GCAT - Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation

Meet the Board

Introducing the driving force behind GCAT! (A friendly bunch 🙂 )

Adrian Salvatore, Chair (he/him)

I’ve been a resident of Guelph since 2015 and live in the west-end (Parkwood Gardens). I’m an all season cyclist and walker, and enjoy getting around town using active transport whenever I can. From a young age I considered cycling a main means of transportation, and have very fond memories of taking day trips with my family by bike. I am passionate about making active transportation safe and accessible so that everyone can enjoy the freedom, economic, health, and environmental benefits it offers!

Andrea Bidgood, Vice Chair (she/her)

Ottawa born and raised with a brief detour out west. While getting used to midnight sun in Edmonton, my mother used to put my sisters in the kid trailer and I would follow along on my bike, and we would just keep going until we were tired enough to sleep. Bicycles were always a form of low-cost entertainment for me and my family and eventually, bicycles became my transportation freedom too. More recently; even if I’m experiencing mobility issues, my e-bike gets me wherever I need to go with ease. I’ve chosen to remain in a low-car and low-emission lifestyle, with cycling as my main form of transportation since I moved to Guelph in 2013.

I’ve become fairly recognizable on my e-cargo bike. While on deliveries or commuting, I’m out rain or shine, and even snow; putting on a good show with my LED lights. After getting caught in a right hook in 2021, I was introduced to GCAT and it’s taken off from there. I’ve been putting my passion into action by advocating for safe, accessible, protected and connected transportation. I’ve had a great time so far researching All Ages and Abilities infrastructure and comparing what other communities have done to protect their vulnerable road users. I strongly believe that every cyclist, pedestrian, motorist and those on public transport is an equal part of your community. Regardless of mode, everyone deserves safe transportation.

Adam Bonnycastle, Treasurer and Secretary (he/him)

I became interested in advocating for active transportation for several reasons. There’s the obvious – less costly than driving, the health benefits, better for the environment, and many others. Those are all reasons why I like to get around Guelph under my own power. But truth be told, I am a driver also. I navigate this city equally by bike, foot, and in my own car. It is clear to me that as the population of Guelph increases, active transportation must play an important role in helping mitigate current and future traffic congestion. Good active transportation infrastructure and programs are win-wins for everyone and for improving the overall livability of our community.

I first came to Guelph in 1996 as a student and have lived here (almost) ever since! I currently work at the University of Guelph as a spatial analyst. I enjoy riding my bike(s) for pleasure – fitness, sport, touring – and as transportation to get around our city. I also walk a lot and run our sidewalks and trails.

Virginia Andersen, member at large (she/her)

As a Guelphite since 2018, I currently live in St. Patrick’s ward near the Eramosa River Trail, but I have also lived in Onward Willow and just north of downtown. I have a master’s in public policy, have worked in non-profits and at the University of Guelph, and have experience in evaluating government policies and programs.

Growing up on a farm, I was late to biking — I learned when I was 12 on gravel roads in the country, coasting down a very small slope. I have cycled periodically to commute and for fun; during both undergrad and grad school and in several of the different places I have lived. I am (slowly) working on hiking sections of the Bruce Trail. I believe that having robust options for active transportation will make our community in Guelph more vibrant and inclusive, and that increasing the amount of active transportation will help Guelph and other communities prepare locally to address climate change. I want everyone to be able to live in a place where everything generally is 15 minutes or less away by either walking, biking, or bus.

Mike Darmon, member at large (he/him)

All season Active Transportation activist.
Renewable energy and Efficiency nerd.
Water conservation and source protection activist.

Mike Hager, member at large (he/him)

Mike has lived in Guelph since 2017 and currently resides in the Guelph Junction neighbourhood. He is passionate about public policy and programs that are helping to shape more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable communities. He has an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. Mike has worked for several environmental non-profits to support municipal climate action, active transportation, and circular economy policy. He also co-founded the local music and arts organization Bumaroo which organized festivals, concerts, and arts programming from 2018-2021. You can catch Mike on his Kona Rove gravel bike, enjoying the trails and neighbourhoods of Guelph!

Andre Hueniken, member at large (he/him)

• Co-Chair of Governance and Administration Committee
• Life-long cycling enthusiast – recreation (road and mountain biking), commuting, touring
• Hiker and walker – use Guelph’s sidewalks and trails on a daily basis
• Retired lawyer with experience on many local not-for-profit boards
• Ardent supporter of safe infrastructure within our city to encourage citizens to shift from cars to active transportation alternatives

Matt Olsen, member at large (he/him)

Jason Szewc, member at large (he/him)

Growing up in Guelph, I’ve developed a deep connection to this vibrant city, and now I’m proud to call Riverside Park my home. My passion for design and systems has been a driving force in my life for as long as I can remember.

During the day, I immerse myself in the world of industrial automation, where I’m constantly seeking ways to enhance flow and efficiency through innovative designs and processes. It’s a challenging yet fulfilling pursuit that allows me to unleash my creativity and problem-solving skills.

Now, I’m eager to channel that same energy and enthusiasm into benefiting our community. With my natural talent for visuals and a constant stream of ideas, I’m determined to elevate active transportation efforts and foster greater connectivity within our neighborhoods. I believe that by improving infrastructure and promoting alternative modes of transportation, we can create a more sustainable and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy.

Active Transportation