Community Plan – We create value

We create value

Innovation is in our DNA. Our entrepreneurs and innovators create amazing ideas and products. And we tackle global challenges. We confidently assert our role and value within Canada’s innovation corridor, leveraging our strengths in agri-food, clean tech and advanced manufacturing. We celebrate our unique cultural talent and our many businesses driven by social purpose. We believe in inclusive prosperity and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive. We recognize the challenges that high housing costs and low unemployment rates create for employers. And employers recognize that a more diverse, inclusive and vibrant community will help attract and keep talented people here.

Be a global innovation leader

  • Our position in Canada’s Innovation Corridor grows.
  • Strong agri-food, clean tech, advanced manufacturing and the information and communications technology sectors fuel economic growth and create sustainable jobs.
  • We continue to create “made-in-Guelph” innovations that solve local and global challenges.
  • Better regional connections promote cross-pollination of innovation and make it easy for people to work together.
  • Social-purpose-driven businesses (including B Corps and social enterprises) are thriving in our city.

Support collaboration and tell our Guelph story better

  • Our innovation and business-support ecosystem is strengthened.
  • Entrepreneurs can easily access support for collaboration and investment.
  • Barriers are reduced, making it easy for businesses to locate and expand in Guelph.
  • Community leaders unite around a strong Guelph narrative and pick a lane (or three) that differentiates us.

Leverage our unique character

  • We recognize and support the value of our arts and cultural sector, attracting more visitors and artistic talent.
  • More artistic/cultural businesses can get the help and investment they need to be self-sustaining.
  • Downtown continues to grow as a destination hub of historic beauty and character, with unique retail opportunities, entertainment and tourist attractions.

Foster inclusive prosperity

  • There are decent jobs that allow people to live full lives.
  • Everyone who wants to work—including youth, seniors, those with differing abilities, and new immigrants—can meaningfully participate in the workforce.

Harness our discovery engines

  • We collaborate with our world-class educational institutions and fully use their resources, knowledge and research.
  • Guelph continues to offer tremendous learning opportunities from kindergarten on up that inspire exploration, discovery and solutions for the future of our city and world.

What we heard

What we care about

  • People consider “economic opportunities” as one of the most important areas of focus for the next 10 years, second only to “environment, water and waste.”
  • People desire a range of quality jobs, from part-time to full-time, and for those with exceptionalities, differing abilities, and mental health and other challenges.
  • Almost a third of residents believe the City needs to make Guelph a good place for business.

What we’re proud of

  • People see independent retailers as a feature of Guelph’s unique identity and want to help them thrive.
  • Business supports are highly regarded, with a desire to invest further in these.
  • Low unemployment is both a success story and a challenge as companies face skills shortages.
  • The role of academic institutions is seen as fundamental to economic success.

How we can do better

  • Employers and workers are concerned about shortages of affordable housing and childcare.
  • Residents and students want local employment opportunities so they can remain in Guelph.
  • Participants want strong City, academic and business collaborations; student engagement in problem solving; and collision space.
  • Residents see cutting red tape and making it easier to do business in Guelph as important.