Category Archives: Planning and Building

Guelph is creating spaces for people as we grow

May 18, 2016

Guelph’s Market Square and pollinator park are listed among 15 “Thriving Places” in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Continue reading Guelph is creating spaces for people as we grow


City, Guelph Police break ground on headquarters renovation

April 21, 2016

Guelph, Ont., April 21, 2016 – Today, at a groundbreaking event, the City of Guelph and Guelph Police Service (GPS) announced the official start of construction on the police headquarters renovation. The $34.1 million renovation project, slated for completion in spring 2019, will equip Guelph with a police headquarters that meets the needs of the community’s police services today and into the future. The current police headquarters was built in 1960 when Guelph’s population was 38,000. In 1989, the building was retrofitted and a west wing added. “This groundbreaking event is another step towards the completion of a modern police building that will enable us to better serve our community,” said Guelph Police Chief Jeff DeRuyter. The construction work will bring the facility up to… Continue reading City, Guelph Police break ground on headquarters renovation


Changes coming to parts of guelph.ca

April 19, 2016

Starting at the end of April, parts of guelph.ca will be updated and re-organized. These webpage changes will make it easier for online users to find, understand and participate in planning and development decisions. Development application instructions will be clearly laid out, and related documents will be grouped together. Webpages will be organized by subject— not by department—so you can search the site, and find what you need without worrying about which City department it comes from. These preliminary website updates are the first phase of many improvements being made on the City’s website. Like any web update, there may be a few bumps and broken links along the way. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give these easy steps a try: Use the search… Continue reading Changes coming to parts of guelph.ca


City seeks input on affordable housing strategy

February 1, 2016

Guelph, ON, February 1, 2016 – Residents are invited to participate in one of two City-hosted public meetings on February 9 to review and validate Guelph’s draft directions for affordable housing. “The City has a role to play in ensuring affordable housing is available for Guelph residents,” explains Joan Jylanne, senior policy planner. “We are asking for community input to inform an affordable housing strategy that supports secure affordable, private sector housing for low- and moderate-income households.” Registration for the public meetings is required by February 4 at guelph.ca/housing by clicking on the Affordable Housing button. For registration assistance, call Madeleine Myhill at 519-837-5616 extension 2459. For those unable to attend, an online feedback form will be available on guelph.ca from February 8 to 22.… Continue reading City seeks input on affordable housing strategy


Guelph’s first heritage conservation district receives official designation

January 21, 2016

Guelph, ON, January 21, 2016 – Guelph’s first heritage conservation district (HCD), the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District, is now designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. “The Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District is the first area in our city to have its properties’ cultural heritage features recognized and protected,” says Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner. “The HCD designation also allows for new construction, alterations or demolitions on properties in the district provided the neighbourhood’s cultural heritage is conserved.” This official designation follows the Ontario Municipal Board’s (OMB) recent dismissal of the appeals against the Brooklyn and College Hill HCD. The OMB decision recognizes the City met all requirements of the Ontario Heritage Act in designating the district. The City’s Brooklyn and… Continue reading Guelph’s first heritage conservation district receives official designation


2016 budget highlights

December 16, 2015

A look at some of the budget details On December 10, 2015, City Council approved a $216 million operating budget and a $61 million capital budget for 2016. This represents a 2.99 per cent tax increase over 2015. In approving the budget, Council approved $3.6 million in reductions to the base budget which included adjustments to purchased goods and services, revenue including a 15 per cent increase to vendor fees at the Guelph Farmers’ Market, and service level changes for Guelph Transit (described below). Within the capital budget, Council approved 124 projects including but not limited to Transit fare box replacement, vehicle and equipment lifecycle replacements, bridge replacements/upgrades (including Niska Bridge), South End Community Park continued implementation, and downtown parkade construction. The following identifies the… Continue reading 2016 budget highlights


Council approves first step in Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan process

December 15, 2015

Guelph, Ont., December 15, 2015 – Last evening Council approved the terms of reference for the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan study—the first step in the planning process to develop the southernmost portion of the city. “The approved terms of reference outlines the project’s scope and purpose including the studies required to explore land use, infrastructure, transportation connections, natural heritage features, and parks and trails within Guelph’s last unplanned 520 hectares,” says Stacey Laughlin, the City’s senior policy planner. The City developed the terms of reference with input from the County of Wellington, the Township of Puslinch, Grand River Conservation Authority, local property owners, developers and community members. Establishing the terms of reference is part of the first phase of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan study. In 2016,… Continue reading Council approves first step in Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan process


