Park Plan and Parkland Dedication Bylaw Review

Guelph is growing and the way people use parks is changing. It’s important we plan Guelph’s park system to provide optimal services as our population grows and changes. We will need to use our land more efficiently, expand our park system and reshape our spaces to accommodate outdoor recreation.

One way our park system will grow is through development. We use a Parkland Dedication Bylaw and Official Plan policies allowed by the Ontario Planning Act to require planning and development applications to transfer land to us for parks and public recreation or provide cash-in-lieu of parkland so parks or recreational spaces can be purchased.

Changes to legislation require municipalities in Ontario, including ours, to review our Parkland Dedication Bylaw in order to continue using the “alternative rate” from subsection 42(3) of the Planning Act. The alternative rate used by the City calculates parkland dedication that can lead to higher land dedication and/or cash-in-lieu of parkland.

Establishing Guelph’s parkland needs – now and in the future

A Park Plan will help us assess our current park system and determine our future land needs as Guelph grows. A Park Plan is needed to ensure we have an optimal level of service for parks that is accessible to all residents as we grow—this is the amount and type of service that meets community needs/desires and is sustainable, affordable and realistic.

The Park Plan is being completed as a part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PRMP) to address time-sensitive legislative changes to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw required before September 2022. The final plan will be re-integrated into the PRMP as a part of its delivery to Council in 2023.

It’s important to recognize that parkland dedication alone will not achieve Guelph’s Official Plan parkland targets. The larger PRMP will explore creative solutions to address those goals.

The Park Plan will:

  • Define our park system to understand our existing conditions
  • Outline future challenges and opportunities facing our park system
  • Plan for an optimal level of service as our community grows and changes
  • Develop strategic directions for parkland retention, optimization and expansion
  • We need a Park Plan in order to update our policies and priorities in line with the City’s Strategic Plan and to take advantage of new approaches, legislation, trends and guidelines in park planning and development.

Have your say

Sign up at to participate in our online engagement community.

All opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community via our social media channels (Twitter and Facebook), online and in the City News pages of the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

Virtual workshop

We hosted two facilitated virtual meetings open to the public to provide information about the project and to ask the community about their park experiences and needs.

Online Focus Group Meeting Presentation


Quarter 4, 2021

  • Background review and parkland analysis

Quarter 1, 2022

  • Community engagement for Park Plan
  • Draft Park Plan
  • Community engagement for Parkland Dedication Bylaw

Quarter 2, 2022

  • Council consideration of Park Plan
  • Council workshop on Parkland Dedication Bylaw
  • Council consideration of Parkland Dedication Bylaw

Quarter 3, 2022

  • Parkland dedication Bylaw passage (if applicable)

For more information

Tiffany Hanna, Park Planner
Park and Trail Development, Parks
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3371
[email protected]