Community Plan – We play and explore

Guelph’s Community Plan

We play and explore

Play fosters mental and physical health. In Guelph, it’s easy to play anywhere at any time with anyone. We are given the space, freedom and encouragement to express ourselves, our cultures, our identities and our past. Arts and culture are valued and supported. And our arts organizations are innovative and self-sustaining. Through all seasons, recreation is part of every life at every age and every ability.

Play everywhere

  • We activate informal and formal spaces for play and expression across the city, both indoors and out.
  • Free opportunities for play are plentiful.
  • The city offers inclusive opportunities that reflect our diversity and new trends in recreational, sport and cultural participation.
  • We have a strong network of connected cultural nodes.
  • Individuals can easily find opportunities that are relevant to their interests and needs.

Grow talent

  • More educational programming in the arts exists.
  • We grow and retain artistic, sporting and musical talent.
  • A stronger, more sustainable and better-organized network of artists supporting artists exists.
  • Passionate volunteers are abundant and help sustain meaningful arts, cultural, sport and recreational opportunities.

Explore and make sense of who we are together

  • Historical and cultural assets in the city are preserved, enjoyed and explored by everyone.
  • Festivals, events and other opportunities take place across the city, helping us celebrate our diversity, build empathy, make sense of our past and build our future together.

Invest and innovate

  • Cultural, artistic, recreational and sports organizations are supported through innovative funding, investment and enterprise models (including collaboration between the private sector, social benefit enterprises and government).
  • Arts, cultural, sport and recreational infrastructure supports the needs of the community across the city.
  • Better data is available to help us understand the value of arts, culture and recreation to our community.

What we heard

What we care about

  • Guelphites believe leisure and culture offer opportunities to connect with others.
  • For many, leisure and culture are tied to green spaces and to mental and physical health.
  • Open spaces, community parks, trees and rivers are vital to leisure time.
  • Arts are extremely important, breaking down barriers, creating places to explore and bringing community together.

What we’re proud of

  • Residents value Guelph’s historical assets and consider them a unique feature.
  • People like the wealth of activities available, particularly programs for families and kids.
  • Parks, playgrounds, recreation facilities, cycling trails and the Arboretum are important.
  • People love art events, festivals, sports and leisure opportunities.
  • Arts and culture were often cited as a draw for new residents.

How we can do better

  • Families want more child-friendly amenities and after-school and weekend programs.
  • Seniors are interested in programming and a second seniors’ centre in the south.
  • Immigration is bringing diverse needs that require relevant, inclusive programming.
  • People want a connected river trail system that encourages outdoor pursuits.
  • People emphasized the need for accessibility and barrier-free opportunities.
  • Encourage connectivity between artists and community to increase participation and awareness.
  • Collaborations with other cities or partners can increase sustainability for arts and culture.
  • Explore “seed funding” programs for artists, along with space to grow their profession.