Community Plan – We are home

Guelph’s Community Plan

We are home

We love where we live

We love green, walkable neighbourhoods where we are connected to each other and can continue to live in our own neighbourhoods as we age. We don’t want to lose our “Guelphiness” as our city continues to grow rapidly. Guelph needs more homes that are affordable, accessible and suitable regardless of income, age or situation. We recognize and support those who don’t feel at home here. We know that issues surrounding homelessness, safety, poverty, addiction and mental health are inextricably linked and can only be addressed by a compassionate, collaborative, committed community.

Have housing that works for us

  • Everyone has a safe home in Guelph that functions well for them.
  • Permanent housing solutions are available for the most vulnerable.
  • Affordable housing choices across the city are available for different household types and needs.
  • Accessible housing options are more readily available.
  • Young people can stay here, and new people can move here.

Keep Guelph a safe city

  • People are safe and feel safe too—the city has low crime rates, and its roads and trails feel safe for residents and visitors.
  • Emergency response capacity keeps pace with growth.

Love our neighbourhoods and keep them strong

  • Social connections in neighbourhoods are strong, with many activities and community assets, including well-supported neighbourhood groups and hubs that foster a strong sense of belonging.
  • People look out for one another, actively give back and participate in local decision-making to improve our quality of life.
  • Our neighbourhoods are age-friendly and offer residents all the services, access and amenities they need.

Keep our big, small city vibe

  • Neighbourhoods are walkable and designed with Guelph character.
  • We strike a good balance of streetscapes and parks that are beautiful and inviting for community use.
  • We have access to good-quality core amenities and retail options.

What we heard

What we’re proud of

  • The “Guelphiness” personality and vibe is important. People want to avoid “soulless” development or “becoming devoid of character.”
  • People want to maintain a positive small-town feel with the amenities of a bigger city.

How we can do better

Affordable housing

  • Rising prices and a shortage of accessible options are of concern to low-income residents, businesses recruiting workers, seniors who are downsizing and middle-income families.
  • Many local workers cannot afford to purchase homes, and existing owners are questioning if they can afford to purchase in today’s market.

Growth and development

  • Residents want new neighbourhoods that are complete, walkable, inclusive, accessible and interesting. They want a vibrant downtown driven by independent retailers.
  • There is concern about past development, like the loss of green space and agricultural lands, separation of communities in the south/east/west, the number of plazas and strip malls, lack of infrastructure in outlying areas and growth not paying for growth.
  • Most agree that condominiums development should be focused downtown, but with height restrictions and affordable housing requirements.
  • Residents want infrastructure in the east end and communities of dense, mixed-land use with access to green spaces.
  • Residents want to see stricter controls for developers of green space or living spaces.