Finally! City addresses downtown late night drinking problems

Posted August22, 2012

The city has announced a plan to curb late night rowdyism downtown. It is a good first step with elements designed to reduce the problems of drunkenness and free wheeling public civil disobedience.

The important part is there is a plan, finally. It is a coordinated effort with city personnel, police, and private security guards to control the taxi stands.  The express purpose is to efficiently move people out of the area after the bars close. Porta-pottys will be available for both men and women and, good thinking here, removed during the daytime.

Another move is to ban cars from the core during the evening hours. While this may encourage what one individual stated was creating a Mardi Gras atmosphere, it is another good step to turn the downtown into a community place where all citizens can enjoy themselves in a civil manner.

The only thing missing is the role of the liquor outlets.  The operators should have some skin in the initiative.

Also contributing to this problem is the University. Officials closed the campus pubs on weekends some time ago. This created a vacuum that forced students to party downtown.

City staff is to be commended for taking on this long-time issue. Let’s hope it works.



Filed under Between the Lines

20 responses to “Finally! City addresses downtown late night drinking problems

  1. phelan

    not sure why there is a need to ban cars from the core…could someone explain how this is going to help anything…..perhaps the university should be footing the bill or at least a share of the expense for putting up and down the porta potties during the hours they are needed…how convenient for the university to shut down their bars on the weekend and dumping their problems on the city of guelph

    • Phelan: Convenience has nothing to do with it. It’s the insular fear that grips University bureaucrats.Now known as the Penn State syndrome. First, put all the wagons in a circle.

  2. tonyt

    The thing that gets me is we spend millions on a arena, performing arts center, a museum, a city hall, a splash/water/ice rink display, and a whole new bus terminal. And other things i’m sure. But no one thought to build public washrooms that can be open 24/7?

  3. This all seems like the city once again signalling to students that we have no problem inconveniencing our taxpaying, full-time residents in order to accomodate you. Although I wish I did have a reason to be downtown at 11pm on a Thursday night, truth is I don’t. I keep hoping that someday I will though, and that is when I will have more of a problem with this idea. It seems to me that more effort should be put into making downtown a distination for EVERYONE who lives in Guelph but all I ever see is the rest of us getting bent over for the students.

    • phelan


    • Jay Morrison: The only time I go downtown is during daylight hours. Even then, the numbers of apparently unemployed hanging around make St. Georges Square uncomfortable. It’s such a pity when you compare Guelph to a city such as Stratford that manages to keep it’s downtown vital and friendly. It can be done. Let’s hope the next five week experiment will provide a solution.

  4. Jerry

    One problem is their are too many councilors with ties to the university
    And how is this going to solve the problem.I think it is just going to make
    it worse.I would not want to be one of the security guards trying to keep
    the peace at the taxi stands.Or even the taxi drivers pulling up to the taxi
    stands for their fare.
    Think about it a couple hundred drunks all waiting for a taxi….not a pretty

    • phelan

      Perhaps the mayor and the councillors would like to offer their services and drive the part goers home….least they would finally be doing something constructive for the city…..

    • Phelan: Don’t think that’s going to work.

    • Jerry: And to think how long this has been going on. This council has turned a blind eye to correcting the situation. I’m keeping my options open to assess the outcome of the five week experiment. Your point about the number of councillors with ties to the university, is valid. But, it’s the old story, you only get the government you voted for.

  5. Jerry

    Hello Gerry
    You are right about getting the government you voted for but i did not vote
    for this mayor or my councillors in my ward.
    I did vote but the people i wanted did not make it in.
    I say new blood,new ideas,new solutions.
    I still feel sorry for the security guards trying to keep order.
    All i can see coming out of this is more lawsuits,hospital bills,and a really big
    problem for the police.
    Now the taxi drivers.Why would any body want to drive into a area with a
    couple hundred drunks waiting for a ride.
    When they can stay out of the danger zone and pick up people on the out
    skirts of down town or the other bars around this city.Easy pickings,no loss
    fares,less chance of damage.Makes sense to me.
    Have a great day.

    • Jerry: Comes an opportunity to support candidates who understand common sense and financial responsibility. This is a great city that has been hamstrung by those in power who see a different community than most citizens share. Give this five-week downtown experiment a chance. One of the problems I see are those citizens who live in the closed down area between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m trying to get home.This is a major effort to discover what is necessary to clean up a perennial mess. I still say the Liquor Licence inspectors need to step up and enforce the occupancy limit in the 33 bars and clubs downtown. Of course, if there is only one inspector between London and Mississauga, you have a problem.

    • Jerry: Be patient. Change is coming as more and more folks such as you look to organize to create that change. The winds are blowing. Listen for the zephyrs of organization and collective action. The change is coming. May I suggest thst talking to people is worthwhile and invite them to tune into

  6. tt

    Fact Check. I believe the University only closes the Brass Taps on weekend during the summer due to a lack of business. Expect it to be open once the Fall Semester starts. Of course it can only accommodate a small fraction of the thousands of young adults that go to bars.

    • It: Thanks for the info. The problem arises when the taps are shut off during the two semesters on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. If I’m misguided, let me know.

  7. jerry

    Hi Gerry
    I will take your advise and keep talking to people about change in this city.
    I have invited people to check out your site and even a friend of mine from
    texas checks into your site.He finds it very interesting and disappointing
    the way the city is being handled.

    • Jerry: Good on you! Spread the word that guelphspeaks is the site that speaks the truth. We always make the point: “Don’t mess with Texas!” Welcome Texas to Guelph’s wonderland, enjoy!

  8. Pingback: Wyndamere Place Condominiums Review « 55 Yarmouth Street Guelph

    • Wyndamere Place: We share your pain. The recent five week crackdown by police and city staff had a good effect and offered guidance for dealing with the problem in the future. The problem is lack of manpower resources. Hopefully this be resolved by a more enlightened council.

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