from CN for $1.5 million. The City had already bought the Greyhound Canada bus terminal and plans to remove that building to make room for the new transit platform.

During construction, you can buy tickets for Greyhound, GO Transit and Aboutown buses at a nearby temporary structure.

The City expects to open the new terminal this fall. Most Guelph Transit buses will start and end their trips at the new terminal, instead of at St. George’s Square.

GO starts operating four trains daily through the nearby VIA Rail Canada station — which will be part of the new terminal — also this fall.

The City is closing pedestrian-access tunnels at Wyndham Street and Neeve Street during construction. You can use Wilson Street, Wellington Street East or Macdonell Street to walk between the north and south sides of the railway tracks during construction.

The Neeve Street tunnel will remain closed when the project is complete. CN and the Goderich Exeter Railway consider the tunnel as part of the right-of-way and the railways will not allow pedestrians to emerge from the tunnel onto the north rail platform. As part of its agreement with CN, the City is installing permanent fencing to prevent people from trespassing over the railway tracks. Workers will install the fence when construction resumes in the next four to six weeks.

The eight-million dollar inter-modal transit terminal is one of 25 projects in the City’s “Guelph Remastered” infrastructure upgrade program which provincial and federal infrastructure stimulus funds are supporting.

This summer, VIA Rail Canada will likely transfer ownership of the Guelph VIA station to the City. An project project to renovate the station, costing about $1 million, will preserve the building’s national heritage features, improve accessibility and allow the station to accommodate all VIA Rail, Greyhound Canada, Abouttown, GO Transit and Guelph Transit passengers. The City expects to finish working inside the VIA station in 2012 as part of the City’s capital budget.

Renovating the interior of the station is a separate project from the project to build the transit terminal. Provincial and federal funds are not supporting the project to upgrade the station.