City introduces program to reduce radon gas exposure

August 20, 2015

Guelph, ON, August 20, 2015 – Starting September 1, the City will implement the Radon Gas Mitigation Program for all new buildings constructed in Guelph. “Radon gas exists everywhere, including in Guelph,” explains Rob Reynen, Manager of Inspection Services, Building Services. “The Radon Gas Mitigation Program aims to address potential exposure to radon gas and reduce health risks to building occupants in our community.” Radon gas mitigation measures must be implemented in compliance with the Ontario Building Code for certain building permits applied for after August 31, 2015. As part of the new program, a builder must put in place one of three radon gas mitigation options when constructing a new low-rise residential dwelling in Guelph: Option #1: a rough-in soil gas pipe and mandatory… Continue reading City introduces program to reduce radon gas exposure


City updating Downtown Zoning By-law

August 19, 2015

Guelph, ON, August 19, 2015 – The City is undertaking a review to update the Downtown Zoning By-law regulations and downtown commercial zones. “The purpose of the Downtown Zoning By-law review is to support and sustain a vibrant Downtown Guelph,” explains David DeGroot, Senior Urban Designer. “The review will ensure an updated Zoning By-law aligns with the existing Downtown Secondary Plan and supports appropriate investment and development in our city’s core.” Topics to be addressed during the review include: Downtown Secondary Plan densities, land use permissions, building heights and other policies,  Urban design regulations and standards, Zoning implications related to cultural heritage, brownfield sites and servicing, and, Recommending private parking regulations, including bicycle parking. The City will be meeting with agencies, landowners, businesses, stakeholders and… Continue reading City updating Downtown Zoning By-law


City improving development planning processes

June 29, 2015

Guelph’s IOR Annual Report illustrates significant cultural shift Guelph, ON, June 29, 2015 – The City of Guelph has released the Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Annual Report, which will be shared with the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee at its July 7 meeting. The report highlights progress made to date on making Guelph a more welcoming place for business and investment and includes 23 recommendations that aim to strengthen the City’s development approval processes. “By working collaboratively across City departments, examining existing processes and identifying opportunities for improvement, with involvement from the development industry and business community, Guelph can continue to bring about the changes needed to build a welcoming city for business and investment,” says Todd Salter, general manager of Planning, Urban Design and… Continue reading City improving development planning processes


City moving forward with Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan

June 23, 2015

Guelph, ON, June 23, 2015 – Last night, Guelph City Council approved the project initiation phase of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan. The Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan will establish a range and mix of land uses for the southern portion of the city, between Clair Road and Maltby Road. “Thoughtful development of this last unplanned greenfield area supports the City’s overall planning vision for a complete and healthy community, while addressing projected population and employment growth,” said Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design. Highlights of the plan will include: servicing and infrastructure, including sewer, water and hydro natural heritage features, including urban forestry integrated transportation system, including public transit, pedestrian and bicycle connections parks and trails The City will work with agencies, property owners,… Continue reading City moving forward with Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan


2015 Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Update

April 8, 2015

Introducing the first Integrated Operational Review (IOR) update of 2015 and summary of key IOR initiatives and events. A focused approach One of the immediate priorities identified as part of IOR implementation, in summer 2014, was the mapping of all development approval processes (DAPs). Since fall 2014, City staff mapped all DAPs and identified opportunities for process enhancements. By using DAPs as the foundational building block for IOR, subsequent priorities such as implementing the mandatory Pre-consultation Process and establishing the Development Review Committee can be put into action and become solid testing grounds for the revised DAPs. Goals for 2015 These four goals focus on IOR implementation. Goal 1: Complete process mapping for DAPs, formalize process enhancement recommendations and begin implementation (January-June 2015) Goal 2:… Continue reading 2015 Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Update


City receives heritage landscape award for Market Square design

November 13, 2014

Guelph, On, November 13, 2014 – The design, preservation and enhancement of Guelph’s Market Square has earned the City a heritage landscape award. The City, along with Janet Rosenberg and Associates, was presented the Margaret and Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award last Friday at the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s seventh annual awards dinner in Toronto. Named for Margaret and Nicholas Hill, the award recognizes an individual, group, or project that has heightened awareness and appreciation of Ontario’s significant landscapes, or endeavoured to preserve a noteworthy example of the product of human interaction. “The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario applauds the City of Guelph for its vision and commitment in creating this wonderful space with its combination of heritage and community pleasure,” said Susan Ratcliffe, awards… Continue reading City receives heritage landscape award for Market Square design


