CAO Smart Cities Office


CAO Smart Cities Office

What we do

Our Food Future is an initiative, awarded $10 million from the Federal Government through Infrastructure Canada’s (INFC) Smart Cities Challenge, which envisions Guelph/Wellington as Canada’s first technology-enabled circular food economy.

Why we do it

We are reimagining an inclusive food-secure ecosystem that increases access to affordable, nutritious food by 50 per cent, increases circular economic value by 50 per cent by recognizing the value of “waste” as a resource, and creates 50 new circular businesses and collaborations: 50 x 50 x 50 by 2025. The Our Food Future initiative specifically aligns with the Strategic Plan priority areas of Powering, Building and Sustaining our Future.

Through Our Food Future, Guelph-Wellington will develop a rural-urban innovation hub, a user-centered, open-innovation ecosystem that addresses the community’s food security efforts, fosters the development of new businesses and collaborations that support a regional circular food economy and is consistent with the City’s efforts to reduce carbon impacts.

The vision, goals and associated projects directly support the Powering, Building and Sustaining Our Future components of the Strategic Plan.

2021 to 2024+ initiatives

Over the life of the INFC funding, this initiative is designed to:
  • Deliver the expectations of the Smart Cities proposal as articulated in the Contribution Agreement—specifically, those milestones and metrics associated with the 50X50X50 goals.
  • Plan and manage Participant Agreements with the five key collaborators (and associated community contributors) in delivering the nine pathfinder projects, as well as new activities associated with the Grow Back Better 10-point recovery plan in response to COVID-19.
  • Develop data-driven tools to support the development of a circular food ecosystem.
  • Plan and implement strategic communication and engagement activities that will engage a broad sector of the community in creating a circular food economy “movement”.

Budget details

Operating budget—Revenues and expenses

The Smart Cities Office Our Food Future Initiative and salaries are fully funded by flow through funding from the INFC Grant of $10 million. A 10 per cent hold back on all bi-annual payments will be withheld by INFC throughout the duration of the term of the project and will be released January 2024. This will result in a variance throughout the term of the Grant until the final release in January 2024.

2021 budget changes explanation

No notable changes

2022 to 2024 budget changes explanation

No notable changes