Official Plan

The City of Guelph Official Plan is a statement of goals, objectives and policies for growth and development for the next 20 years. The Official Plan is developed based on input from the community and it promotes the public interest in the future development of the city. The Official Plan is focused on sustainability and establishes policies that have a positive effect on the social, economic, cultural and natural environment of the city. The Official Plan strives to maintain a high quality of life for the residents of Guelph, reduce uncertainty concerning future development, and provides a basis for the Zoning By-law and other land use controls.

The Official Plan has been prepared and enacted in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act. The Official Plan was adopted by City Council on November 1, 1994, approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on December 20, 1995 and comprehensively updated by the City of Guelph on December 17, 2001. The Plan includes detailed provisions required to ensure conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, consistency with the Provincial Policy Statement and applicable Provincial legislation.

This online version of the Official Plan is a consolidation of the Official Plan policies in effect as of September 2014. It is provided for information purposes only. For legal purposes, reference should be made to the original certified documents which are on file with the City Clerk and subsequent Official Plan Amendments. Reference should also be made to all Ontario Municipal Board decisions.

It is important to note that the September 2014 consolidation only includes those amendments that were approved by Council and were in force as of September 1, 2014. Planning Services should be consulted regarding inquiries and interpretation of the Official Plan.

The 2014 consolidation includes:

City of Guelph Official Plan – September 2014 Consolidation

Active Official Plan Files

Envision Guelph – Official Plan Update

The City’s Official Plan needs to be updated to meet legislative requirements under the Planning Act. The Planning Act requires that the Plan be revised every five years to ensure that the Plan is in conformity with provincial plans and is consistent with provincial policy.

The City’s most recent comprehensive update to the Official Plan; Envision Guelph; was approved by City Council in three phases:

  • Phase 1: OPA 39 Growth Plan Conformity (approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, November 2009)
  • Phase 2: OPA 42 Natural Heritage Strategy (approved by the Ontario Municipal Board, June 2014 with the exception of one site specific appeal); and
  • Phase 3: OPA 48 Final Phase of the Five-year Review (was approved with modifications by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on December 11, 2013) – currently under appeal in its entirety to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Phase 1

Official Plan Amendment No. 39 brought the City’s Official Plan into conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. OPA 39 is approved and is in full force and effect.

OPA 39 – Growth Plan conformity

Phase 2

Official Plan Amendment No. 42 introduced policies for the Natural Heritage System which establishes a sustainable greenspace network throughout the City.

OPA 42 is approved and is in full force and effect except for one site specific appeal.

Natural Heritage System

Phase 3

Official Plan Amendment No. 48 is the final phase of the Official Plan Update. This phase ensures that the remaining sections of the Official Plan are in conformity with provincial legislation and plans and is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement. OPA 48 is currently under appeal in its entirety to the Ontario Municipal Board.

OPA 48 – Official Plan Update

For more information

Planning Services
519-837-5616
planning@guelph.ca