Council approves Guelph’s urban design manual

Volumes 1 and 2 now available

Guelph, Ont., November 14, 2017 – Last night, City Council approved two volumes of Guelph’s Urban Design Manual—Volume 1: Urban design vision and Volume 2: Urban design action plan.

“The Urban Design Manual will provide a thoughtful and consistent approach to urban design in Guelph,” says David de Groot, senior urban designer with the City of Guelph. “As more people come to live and work in Guelph, urban design plays an increasingly important role in planning and developing more intensified and complete mixed-used neighbourhoods.”

Volume 1 describes the urban design vision that will create a complete and distinctive community for Guelph citizens and visitors. Volume 2 details the action plan for shaping urban design in Guelph and is divided into three parts:

  1. Opportunity areas: identifying the distinct areas in the city with potential for significant change (e.g. the downtown core).
  2. Organizational improvement: processes and programs that ensure Guelph’s urban design objectives are met and awareness about urban design increases.
  3. Urban design policy directions: strengthening City policies and regulations.

Overall, the manual will:

  • Assist City staff in implementing the new design directions introduced through the City’s Official Plan Update;
  • Support an efficient development review process; and
  • Inform future City projects.

The manual was developed over an 18 month period with input and collaboration from City staff, Council members and the public.

Next steps for the Urban Design Manual include completing Volume 3, specifically the Built Form Standards for Mid-Rise Buildings and Townhouses and Built Form Standards for the Gordon Street Intensification Corridor projects—both currently underway, and implementing priority actions  over the next three years. These priority actions include standards for lighting, implementing urban design awards and creating commercial development built form standards.

About Guelph’s urban design manual update

Guelph’s urban design plans and policies improve the livability, sustainability and attractiveness of Guelph. The updated Urban Design Manual builds on the 2009 Urban Design Action Plan and provides a thoughtful and consistent approach to urban design in Guelph. It also aligns with the Official Plan and provides recommendations for zoning bylaw changes and updates.


Urban design in Guelph

Urban Design Manual Volume 1: Urban design vision

Urban Design Manual Volume 2: Urban design action plan

Media contact

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