Special events planning

Before you apply

Prior to completing your permit application, you are encouraged to review the planning resources available here. These resources have been designed to assist event organizers in developing their event plans and include important information regarding the Special Event permitting process and regulatory requirements.

When do I complete an application?

When you are hosting an event on City property that will be open to the public, you will need to complete a special event application. For example, community festivals and celebrations, parades, walks/runs, cultural performances or gatherings, sport tournaments and outdoor markets.

If you are having a private event (invited guests only, i.e., family reunions or corporate events), you will need to complete a special event application if you have the following amenities:

  • Food vendors, selling goods, or alcohol
  • Inflatables
  • Fireworks (on city property)
  • Road closures
  • Staging

If you do not have any of these amenities listed above, you will need a facility rental permit.

If you are unsure whether your event is required to complete a Special Event Application, email [email protected] or call 519-837-5678.

How to apply

You must complete both steps of the application to be approved.

Step 1

Reserves the space only. Complete Step one of the application. This reserves your date/time/location, and a rental agreement will be started. You will answer some questions to ensure your event will work for the location and date selected. Once these details are confirmed you will have 7 days to complete and submit Step 2.

Step 2

You will answer detailed questions about your event and the activities involved. Once submitted, your application gets reviewed by City departments – they may provide input, ask questions, and request changes before approving your application. You will receive a rental agreement and application fees will be due at this time.

You will be able to save your work along the way, return to complete it, and log back in to check the status of your application.

Submission of an application does not deem the application approved. Applicants must meet all requirements before the City of Guelph will move the overall status of your event to approved.


  • For all events taking place in April – October 2024, Step 1 applications are due by January 31.
  • For all events taking place in November 2024 – March 2025, Step 1 applications are due by July 15

If you are a returning special event organizer, you have until the dates listed above to confirm the use of the same date and location as in previous years. If we do not receive your application by this date, your date/time/location will be made available for other use.

New special events are booked on a first come first served basis. When more than one request is made for the same date/location, our event coordinators will work with you to explore availability options. Having flexibility with your date and or location is suggested.

Note: Once your Step 1 application is approved, you will have 7 days to complete and submit your Step 2 application.

Applications submitted less than 45 days in advance will not be accepted.

Use our planning timeline resource to identify key dates and deadlines for your application.

Hosting a public event on non-City owned property – application process

An event organizer that wishes to serve alcohol at a Public Event on non-City owned property, must reach out directly to the City Clerk’s Office to request a letter of municipal significance, for their Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Special Occasion Permit (SOP) application. The requestor does not need to go through the Special Events application process if the event is on non-City owned property.

The requestor must send the following to [email protected]:

  • A letterhead letter (may be attached by e-mail) that identifies the event’s name, location, date, and times of serving.
  • A site map with identification of intended area for serving alcohol
  • All correspondence must also be shared with the following authorities:

Hosting a public or private event on City-owned bookable space

The Event Organizer must submit their special event application using the online application. It has been designed as your one stop shop to help you plan an event that follows local, provincial, and federal policies and regulations governing activities associated with the production of events.

The goal of the special event approval process is to make sure that events are safe, and don’t negatively affect the community. We want you to have a fun, successful, memorable event.

Technical information

You may save an application in process and return to work on it over a period of days or weeks.

While all sections of the permit application need to be completed prior to submission, you may use the navigation on the left column to complete the different sections of the application in an order that works best for you.

Once you submit your application, you will be notified if additional information is needed prior to the initiation of the review process and when the review process begins.

Once you have completed an application, you may copy it to initiate subsequent permit applications.

Thank you

On behalf of the City of Guelph, thank you for contributing to spirit and vitality of our community through the presentation of your event.

Submit an application

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Bylaws and licensing

Greening your event


Site maps

For more information

If you have any questions or concerns we would be very pleased to address them.

Facility Booking and Special Events Coordinators
[email protected]