To help us decide how Guelph should grow and develop over the next 30 years, we need to consider employment needs, including the amount of new jobs we need to plan for and where we put those jobs, areas knows as employment lands.
Last year we heard community thoughts about where and how to add new housing throughout our city and we explored one way that we could grow. Now it’s time to start a conversation about Guelph’s employment needs and how they contribute to our future growth.
What is the employment lands strategy and what does it tell us?
Part of Guelph’s provincially mandated growth to 2051 includes an employment target of 116,000 jobs. That is an increase of about 33,300 jobs between 2021 and 2051 with an average annual growth rate of about 1 per cent. The employment lands strategy (ELS) includes an overview of how much land we have for jobs and looks at whether this is enough land to accommodate our job growth. The ELS also outlines different things that Guelph could do to plan for its forecast job growth.
In addition to Guelph’s supply of occupied employment lands, we have about 354 hectares of vacant employment lands – land that is available for future industrial, office and related jobs. Jobs in retail or services, referred to as population-related employment, are typically accommodated in commercial areas or neighbourhoods not on employment lands. Guelph’s commercial lands were considered through the commercial policy review.
The ELS shows that we need about 319 hectares of employment lands to accommodate our growth. Guelph’s current supply of vacant employment lands is just enough to accommodate employment growth to 2051. There will only be about 35 hectares of employment land left for growth after 2051. In order to manage our supply of employment lands, we need to focus on:
- maximizing intensification of existing developed employment lands, such as through building additions. About 15 per cent of Guelph’s job growth must occur through intensification
- planning for employment land densities of a minimum of 40 jobs per hectare city-wide
- continuing to promote downtown as a focus area for major office development
- increasing Guelph’s long-term supply of “shovel-ready” employment lands, those that have all the approvals and infrastructure in place, in the Hanlon Creek Business Park and the Guelph Innovation District
Learn more and submit a question or comment
We’ll use the ELS, together with the other technical background studies being done as part of Shaping Guelph, to develop growth scenarios over the next few months.
For more information
Natalie Goss, Senior Policy Planner
Planning and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3548