Guelph’s Official Plan protects Guelph’s rivers, wetlands and natural spaces

July 23, 2014

Natural Heritage System policies now in effect Guelph, ON, July 23, 2014 – The City of Guelph’s Official Plan Amendment for the Natural Heritage System (OPA 42) was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board on June 4 and is now in effect. “The City’s Natural Heritage System is a combination of natural heritage features and areas including wetlands, rivers, woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitats, restoration areas and wildlife crossings,” explained Melissa Aldunate, manager of policy planning and urban design. “The approval of OPA 42 brings into effect new Official Plan policies that demonstrate Guelph’s environmental commitment by providing a strong framework for long-term protection of the City’s Natural Heritage System.” On June 4, the City submitted OPA 42, also known as the Natural Heritage System, to… Continue reading Guelph’s Official Plan protects Guelph’s rivers, wetlands and natural spaces


City tests draft concept plan for St. George’s Square redesign

May 30, 2014

City seeks further public input on draft downtown documents; hosts open house Guelph, ON, May 30, 2014 – In advance of Monday’s open house on the future transformation of downtown Guelph streets and public spaces, City staff will paint temporary lines in St. George’s Square to help demonstrate the proposed concept for the redevelopment of the square. “We are using temporary paint to mark out what the draft concept plan looks like on the ground and test how a redesigned square could feel,” says David de Groot, a senior urban designer with the City. In 2012, Council adopted the Downtown Secondary Plan, which anticipates more residents and businesses downtown. To continue supporting growth and intensification in the downtown core, the City is updating the Downtown… Continue reading City tests draft concept plan for St. George’s Square redesign


Downtown Guelph Open House: Streetscape, Built Form and St. George’s Square

May 28, 2014

Council adopted the Downtown Secondary Plan (DSP) in 2012, which anticipates more residents and businesses Downtown. Based on this, the City is updating the Downtown Streetscape Manual (previously called the Downtown Public Realm Manual, 2001) and the Downtown Built Form Standards (previously called the Downtown Private Realm Manual, 2001). Join the conversation The City held an open house on June 2, 2014 to provide input to help improve Downtown Guelph’s streets and public spaces (Downtown Streetscape Manual), St. George’s Square (St. George’s Square Concept Plan), and private buildings (Downtown Built Form Standards). The documents guide change in the downtown regarding new buildings, on-street parking, flexible streets, sidewalk space, street trees and other matters. Open House Presentation Public Meeting Boards Copies of the Streetscape, Built Form… Continue reading Downtown Guelph Open House: Streetscape, Built Form and St. George’s Square


Council Approves Plan for Innovation District in Guelph’s East End

May 13, 2014

Guelph City Council has approved the secondary plan for the 436 hectare (1,077 acre) plot of land known as the Guelph Innovation District located South of York Road and East of Victoria Road North which is expected to be home to close to 7,000 people and 9,000 jobs. The plan includes an innovative mix of land uses, including a new urban village, a mixed-use main street, a research park and an adaptive re-use area around the historic reformatory complex. Continue reading Council Approves Plan for Innovation District in Guelph’s East End


Guelph’s Downtown Secondary Plan receives OPPI Excellence in Planning Award

November 8, 2013

Guelph, ON, November 8, 2013 – The City of Guelph’s Downtown Secondary Plan has received the 2013 Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) Excellence in Planning Award, within the category of Municipal Statutory Planning Studies, Reports and Documents. The award names the City of Guelph and its consultant on the project, Urban Strategies. OPPI celebrates professional planners and outstanding projects annually through the Excellence in Planning Awards. These awards are widely regarded as among the most prestigious awards given for planning achievement in Ontario. “The Downtown Secondary Plan reflects the City’s longstanding goal to support the downtown’s vitality by attracting more people and jobs to downtown and to demonstrate that a thriving urban Downtown benefits all of Guelph,” said Todd Salter, general manager of Planning Services… Continue reading Guelph’s Downtown Secondary Plan receives OPPI Excellence in Planning Award


Development Charges Background Study

November 1, 2013

To ensure Guelph’s updated DC rates reflect the population forecasted in Ontario’s Places to Grow Act—43,000 new residents and 32,000 new jobs by the year 2031—the City conducted a background study including a peer review by two individuals selected by the development community with expertise in growth and demographic forecasting, and engineering. Continue reading Development Charges Background Study


City seeks public input into rethinking St. George’s Square

October 16, 2013

Guelph, On, October 16, 2013 – Imagine St. George’s Square as a lively year-round destination—a place that offers a broad range of activities, experiences, and entertainment. The City of Guelph invites all interested community members to participate in an interactive public workshop on Wednesday, October 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Carden Street. Participants will have the opportunity to provide input into rethinking the square as an important public space and review suggested improvement options for key Downtown streets. Building on the success of Market Square and Carden Street, the two and a half hour workshop will explore applying the same design principles to revitalize St. George’s Square and improve surrounding streetscapes so they become flexible, adaptable, and multi functional. Input received… Continue reading City seeks public input into rethinking St. George’s Square