Federal infrastructure funding projects

The City’s applications to date have successfully secured $17.3 million for eight infrastructure-related projects in our community. These funding contributions will pay for 59 per cent of the total costs and the City will fund the remaining 41 per cent or $12.3 million.

Guelph’s phase 1 funding projects

Learn about Guelph’s projects that best aligned with the first phase of federal infrastructure funds and the funding status of each.

Approved projects

The following nine projects have been approved for funding by the provincial and federal governments.

Snow Disposal Facility upgrade – $5,000,000

The City’s existing Snow Disposal Facility requires upgrades to meet provincial best practices and ensure Guelph’s groundwater is protected. Improvements to the facility include asphalt or clay base, drainage and settling ponds, fencing, and a separate driveway entrance that can be locked during off hours.

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Clean Water Wastewater Fund   $2,500,000
 Province of Ontario   $1,250,000
 City   $1,250,000

Metcalfe Street Reconstruction: Speedvale to Eramosa – $3,595,780

Reconstruction of a 1.2 kilometre stretch of Metcalfe Street from Speedvale Avenue to Eramosa Road to improve municipal water supply to citizens and businesses in the north end of Guelph, alleviate historical flooding and replace aging underground infrastructure (water, wastewater and storm).

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Clean Water Wastewater Fund  $1,797,890
 Province of Ontario  $898,945
 City  $898,945

Stormwater Management Pond Maintenance – $1,500,000

Municipalities are facing stormwater management challenges including climate-driven changes and aging infrastructure. Guelph’s stormwater infrastructure needs upgrades and repairs. Maintenance work is required on two of the City’s critical stormwater management facilities including removal of accumulated sediment.
Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Clean Water Wastewater Fund  $750,000
 Province of Ontario  $375,000
 City  $375,000

Guelph Transit replacements and upgrades

The City’s existing transit infrastructure requires replacement and/or upgrades to ensure safe and accessible for service for riders that’s financially sustainable. The program of work includes three projects:

Farebox replacements on all buses – $2,600,000

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $1,300,000
 City  $1,300,000

Bus stop upgrades to 72 multi-route stops to ensure accessibility, and where possible, shelters – $726,442

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $363,221
 City  $363,221

Replacement of 24 conventional buses and nine mobility buses – $14,741,540

Guelph Transit’s buses are aging—many are beyond their expected life—this project will bring the age of the fleet within best practice range.

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $7,370,770
 City  $7,370,770

Transit/Transportation Master Plan – $350,000

This project is to develop a long-term comprehensive Transportation Master Plan and vision for Guelph that addresses all modes of transportation including transit, transportation (automobile), active transportation and trails.

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $147,500
 City  $202,500

Traffic Signal Control System – $1,000,000

Upgrades to Guelph’s computerized traffic signal control system to coordinate traffic signals along major streets, maximizing the capacity of the road network, also reducing traffic congestion and delays. Transit operations will further benefit from a reduction in fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, overall travel time and idling time with additional benefits achieved through the use of transit signal priority.

Funding sources and amounts approved

Funding source Amount approved
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $500,000
 City  $500,000

Projects under review

The following two projects have been submitted through the application process and are under review by the federal and provincial funding selection committees.

Guelph Transit operations vehicles and equipment replacement – $1,060,400

The replacement of vehicles and equipment needed for the smooth operation of the fleet of buses and reliable service.

Funding sources and amounts proposed

Funding source Amount proposed
 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund  $530,200
 City  $530,200

McCrae Coach House renovation – $600,000

The Coach House renovation will enable the Museum to enhance programming that supports the exhibitions and experiences at McCrae House, a museum dedicated to sharing the story of In Flanders Fields author, doctor and soldier John McCrae. The renovation will establish new interpretive programming space for group programs, and it will support hospitality and programming activities that require food preparation and service. In 1966, the federal government, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board, designated John McCrae a person of national significance, and designated the house a place of national significance. This project is an important component of restoring a property of great importance to our national identity and heritage. Proposed renovations include: installing water access, upgrading lighting and installing interpretive programming space in the Coach House.

Funding sources and amounts proposed

Funding source Amount proposed
Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program  $300,000
 City  $300,000

Unsuccessful projects

The following two projects were submitted through the application process and were not approved for federal and provincial funding.

Energy and operational efficiency building automation systems: Sleeman Centre and West End Community Centre – $700,000

Every building has some form of automated system to regulate internal environments. Two of the City’s facilities—West End Community Centre and the Sleeman Centre (home of the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm)—have systems approaching 15 years of age that need complete upgrades. The project is to replace the existing computer monitored and controlled building HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment control system that regulates when equipment is scheduled to run and maintain required parameters for space temperature and humidity control.

Funding applied for but not granted

Funding source Amount not granted
Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program $350,000
 City $350,000

Main Library Upgrade – $1,500,000

Guelph’s central public library requires significant upgrades to revitalize a critical community facility. The scope of work for this facility includes the abatement of all asbestos containing materials, upgrades to interior finishes, replacement of the mechanical and electrical system, replacement of the elevator and fire system, repairs to the roof drainage system, and upgrades to the washroom facilities, for both accessibility and end-of-lifecycle purposes. The work will foster a clean growth economy, provide accessibility, and improve indigenous and all communities’ use of a centrally located space for years to come. The Guelph Public Library is the most used recreational facility in the city, is completely open to the public and free to use. The facility will remain open during renovations. This project will foster innovation and targets youth facility use.

