Council supports community-focused Economic Development and Tourism strategy

Five-year strategy aims to support local businesses, create jobs, and attract investments through industry cluster growth

Guelph, Ont., February 1, 2022—Guelph City Council approved the 2022-2026 Economic Development and Tourism Strategy at yesterday’s meeting. This strategy provides direction for economic development and tourism in Guelph, and for the Guelph Junction Railway (GJR) over the next five years.

“We’re pleased that Council supports our vision for economic growth in Guelph,” says John Regan, general manager, Economic Development and Tourism. “Our business support partners and other groups within the community helped develop this strategy, and we’re excited to continue that collaboration as we move ahead to put it into action.”

Strategy overview

The five-year strategy aims to support local businesses, create jobs, and attract investments through the growth of Guelph’s industry clusters and a focus on several key sectors. Advanced manufacturing, agri-innovation and life sciences are essential industry clusters because they use innovative technology to improve products or processes and help increase competitiveness and sustainability. Cleantech, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and tourism are also prioritized in the strategy as key sectors that drive our economy forward.

The strategy focuses on workforce development, placemaking, increasing GJR revenues and marketing Guelph. It also includes specific actions to support COVID-19 economic recovery efforts in Guelph. With a renewed focus on people, the strategy goals position and promote Guelph to attract visitors and talent and recognizes the importance of meaningful relationships between the City and businesses of all types and sizes.

The goals of the strategy are to:

  • Expand support for existing businesses
  • Attract targeted investment
  • Champion an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Advance talent attraction and skill development
  • Build a must-see visitor destination in Ontario
  • Enhance Guelph’s unique brand for business, talent and visitors

Community partnerships provide a foundation for implementing the strategy over the next five years. The City is looking to broaden the reach of these partnerships to support the unique needs of entrepreneurs and business owners from all equity seeking groups, and encourage those organizations to connect with economic development and tourism.

“This strategy supports the City’s existing plans and builds on them from a business and visitor perspective,” says Jayne Holmes, deputy chief administrative officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “I’d like to thank our business and tourism stakeholders for their feedback and input along the way; their contributions are crucial to the success of this strategy.”

The Economic Development and Tourism strategy supports a future-ready Guelph by helping to create a sustainable, creative and smart local economy that is connected to regional and global markets and supports shared prosperity for everyone. The strategy also supports the community’s vision for fostering inclusive prosperity as reflected in the Community Plan.

What’s next?

The strategy will continue to evolve to respond to a changing city. In 2022 some data assumptions will be validated when census data is released, followed by a reassessment of the pandemic in 2023. The strategy will be reviewed in 2025. Visit the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy web page for updates.

For more information

Christine Chapman, Manager, Economic Development
Economic Development and Tourism
City of Guelph
[email protected]