Setting clear direction for a made-in-Guelph growth strategy

Guelph, Ont., January 6, 2022 – On January 17, Council will set clear direction for how Guelph should grow and develop over the next 30 years as they discuss the preferred growth scenario set out in the report Shaping Guelph: Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment.

“The Growth Management Strategy will guide future growth in Guelph as we adapt to reach mandated population and employment targets,” explains Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design. “Our made-in Guelph approach balances the types of housing residents want with communities that are connected, support employment opportunities, and uphold Guelph’s commitment to protect and conserve the natural environment.”

The preferred growth scenario, known as as modified Scenario 2, ensures responsible land use by building up not out and provides a diverse mix of land uses such as residential, commercial and natural lands. The scenario also supports the Downtown Secondary Plan, the Guelph Innovation District Secondary Plan, and the endorsed community structure for the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan while aligning with the Council endorsed vision and principles for growth.

Staff is asking Council to endorse the Shaping Guelph: Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment and seeking approval from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to change:

  • the population forecast for the year 2051 from 203,000 to 208,000 to accommodate the addition of the Dolime Quarry lands now within Guelph’s municipal boundary.
  • the minimum residential intensification target for existing built areas to 46 per cent from 50 per cent.
  • the City of Guelph settlement area boundary to align with the adjusted municipal boundary resulting from the jurisdictional transfer of the Dolime Quarry lands.

Two years of community engagement and research

Throughout 2020 and 2021, the community and other stakeholders provided feedback about where and how to add new housing, how Guelph should grow and develop, growth scenarios and the proposed framework to evaluate them, and proposed policy changes to Guelph’s Official Plan. City staff and consultants used the feedback along with land-use planning research and best practices to draft the Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment. Ongoing work to update a number of City master plans further informed and will help meet the provincially mandated growth forecasts to 2051.

Delegate to Council

Members of the public can delegate or submit written comments about the preferred growth scenario by registering online or contacting the City Clerk’s office at [email protected] by 10 a.m. on Friday, January 14.

Why does Guelph need to grow and develop?

Guelph must plan for a minimum population of 203,000 and 116,000 jobs by 2051 to meet provincial Growth Plan targets. This work is part of Shaping Guelph—Growth Management Strategy and supports our Official Plan review. In June 2020, City Council endorsed a draft vision and principles for growth based on community input to help guide this project.

Next steps

Council will review and potentially endorse the Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment on January 17, 2022, with staff presenting the final strategy for Council approval in summer 2022. The final growth strategy recommendations will be incorporated into a draft Official Plan amendment which will be shared with the community for review and feedback in early 2022.

The fiscal impact assessment of the preferred growth scenario is currently being developed with input from the ongoing master plan updates and will be presented to Council in spring 2022.

Media contact

Melissa Aldunate, Manager, Policy Planning and Urban Design
Planning and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2361
[email protected]