Council approves 2020 capital budget and non-tax supported operating budget

Guelph, Ont., November 13, 2019—Today, City Council approved the 2020 capital budget and the non-tax supported operating budget, and received the 2021–2029 capital forecast.

The approved capital budget of $151.6 million, and accompanying $1.5 million operating budget once the assets are up and running, will fund capital projects slated to start or be completed in 2020. The list of capital projects in the approved budget includes:

  • Renewal and replacement of aging road and bridge infrastructure including Phase 3 of York Road, Phase 1 of the Speedvale Transmission Trunk Sewer, Phase 2 of Stevenson Trunk Sewer, Applewood Crescent and Manitoba Street.
  • Renewal and upgrade to the City’s Water and Wastewater Services infrastructure including FM Woods Station, the Wastewater Bio solids facility, and early planning and design of the aqueduct.
  • Planning, readying and design of the site approved for the future Operations Campus including the demolition of an aged, unsafe facility, plus the business case and design for the expanded transit facility on this campus to support the projected system growth over the next 25 years.
  • Investment to modernize the City’s technology systems to support continuous improvement and process efficiency.
  • New initiatives to achieve the City’s goal of addressing 100 per cent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2050.

Council also received the 10-year capital forecast set at just over $1.7 billion that looks at capital projects out to 2029. Slated in the forecast are the new central library, Baker District parkade and South End Community Centre—each to go for Council approval in 2020. Also in the forecast is the expansion and greening of Guelph Transit services, and the replacement of the City’s aged fleet and park operations maintenance facilities that are at the end of useful life.

“The capital budget and forecast aligns with the Strategic Plan mission of working together to deliver responsible and responsive public service to Guelph’s growing and diverse community,” said Trevor Lee, Deputy CAO Corporate Services. “A strong, forward-looking capital budget ensures we take care of our long-term infrastructure and community needs.”

The 2020 capital budget initiatives are categorized by:

  • Infrastructure Renewal—projects that will replace, renew or reconstruct existing City assets—accounts for 78 per cent of this budget.
  • Growth—investment needed to meet increased demands on City services by new residents and businesses— accounts for 15 per cent of the budget.
  • City Building—projects to enhance City services to benefit all citizens—will account for seven per cent of the budget.
  • 100RE—a new funding category to reach the goal of using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050—accounts for less than one per cent of the budget.

The approved non-tax supported operating budget focuses on the services residents pay for through rates, fees and charges such as stormwater management, water and wastewater, building permits, court services and new for 2020—parking.

Council approved the following changes to user fees and rates for water, wastewater and stormwater, estimated to increase on average by $23.98 based on a three-person household.

2020 water, wastewater and stormwater rate impacts

2019 2020 Change
Water volume charge$/cubic metre $1.72 $1.77  $0.05
Water basic charge $/day $0.26 $0.26 $0.00
Wastewater volume charge $/cubic metre $1.88 $1.92 $0.04
Wastewater basic charge $/day $0.32 $0.32 $0.00
Average residential annual bill
(water and wastewater)
$859.70  $876.48  $16.78
or 1.95%
Stormwater monthly charge $5.20 $5.80 $0.60
Average residential annual bill
(water, wastewater and Stormwater)
$922.10 $946.08 $23.98
or 2.60%

Council approved a permit fee increase for the Arthur and Norwich streets parking lots to $100 a month starting January 1, 2020, based on last year’s Council-approved two-year phase in. All other monthly permit fees will increase by 2 per cent, off-street parking fees will increase by $0.25 an hour, and event-parking fees will increase by $0.50. Building permit fees will increase by 2.2 per cent effective January 1, 2020.

The 2020 budget talks continue with the tax supported operating budget presentation to Council on November 18, the local boards and shared services budget presentation on November 20 and delegation night for these two budgets is scheduled for November 27. Council deliberation and approval is scheduled for December 3.

Community input

Citizens can address Council about the budget through a written submission or in person at a budget Council meeting. Please register as a delegate, or make a submission by 10 a.m. on the Friday prior to the meeting. You can register using our online delegate request form, or contact the City Clerk’s office at 519-837-5603 or email [email protected]

Review the proposed budgets documents and follow the City’s budget updates at, on Twitter (@cityofguelph, #GuelphBudget) and on Facebook (@cityofguelph). Do you want to know more about the budget? Email us at [email protected]

Watch all budget Council meetings (presentations, delegation and deliberation nights) live at

All Council meetings will be in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street.

Media contact

Tara Baker
Treasurer, General Manager, Finance
City of Guelph
519-822-1260, extension 2084
[email protected]