Funding sources and status – Funding applied for but not granted

Funding source Amount not granted
Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program $750,000
 City $750,000

Waiting for the right fit

As infrastructure funding programs were announced throughout 2016, one of the City’s identified priority projects, simply wasn’t a suitable match for the eligibility criteria. This project will be top of mind as the phase 2 funding opportunities arise in 2017 and beyond.

13-Acre Prime Brownfield Redevelopment: 200 Beverley Street

Redevelopment of a vacant 13-acre brownfield property will address environmental concerns and open up a valuable property near Guelph’s downtown and the Eramosa River. The property is a prime piece of real estate in a neighbourhood in major need of infrastructure renewal. The arterial road running parallel and a block from the property, York Road, is currently “the worst road in Guelph” and the fifth worst road in Southern Ontario according to the Canadian Automobile Association. Fortunately, the City received $2.6 million to upgrade storm sewers and roadway through the Province of Ontario’s Connecting Links program. Sanitary sewers and water mains are being upgraded concurrently through City funds. With federal funding, this would be an ideal partnership between three levels of government with non-governmental organization participation that would revitalize an important inner-city Guelph neighbourhood, drive economic development, rectify long-standing environmental concerns and create an opportunity for the development of new, and much needed, affordable housing.

Phase 2

More information to come about Guelph’s projects that may align with the second phase of federal infrastructure funds, once funding details are announced later in 2017.

Federal infrastructure funding preparation

Canada’s public infrastructure gap

Almost 60% of Canada’s core public infrastructure is owned and maintained by municipal governments. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has estimated that, if reliant on property taxes alone, closing the $60 billion infrastructure investment gap in Ontario would require an additional annual tax increase of 3.84% through to 2025. Infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial levels of government would offset that increase.

Federal funding

The 2016 federal budget committed to two phases of infrastructure funding.

Phase 1 provided $11.9 billion over five years—right away.  These infrastructure investments will modernize and rehabilitate public transit, water and wastewater systems, provide affordable housing, and protect existing infrastructure from the effects of climate change.


  • Public Transit Infrastructure Fund
  • Clean Water Wastewater Fund
  • Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
  • Canada 150

Phase 2 will deliver on the following10 years of the Government’s long-term infrastructure plan, with the majority of the $81 billion funding commitment.

The federal government consulted on the second phase of its infrastructure funding program in the fall of 2016 and announced details in the 2017 federal budget on March 22.

Federal funding priorities:

  • Public transit
  • Social infrastructure
  • Green infrastructure
  • Trade and transportation infrastructure

As new information becomes available, City staff will report back to Council and begin preparations and business case development for early submission of Guelph’s applications.


Federal infrastructure funds will enable Guelph to:

  • address some of its infrastructure backlog
  • unlock funds for other pressing projects
  • move forward on major projects that will have lasting benefits for our citizens and businesses

Financial considerations

Phase 1: The City has secured a total of $17,253,326 in federal and provincial funding to date for eight projects; two more projects are currently under review by a funding selection committee. The City’s portion, to date, is $12,260,436 or 41 per cent. Here are details about how this portion will be funded:

  • Existing funding sources will be used where possible, including tax supported reserve funds and debt that’s already part of approved projects.
  • Additional funds will be used from user pay capital reserve funds, development charge reserve funds and tax-supported debt that was forecasted to be used in future years.
  • It’s recommended that the Capital Asset Renewal Reserve Fund (CARR) is used for the remaining portion of funding that’s not approved or forecasted.
  • The City’s dedicated infrastructure levy is now in place to help fund, long-term, Guelph’s infrastructure needs and reduce the existing backlog. The levy was approved by Council at one per cent of the total approved budget for 2017 (the levy amount will be confirmed through the budget process, each year). On June 6, 2017, the City’s finance staff will bring forward recommendations for how the one per cent is used.


We continue to advocate for solutions to address Guelph’s infrastructure needs at every opportunity and revisit our preparations for funding submissions as new information becomes available. Since 2015, we’ve organized and taken part in many meetings and events to showcase Guelph as a community that’s worthy of federal and provincial funding and committed to successful infrastructure renewal.

Key dates

  • 2017 – Federal budget: Details about Phase 2 of the infrastructure funding program were announced
  • August, 2016 – City led delegations with the Minister of Infrastructure, the Ontario NDP caucus and Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown on Guelph’s infrastructure needs and priorities at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Windsor.
  • July 2016 – City met with representatives of Infrastructure Canada to better understand policy implications of the government’s new infrastructure funding and ensure the City’s infrastructure needs are considered for funding opportunities; City also met with senior leaders of the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.
  • May 30, 2016 – Council endorses the 12 recommended projects and directs staff to move ahead with application planning.
  • March 22, 2016 – The federal budget committed to two phases of infrastructure funding.
  • February 11, 2016 – Council directs staff to pursue as much federal funding as possible to unlock the infrastructure backlog and start forecasted capital projects sooner