Economic Development and Tourism


Economic Development and Tourism

What we do

The Economic Development and Tourism department stewards the Guelph story and serves as the gateway to the community’s business and visitors network. We make it easy to do business with the City whether it’s choosing a site, growing your business or finding new markets. We ensure that visitors to our community feel welcome and experience everything this city has to offer including destinations such as our downtown and Farmers’ Market. Unique to this municipality, Guelph Junction Railway is owned and managed by the City of Guelph and is overseen through this department.

From economic development, investment attraction, business retention and expansion to property development, policy-making, and partnership development, to tourism destination development, our expert team is ready to help businesses and people make Guelph their home, their place of business and their destination.

Why we do it

Economic Development and Tourism supports the Strategic Plan’s Powering our Future priority through the department’s efforts to contribute to a sustainable, creative and smart local economy, and provide a diverse range of tourism experiences.

We accelerate Guelph’s economy by building partnerships, welcoming visitors, helping businesses succeed and add value to the community by supporting businesses as they adapt to changing workforce needs. We build assessment and prosperity to help generate quality of life and place and to improve Guelph’s overall fiscal position.

The programs and services support economic growth while enriching the lives of the community and growing the reputation of Guelph as a lively tourist destination.

2021 to 2024+ initiatives

  • Update Guelph’s economic strategy to align with the Guelph. Future Ready Strategic Plan; inform future programming, resource requirements, and partnerships—targeted to domestic and foreign investment attraction opportunities; and continue Guelph’s vibrant business retention and expansion programs in a fast-changing digital world.
  • Continue marketing and selling land in the Hanlon Creek Business Park Phase 1 and leading the work related to the development and disposition for the land in Phase 3; developing the 200 Beverley Street site for its successful reactivation into a mixed-use site with affordable housing as a key feature, and opening up other employment lands within the city.
  • Promote and support the service offerings and the commercial success of Guelph Junction Railway.
  • Continue to lead and update the implementation of the Downtown Secondary Plan including the Baker District Redevelopment.
  • Partner with regional coalitions advocating for Two Way All Day GO, the Innovation Corridor, Ontario Food Cluster, Smart Cities, and other relevant tourism and business growth initiatives.
  • Establish long-term service delivery agreements with core local business support partners to carry out economic development strategic directions and meet the deliverables of the Powering our Future action plan.
  • Continue to manage the private-sector investment incentive tools such as, provincially-approved community improvement plans.
  • Lead tourism rebuilding and plan financial resiliency.
  • Implement Guelph Farmers’ Market bylaw and policy review.

Budget details

Operating budget—Revenues and expenses

2021 impacts

$140,930 or 7.6% net increase in budget due to:
  • $134,500 increase in compensation for a proposed Economic Development Officer position to focus on investment attraction aligned with Council’s strategic initiative to complete the implementation of an Economic Development Strategy.
  • $350,000 for a proposed one-time Tourism Rebuild grant program to assist businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector manage through and rebound from the devastating impact of Covid-19; this is funded from a transfer from Tax Operating Contingency Reserve.
  • All remaining changes are inflationary in nature.

2022 to 2024 budget impacts

$189,230 net budget increase mainly due to:
  • Addition of an Economic Development Coordinator aligned with Council’s strategic initiative to complete the implementation of an Economic Development Strategy.

Budget request

  • BR 861—Economic Development Officer
  • BR 840—Tourism Rebuild Emergency Grant