Climate Adaptation Plan

The City is developing a Climate Adaptation Plan that will outline how the City will adapt its policies and plans, assets, operations, and services to the impacts of climate change to build a more adaptive and resilient community. It will be an action-oriented plan, designed to ensure our community is prepared to withstand and recover from the impacts of climate change.

The need for a Climate Adaptation Plan was first identified in the City’s strategic planning process. The City’s Strategic Plan sets clear directions and priorities specifically for sustaining our future, which include creating and executing an ambitious and achievable Climate Adaptation Plan.

In 2022, the City began work on the development of the plan. The plan will be developed from April 2022 to mid 2023, according to the following four (4) project stages:

  • Stage 1: Scoping & Planning – development of vision, goals, and scope
  • Stage 2: Strategic Context Review – collection of background material
  • Stage 3: Risk & Vulnerability Assessment – assessment of climate risks
  • Stage 4: Actions & Plan Development – development and prioritization of actions, implementation planning and monitoring

After the Climate Adaptation Plan is developed, reviewed by internal and external partners, and approved by Council – it will serve as a comprehensive document that outlines all existing and planned adaptation actions and provide a single, unified approach to climate adaptation across the organization.

Community engagement and communications

While the Climate Adaptation Plan is primarily an internal planning document, opportunities for targeted community engagement and communications have been identified (below). Please continue to monitor this webpage for project updates.

  • A public open house will occur during the last phase of the project to collect community feedback and comments on the draft plan.
  • Key community groups (i.e., Grand River Conservation Authority, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, University of Guelph) will be engaged at key points in the process.

About the City’s different climate change initiatives

In addition to developing a Climate Adaptation Plan to ensure our community is prepared to withstand and recover from the effects of climate change, Guelph is working on ways to use energy more wisely and reduce our carbon emissions to fight climate change. This is called climate mitigation. More information on corporate and community energy use and carbon emissions can be found on the City’s Energy and Climate Change webpage and the annual Corporate Environmental Sustainability Report.

Infographic showing the difference between mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation includes actions to reduce emissions that cause climate change such as sustainable transportation, clean energy, and energy efficiency. Adaptation includes actions to manage the risks of climate change impacts such as disaster management and business continuity, flood protection, and infrastructure upgrades. Some actions have both a mitigation and adaption benefit such as water conservation, new energy systems, local food, education, complete communities, and urban forest.

FIGURE 1 Mitigation versus Adaptation (from City of Calgary 2018)

For more information

To provide your comments, request more information, or if you require this information to be provided in an alternate format per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), please contact:

Shelley Lorenz,
Project Manager, Special Projects
Compliance and Performance Division
Environmental Services
City of Guelph
[email protected]

Mari MacNeil
Compliance and Performance Division
Environmental Services
City of Guelph
[email protected]