Updated zoning bylaw supports investment and development in downtown Guelph

Building heights, bike parking among updated regulations











Guelph, Ont., July 25, 2017– On July 24, Guelph City Council approved the updated downtown zoning regulations in line with Guelph’s Downtown Secondary Plan.

“We’ve modernized our approach and aligned our zoning regulations with Guelph’s vision for downtown as established through the Downtown Secondary Plan,” says Stacey Laughlin, senior policy planner at the City of Guelph. “Now, fewer development proposals will require zone changes as part of the development approval process.”

The changes made to permitted land uses and regulations are meant to encourage development downtown, and support a more active, urban environment south of the CN rail line.

The Downtown Secondary Plan was approved  in 2012 with a vision to create a distinct and vital urban centre nestled along the Speed River, comprised of beautiful buildings and public spaces, and  surrounded by leafy neighbourhoods where people live, work, shop, dine, play and celebrate.

The updated zoning bylaw is now consistent with that vision, and includes modern zoning regulations designed to preserve and protect Guelph’s heritage, and enhance the experience of pedestrians and cyclists including:

Bicycle parking

Guelph requires a minimum number of short-term and long-term bicycle parking spaces for new multi-residential and non-residential buildings downtown.

Active Streets

Key downtown streets (e.g. Wyndham Street, Quebec Street, Carden Street) are considered “active streets”. The purpose is to create high-quality, pedestrian-oriented streets lined with shops, restaurants and other similar uses on the main floor. These streets are designed to increase pedestrian flow attracting customers and visitors and strengthening the local economy.

Building heights

Generally, the zoning bylaw maintains mid-rise building heights in the historic downtown core and permits taller buildings at strategic locations. New regulations also ensure the shape of new buildings respects adjacent buildings and pedestrians.

“We thank all the residents and businesses who provided input to help us update the downtown zoning bylaw for the first time since 1995,” adds Laughlin. “We look forward to working together to make downtown Guelph an even better place to live, work, visit and celebrate.”

The appeal period for the new bylaw, as per the Planning Act, will begin once required notice of Council’s decision has been provided.


Guelph’s Downtown Secondary Plan

July 10 staff report – proposed Downtown Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZC1612)

About the City of Guelph

Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 130,000 people, located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Guelph’s community partners and business leaders are making a difference locally and globally in agri-food, technology, environmental enterprise and advanced manufacturing industries. The city’s healthy local economy, thriving arts and culture scene, charming neighbourhoods, parks and green spaces make Guelph among the most livable cities in Canada.

Media contact

Stacey Laughlin, Senior Policy Planner
Planning, Urban Design, and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2327
[email protected]