Made-in-Guelph growth strategy to be presented to Council

Guelph, Ont., July 7, 2022 – On July 11, Council will discuss staff’s recommendation to amend Guelph’s Official Plan and incorporate the Shaping Guelph growth management strategy.

Guelph’s Official Plan (OP) sets the goals and policies for managing land use in the city including:

  • how natural areas are enhanced and protected
  • which parts of the city have residential, commercial or industrial development
  • locations for parks, multi-modal transportation options and other amenities.

In May 2019, the Province of Ontario updated its growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Since then, Council and the community have been engaged in a conversation about Guelph’s growth and development to plan for the province’s mandated population and employment targets. This conversation has produced Shaping Guelph, a true made-in-Guelph growth management strategy.

City staff are recommending an amendment to the Official Plan that includes:

  • revising the plan’s vision
  • providing an updated urban structure
  • setting a 2051 population forecast of 208,000 and an employment forecast of 116,000 jobs
  • modifying density and intensification targets, and
  • updating policies and land use designations to conform with A Place to Grow and the Provincial Policy Statement.

Community input collected through two years of engagement informed the recommendations staff is presenting to Council.

“The community was clear: design a built environment that promotes sustainability and healthy, active living, while providing options for housing choice and jobs,” explains Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design. “Shaping Guelph and the Official Plan amendment support the growth of Guelph to 2051 in a way that respects and conserves the city’s natural and cultural heritage while meeting the needs of people who live, work and operate here today and in the future.”

Recommendations to modify the Official Plan include:

  • mapping and protecting employment areas
  • setting the boundary and targets for downtown as a major transit hub
  • identifying areas for growth areas and setting policy to encourage mixed-use development
  • planning for 46 per cent of new growth to happen in the existing built-up areas
  • requiring higher density, compact development in greenfield (unbuilt) areas
  • committing to engagement with rights-holding Indigenous governments on land use decisions
  • updating policies to protect water resources

Next steps

Pending Council’s approval, staff will consult with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and report back to Council before the Ministry grants final approval.

For more information

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