Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan


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Clair-Maltby will be a vibrant, urban community that is integrated with Guelph’s southern neighbourhoods, as well as having strong connections to Downtown, employment areas and the rest of the City. The Natural Heritage System and the Paris Moraine provide the framework for the balanced development of interconnected and sustainable neighbourhoods. This area will be primarily residential in character with a full range and mix of housing types and a variety of other uses that meet the needs of all residents. A system of parks, open spaces and trails will be interwoven throughout to provide opportunities for active and passive recreation.

Guiding principles

Vibrant and urban

Green and resilient

Healthy and sustainable

Interconnected and interwoven

Balanced and liveable


The study area is approximately 415 hectares and is located in the southeast corner of Guelph and is bounded by Clair Road to the north, Victoria Road to the east, Maltby Road to the south and the eastern limits of the Southgate Business Park to the west.


Phase 1: Background work – completed April 2017
Phase 2: Preferred Community Structure – Completed June 2018
Phase 3: Master Environmental Servicing Plan and Secondary Plan – (Q3 2018 to Q2 2019)

Frequently asked questions

The Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan project began in 2015. This was intentionally started after full of approval of the City’s Natural Heritage System through Official Plan Amendment (OPA) 42. With the City’s Natural Heritage System in place, the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan project was started with an integrated, connected and protected NHS which forms a foundational building block of the secondary plan process.

The Comprehensive Environmental Impact Study (CEIS) being undertaken as part of the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan project will:

  • be a comprehensive and strategic document intended to address natural heritage and water resource protection;
  • incorporate subwatershed planning elements;
  • inform land use and infrastructure decision making as part of a broader integrated development framework.

No. The timeline on this project has not reduced the scope of the work that the City has done or intends to do. In particular, the timeline does not compromise any aspect of the environmental review process; we are still collecting environmental data for three years.

City staff was able to speed up the on-the-ground work based on early engagement with stakeholders and agencies, and by adopting some educated assumptions about the environment using existing data.

The third phase of the project may have to be extended if the monitoring data collected this year alters the findings to date, meaning the assumptions and interpretations that were made to-date need to be proven true before any further planning or development begins.

The City’s existing Natural Heritage System (NHS) protects all known significant natural heritage and water features and ecological linkages. In addition, the NHS recognized the importance of the Paris-Galt Moraine and protects areas which contain areas of significant landform as part of the system.Through the Clair-Maltby Secondary plan project it is intended that direction will be provided and policies will be developed to minimize the disruption to existing landform through alteration of the existing landform.

No development and only limited types of infrastructure may be permitted within areas of significant landform subject to there being no negative impact to the feature or its functions in order to protect these areas for the long term.

For the areas of the Moraine that are outside of the NHS, the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan will develop additional policies and requirements to support innovative design that integrates new development into the rolling topography, while minimizing the disruption to the existing rolling landscape and its functions including those that support groundwater recharge.

Groundwater monitoring has been underway since 2016. As a groundwater community, the City understands the value of integrated groundwater studies to characterize the existing functions of groundwater in supporting municipal water supplies and ecological habitat.  These studies support informed decisions around land use planning. City staff continues to review groundwater monitoring results, and are using the City’s science-based models to simulate proposed development scenarios to identify, quantify and map potential impacts and mitigation strategies effectiveness for planning purposes.

The City’s groundwater flow model (Tier 3 model) was developed for source water protection purposes under the technical requirements of the Clean Water Act. Source water protection is about protecting our water quantity as well as quality, and the City is equally committed to both. The Tier 3 model is used to simulate current and future sustainability of Guelph’s drinking water system in light of expected growth and development, and climate change impacts such as drought. In short, the model helps determine the amount of water available for human uses, while making sure there is still enough left to keep wetlands, rivers, streams and lakes healthy.

Due to the specific characteristics of the Clair-Maltby area, it’s a headwater area, the hummocky terrain of the Moraine and the numerous wetlands and ponds, an integrated ground-surface water model is required for the secondary plan project. The Clair-Maltby integrated ground-surface water model builds on the Tier 3 groundwater flow model and represents additional water budget processes, natural heritage feature and land use details to support an assessment of the potential impacts on recharge to municipal aquifers, natural features and mitigation effectiveness of future development and management strategies.

Before any final recommendations are made, the full extent of the environmental work outlined in the Terms of Reference and the Technical Work Plan for the CEIS will be completed. At this time, the Phase 1 and 2 work has generally been completed with the exception of environmental analysis associated with tasks that have been shifted to Phase 3.

It was originally anticipated that refinements to the existing Natural Heritage System (NHS) would occur as part of Phase 2 and the land use alternatives; however, refinements have not yet been proposed. The refinements to the NHS will occur as part of the Phase 3 work using a science-based approach grounded in two years of environmental monitoring. Once refinements are proposed to the NHS and any potential impacts are understood, the land uses identified will be revisited and modified if necessary.

The Master Environmental Servicing Plan (MESP) Alternatives, which will look at different ways to provide water, wastewater, stormwater management and mobility service to this area, are being developed and evaluated in Phase 3 of the project. Therefore, the corresponding environmental analysis of those alternatives will also happen in Phase 3. After this work is completed, the land uses will be revisited and modified if necessary.

The Preferred Community Structure was developed through a series of public workshops as part of the Planning & Design Charrette, as well as further public feedback and transportation modelling. This plan will be the basis for detailed technical analysis, numerical modeling and the development of draft policies throughout Phase 3 of the project.

At this point, City staff is asking Council to approve a preferred community structure to give staff a starting point for the next phase which includes more technical and environmental studies. Council is not being asked to approve a final land use plan at this time. That request for approval will come only after the City has completed all of its environmental reviews and associated technical assessments.

Public engagement

The Secondary Plan process strives to be inclusive, with a significant amount of community engagement and Council input, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to remain informed and involved in the process.

Email to be added to the mailing list to receive notice of public engagement opportunities.


Stacey Laughlin, Senior Policy Planner
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2327