What’s behind a headline?

Reading time: 3 minutes

Headlines are important. Online they help to drive people to your site. Obviously, they tell us about what we’re going to read. Socially and historically, headlines tell us a lot more. The headline that appears ‘above the fold’ or first in a newspaper is the most important story of the day. It’s the story people are talking about.

If we look back at headlines from 10, 20, 30 years or more, we get a sense of what was important to the people living in a community and what was happening in the world around them at that time.

Imagine your hopes for this city came true over the next 10 years. If you could write THE headline for Guelph on June 28, 2030, what would it say? And what would that tell the country and world about us.We’ve been asking you that very question over the past few months and here’s a smattering of what you’ve said so far.

These are in no particular order, just grouped into topics to make it a bit easier to read. (My personal favourite is the last one listed. I encourage you to read all the way through.)


  • Come celebrate the opening of the new Exhibition Park Recreation Centre; it has something for everyone
  • New recreation facility in Guelph’s South End wins award for design and membership attendance
  • Guelph provides free recreation programs to all

Transportation and parking

  • Go Transit celebrates 10 years of full Toronto Commuter Service. Trains run hourly on this East/West corridor.
  • Local car trips down 90 per cent as Guelph develops separated bike lanes and invests in public transportation
  • End-to-end bike trails/lanes finally open!
  • Free parking continues to be a success in vibrant downtown
  • Guelph most popular destination on high-speed rail system
  • Unlocked bikes still safe in our city; bike rental hits new record in usage this month

Inclusivity and accessibility

  • Guelph wins national recognition for most special needs friendly community
  • Guelph – leading Ontario, Canada, and the world in inclusiveness, infrastructure and innovation
  • Most inclusive city in Canada; Guelph’s acceptance of diversity ranges from immigrants to gender equality


  • Guelph a home for all, a city providing affordable housing to all in need
  • Lowest homeless rate in Ontario
  • Guelph approves first Ontario self-sustaining eco-village
  • Homelessness still a distant memory in Guelph’s history

City, Social and Police services

  • East End finally gets services
  • City of Guelph acknowledged nationwide for its addiction and drug use management services
  • Safest city in Ontario for pedestrians
  • The safest city with the lowest criminal rates in Canada


  • Guelph Public Library hosts its 5th Canadian Author event in the John Galt Library Auditorium
  • New main library wins barrier-free architecture award as it celebrates its 5th anniversary

Food security

  • Majority of Guelph residents fed mainly by food sourced within 100 km
  • Guelph residents sharing abundant crops from free community


  • New second hospital for Guelph
  • Best city to live ‘from birth to senior/retirement”
  • Spectacular mental health rates in Guelph


  • Where did all our green space go?
  • Guelph bans plastic water bottle
  • Guelph, one step closer to solving climate change issues
  • Guelph becomes first Canadian city to run on 100 per cent renewable energy


  • Guelph celebrates record number of innovative start-ups over last decade
  • Guelph’s employment rates are at an all-time high
  • Guelph community voted best connected in the country!


  • Guelph downtown ‘vibes’ expanded to south end
  • Downtown bursts with activity and keeps small town feel
  • Most children friendly city in Ontario
  • Fenced-in dog park a big hit
  • Guelph leads the province in volunteerism!
  • Record summer temps; Guelph sets up free water trucks
  • Guelph – best place to call home
  • Best municipal voter turnout in Canada

… and from one of our younger residents… More ice cream

(I think most of us can all get behind more ice cream, especially in the summer.)

Based on your headlines, Guelph has lots of potential and lots to work on—together.

We haven’t listed all the headlines here, though we are reading each and every one.

What’s your headline?

Head over to the engagement platform to share your Guelph headlines. While there you’ll find other ways to get involved.

We’d love to chat in person too. We’ll be around the city all summer. Find a day and location that works for you and then come and visit.

Alison Springate, Communications Officer
City of Guelph