Like many other statues around Guelph, the Garbasaurus is very special and unique art piece including a story behind it’s creation. As you can imagine the ‘Garba’ stands for garbage which the statue is made out of, and the term ‘Saurus’ refers to the statues shape being that of a dinosaur.
When the statue was first commissioned by the city of Guelph and former mayor Karen Farbridge, they first discussed sculpting a Heron which is a large bird with long legs and a long neck similar to that of a flamingo, minus it’s color. The artist then decided to use different types of garbage that were removed from the river during the annual speed river clean up. The artist also decided to use the same weight of garbage that was removed during the first clean up, all of that making it a more significant figure.
Karen Farbridge once said “I think these two decisions led to a very different ‘creature’. My memory is that the community saw a dinosaur and the name “garbasaurus” quickly emerged.” At first, the location of the Garbasaurus might seem quite odd; unlike many of the other statues in Guelph, the Garbasaurus is the most out of view from a main road. For example, when driving down Gordon Street towards downtown, you first pass the statue of the gryphon located directly on the corner of Stone road and Gordon street; a very high traffic intersection, making it an easily seen statue. Continuing down Gordon as you pass College street you can see the begging bear right beside a bus stop which again is a high traffic area and easily visible spot. Soon after the begging bear you reach a bridge where a well know ice cream parlour known as The Boat House is located.
Across the street, maybe 50 yards from the side walk is where Garbasaurus is located, in a non high traffic area and a location where it is not highly visible. But after talking to Karen Farbridge, she identified that even though the location of the Garbasaurus may be slightly out of view from passing pedestrians, its location serves it’s purpose, including being the point where the volunteers gather for the annual speed river clean up.