About Guelph's Rainbow Crosswalk
Inspired by similar installations in other cities worldwide, Guelph citizens requested the City consider the installation at a prominent location in close proximity to downtown. Also, a petition in 2021 garnered over 1900 signatures in support of the rainbow crosswalk.
A community task force, comprised of members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, including representatives from Guelph Pride, ARCH, and Out on the Shelf, worked with the City’s Museums & Culture team to advise on location, design, and community engagement. An internal City working group, including staff with expertise in Traffic Engineering, Accessibility, Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives, Downtown Revitalization, Community Engagement, and Corporate Communications, considered implications of the crosswalk from many perspectives:
- For traffic safety, we will install the Pride colours at an established crosswalk controlled by a traffic light, maintaining two parallel white lines across the road.
- For accessibility, the parallel white lines will guide all pedestrians across the road. The durable plastic material for the markings is slip resistant. We have limited the use of dark colours to minimize potential visual perception issues.
- For inclusion, the design of the crosswalk is based on the progress flag. The main section of the flag includes the traditional Pride coloured stripes representing life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony/peace, and spirit. The edge of the flag includes blue and pink stripes to represent the trans community, a brown stripe to represent people of colour, and a black stripe to represent those lost during the AIDS crisis. These are in a chevron shape, with arrow points to the right to indicate forward movement, while set on the edge to show progress still needs to be made.
- For visibility, we chose a well-lit, high-traffic intersection at the entry to downtown, and in close proximity to City Hall.
- For durability, the intersection will be prepared with a new layer of asphalt before a preformed thermoplastic product is applied. The material is quite thick and is expected to last at least three years. It is being installed at a location that is not slated for construction in the foreseeable future. The crosswalk will be maintained as part of the City’s public art collection.
The City recognizes that a rainbow crosswalk is just one way to recognize and support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The City of Guelph is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming environment for citizens and for City employees. We live this commitment by listening, learning, and applying the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in our policies, practices, and service to the community. Specifically:
- The City financially supports the work of local 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations and events, including ARCH, Out on the Shelf Inc., and Guelph Pride through the Community Grant program.
- The City’s Welcoming Workplace Team provides regular training events and ongoing access to webinars from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, and organizes annual Pride Month events, for City employees.
- The City has also established a Respect in the Workplace Policy and Gender Inclusion Guidelines that all employees are obligated to uphold.
Consultation has concluded