Urban design

 The City’s urban design plans and policies make Guelph a beautiful, sustainable and enjoyable place where people want to live, work and play.

Creating Guelph’s urban design manual

Guelph is growing, and the way we are growing is changing. As more people come to live and work in Guelph, urban design plays an important role in planning and developing more intensified and complete mixed-used neighbourhoods.

The goal of Guelph’s Urban Design Manual is to provide a thoughtful and consistent approach to urban design in our city.

To create the manual, we’ve reviewed urban design policy and best practices, and consulted with industry and community stakeholders. About 200 people participated in the manual developmeny process. When it is complete, the manual will include three volumes:

  • Volume 1: Urban design vision
  • Volume 2: Urban design action plan
  • Volume 3: Urban design standards and directions (further information below)

Urban Design Manual

On November 13, 2017 the recommended Urban Design Manual (volumes 1 and 2) and supporting staff report was approved by Council.

Volume 3: Urban design standards and directions

Volume 3 continues to be developed and will include:

Urban Design Concept Plans for Community mixed-use nodes

Nodes are central or connecting points in a neighbourhood where there is a mix of residential, commercial and institutional buildings. For example, a node could include a mix of shops, community centres, libraries and medium- to high-density housing.

The urban design manual will include urban design concept plans for four main nodes: Watson/Starwood, Paisley/Imperial, Gordon/Clair and Woodlawn/Woolwich. A concept plan has already been completed for the Silvercreek Junction node.

Urban Design Concept Plans for Select Intensification corridors

Intensification corridors along major roads or high-use transit routes can accommodate higher-density mixed-use development. Guelph’s urban design manual will include urban design concept plans for select intensification corridors such as York Road, Gordon Street and Woolwich Street.
Gordon street intensification corridor concept plan

City-wide standards

The manual will include City-wide standards to provide design direction for private investment and new commercial, townhouse and mid-rise development, and recommend directions for a comprehensive update to the City’s Zoning Bylaw based on these standards.


Other urban design documents

Related Pages

2009 Urban design action plan

The purpose of the 2009 Urban Design Action Plan is to prioritize goals and set a course of action aimed at building better communities. It also establishes urban design objectives for specific areas expected to see the most change over the next few decades.

2009 Urban Design Action Plan

For more information

To be added to the mailing list for this project or to set up a meeting with City staff, please contact:

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