In pursuit of the best possible quality of life

A community with a collective vision on wellbeing

Why_We_Chose_GuelphWhether it’s 1945 or 2013, a resident’s general viewpoint on Guelph is still the same: “Guelph’s a good place to live.”

In 1945, the City held a series of conversations with residents – Why did they choose Guelph?

Mrs. Harrison: One big advantage of living in Guelph is that nobody has to go very far to work… So he (Mr. Harrison) has a lot more time, morning and evening, to work on the garden and look after the chickens. That is one of the worthwhile things about living here.”

Mr. Harrison “We have all kinds of good parks and places for picnics… Our boy Chuck enjoys the big swimming tank at the Y.M.C.A in Guelph, and he often goes on supervised hikes with other boys his own age.”

70 years later, the City asked residents on what they thought is important to their health and wellness. More than 3,000 people joined the conversation. Their views informed the community-driven program- Guelph Wellbeing. It’s goal is simple – to achieve the best possible quality of life for Guelphites. Like the Harrison family from 1945, Guelph residents reflected on what mattered to them- community vitality, vibrant neighbourhoods, green spaces.

Further wellbeing conversations that took place during eight Design Team workshops led to three key themes of wellbeing: food security for children and families, connectivity – everyone is connected to their community physically and socially, and affordable housing. These themes align with the eight domains from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing – community vitality, democratic engagement, education, environment, living standards, leisure and culture, healthy populations and time use.

Led by Mayor Karen Farbridge, Guelph is setting an example of working together as a community with a shared vision on wellbeing. “By having a shared vision and focus, our residents will benefit from the collective impact of community programs that support Guelph Wellbeing,” says Barbara Powell, the City’s general manager of Community Engagement and Social Services.
How Guelph is driving positive community change is being noticed locally, nationally and internationally. Infact, the City of Guelph received a community impact award in Chicago, June 2013.

Referring to Guelph Wellbeing, Governor General of Canada, David Johnston: This is a great example of how our “smartness” can reinforce our “caring.” (June 13, 2013 Opening Address at Community-University Expo: 2013: Engaging Shared Worlds)


Note: Mr. and Mrs. Harrison’s names were chosen for personalization purposes only