Shaping Guelph: Council endorsed vision and principles

On June 15, 2020, Council endorsed the vision and principles for the Shaping Guelph project, based on community engagement and stakeholder input, for growing Guelph to 2041. This vision and principles will inform the next stages of the Shaping Guelph Growth Management Strategy, and may be updated as we learn more through community engagement during the next stages of the project.


Guelph in 2041 is a place of community. Guelph is a diverse community that is rich in history and vibrant new places and spaces. We are welcoming to new people to live and work within our neighbourhoods and to new businesses that support and strengthen our diverse and innovative local economy. Our community has a full range and mix of housing that is accessible and affordable. We have built a community where we can safely walk, cycle, ride transit, or drive anywhere we want to go. Our city has been thoughtfully designed and is compact, connected, and complete. We have places to shop, to work and to explore open spaces and parks. Our cultural heritage resources have been embraced and celebrated. Our natural heritage system and water resources are protected and maintained as one of our most valuable assets.

The Official Plan sets out how we will manage Guelph’s land use patterns that shape the city’s social, economic, cultural, and natural environments. The Official Plan is a companion to the city’s Community Plan – a plan that identifies the community’s priorities to develop a welcoming and prosperous city. Together, the Official Plan and Community Plan create a strong foundation that will guide the future of Guelph.

In 2041, our Guelph is a place we are proud to call home. We are proud because we have worked together to shape its future.


  • Accommodating new people and jobs, as forecast by A Place to Grow, within Guelph’s existing city boundaries by:
    • Intensifying throughout the built-up area, with higher densities within Downtown and strategic growth areas; and
    • Planning to meet the minimum density target in the designated greenfield area.
  • Creating a vibrant community in a compact and efficient form;
  • Planning for a full range of land uses to support community needs in a sustainable and fiscally responsible way;
  • Maintaining a sufficient supply of lands for innovative employment uses and to meet projected employment needs;
  • Supporting a range and mix of housing options that includes increasing the supply of housing options that are affordable;
  • Providing a complete multi-modal transportation system to meet our individual needs and abilities;
  • Ensuring an accessible, connected open space, park and trail system and sustainable network of recreational facilities;
  • Ensuring servicing, including water, wastewater, and stormwater, are adequate to support Guelph’s growth;
  • Protecting, conserving, and enhancing our natural heritage system and groundwater resources;
  • Preparing Guelph for a net-zero carbon future;
  • Adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change;
  • Embracing, celebrating and conserving cultural heritage; and
  • Planning and designing an attractive urban landscape that reinforces and enhances Guelph’s sense of place and identity while encouraging innovative design and development opportunities.