Guelph City Council approves new Development Charge bylaws

Guelph’s new bylaws come into effect on March 2, 2024

Guelph, Ont., January 17, 2024 – Last night, at the Council Planning meeting, City Council approved the 2023 Development Charge Background Study with its addendum. Council also approved the new Development Charge bylaws. The new rates will come into effect on March 2, 2024.

New elements of the Development Charge bylaws include changes to align with updates made by the province to the Development Charges Act through Bill 23, More Homes, Built Faster, as well as administrative updates, including:

  • separate bylaws for each service to enable future updates to the rates for one, but not all services, if needed, without triggering the rate phase-in for all services
  • adding the mandated discounts to development charges,
  • removing growth studies as an eligible service,
  • including provisions for upcoming affordable and attainable housing exemptions, and
  • adding and refining definitions to support administrative clarity and efficiency.

“Development charges are critical to funding the capital costs to accommodate growth. Before development can begin, water pipes, sewers, and roads must be built. Once people start living in new developments, we need to provide emergency services, waste collection, new parks and recreation spaces,” says Shanna O’Dwyer, manager, Financial Strategy and Long-Term Planning for the City of Guelph. “The City’s Development Charge bylaw update was well underway before the province passed Bill 23. Those legislative changes are included in this update.”

The calculated residential development charge is $64,813 for a single or semi-detached unit. For non-residential development, it’s $25.78 per square foot. This reflects the rising construction costs to build infrastructure, and the approved rates are competitive with development charge rates in nearby cities.

The Province’s new mandatory rate phase-in requirement reduces the portion of the capital cost to accommodate growth that can be collected through development charges. The calculated rates will be subject to a 20 per cent discount in the first year. The full rates will be phased in over five years. The City expects to collect over $200 million less in revenue than it would have before Bill 23. The new mandatory phase-in, discounts, and exemptions will directly impact the City’s ability to support strategic priorities tied to growth and improving the housing supply in Guelph. The impact of Bill 23 is reflected, in part, in the provincial impact portion of the recently adopted budget increase for 2024.

Appeal period ends on February 25

Any person or organization may appeal the updated Development Charges bylaw to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by filing a notice of appeal, including the objection to the bylaw and the reasons supporting the objection, with the City Clerk on or before February 25, 2024. This can be submitted by email at [email protected] or mail to 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1.


Development charges
2023 Development Charges Background Study
Development Charges Background Study Addendum
Government of Ontario: Bill 23 More Homes, Built Faster Act
Guelph’s Growth Management Strategy
Official Plan
Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan
Understanding provincial legislation
Housing in Guelph: an interactive story map
Housing in Guelph: Special Council presentation

Media contact

Shanna O’Dwyer, Manager, Financial Strategy and Long-Term Planning
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2300
[email protected]