Commercial policy review

Function of urban design concept plans

Urban design concept plans demonstrate how areas in Guelph could be developed in the future. The concept plans provide a visual representation of the long-term vision and development policy for specified areas. The plans help determine how an area could evolve to address local challenges while planning for the long-term needs of an area.

Urban design concept plans generally include the following:

  • A high-level illustration of the design considerations and site features (e.g. roads, pedestrian connections, public spaces and key building sites) of the area;
  • A description of the design considerations; and,
  • Illustrations showing how the urban design concept plan could be implemented.

Urban design concept plans do not impact previously approved site plans.

This work is part of the City’s Urban Design Manual project.

Node concept plan

Gordon street intensification corridor concept plan

Next steps

The concept plans and design principles will be used to guide the review of development applications for specific areas of Guelph.

For more information

David de Groot, Senior Urban Designer
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2358

The City is reviewing and updating the commercial policies in the Official Plan. The policies guide the location, amount and function of retail and service land throughout Guelph.

The commercial policy review will:

  • update the commercial policies to reflect recent changes in the retail market;
  • ensure the amount, location and type of commercial land designated in Guelph matches the projected growth needs for 2031 and provides the basis to meet the needs for 2041
  • address the role, type and amount of commercial space in the Downtown, community mixed-use nodes (e.g. Starwood Drive/Watson Parkway), intensification corridors (e.g. York Road) and service commercial designations (e.g. fast-food, repair and service shops, auto sales, building supply, etc.); and
  • consider second storey commercial space in the Downtown, community mixed-use nodes and intensification corridors.

Staged approach

The project will be completed in three stages.

Stage 1

Complete and release a Commercial analysis and background report that provides information about Guelph’s current policy context,retail trends, stakeholder input, consumer research, commercial supply and needs analysis.

Stage 2

Policy review and development of:

April 18, 2018 Public Workshop materials

3 MBPresentation – April 18, 2018 2 MBDisplay boards – April 18, 2018

November 29, 2017 Public Workshop materials

3 MBPresentation – November 29, 2017 2 MBDisplay boards – November 29, 2017

Stage 3

Update relevant planning policies and documents, specifically the Official Plan and zoning bylaw.

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Commercial Policy Review was approved by City Council on November 28, 2016.

About the existing commercial policy

The commercial policy structure contained in the City of Guelph Official Plan was established in 2006 and builds on Downtown as the most important commercial multi-function centre. The commercial policy structure was expanded to include mixed-use nodes (e.g. Paisley/Imperial and Clair/Gordon) and intensification areas (e.g. Stone Road, Gordon Street) as the planned locations for large concentrations of retail, service and community uses. Smaller commercial areas such as neighbourhood commercial centres and service commercial areas are planned throughout Guelph.


12 MBCouncil Report Commercial Policy Review: Preferred Framework (page 88)2 MBConsultant Report Commercial Policy Review: Stage 2 Preferred Policy Framework Report10 MBCouncil Report Commercial Policy Review: Policy Alternatives (page 82)

8 MBCommittee of the Whole Report Commercial Policy Review: Vision and Principles

901 KBMemo to Committee of the Whole: Response to Questions Regarding Commercial Policy Review: Stage 1 Commercial Analysis and Background ReportConsultant Report Commercial Policy Review: Stage 1 Commercial Analysis and Background Report375 KBCouncil Information Report Commercial Policy Review: Stage 1 Commercial Analysis and Background Report

For more information

Joan Jylanne, Senior Policy Planner
Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 2519