Guelph’s Growth Management Strategy

Shaping Guelph’s Future

Guelph is planning to meet provincial growth forecasts for 2051. How we meet those forecasts is up to us. Growth doesn’t mean putting high-rise apartment buildings in every neighbourhood; thoughtful planning will identify the right growth for all areas of the city so that Guelph can attract new residents, businesses and services that add to our community. Planning how and where we grow helps us create a people-oriented city full of essential amenities, walkable neighbourhoods, thriving community hubs and an interconnected transportation network.

An Official Plan Review occurred concurrently with Shaping Guelph to conform to changes to provincial legislation and policies. The Official Plan review and Shaping Guelph resulted in an Official Plan amendment to ensure Official Plan conformity with provincial legislation and policies.

More information on the Official Plan review 2020 to 2022

Background Studies

The Shaping Guelph process included several technical background studies:

  • Vision and principles for growth  – provided an overview of community engagement conducted as part of Shaping Guelph. A draft vision and principles for growth are provided for endorsement for the purposes of guiding the development of the Growth Management Strategy.
  • Residential intensification analysis – identified opportunities for additional residential units within the built-up area and examined the ability for the city to achieve the minimum residential intensification target. This report was completed as background to the Housing Analysis and Strategy and is contained within it.
  • Housing analysis and strategy – identified strategies that determine the appropriate mix of housing and density targets to 2051. The purpose of the Housing Analysis and Strategy was to confirm the City’s population and housing needs to 2051 and recommend a policy framework that addresses provincial conformity while aligning with the City’s vision for growth. The report covered specific land supply and intensification opportunities for the built-up area, urban growth centre, major transit station area, designated nodes and corridors, designated greenfield area, employment areas, and provincially significant employment zones.
  • Employment lands strategy – provided a comprehensive examination of the city’s Employment Areas designated for employment uses. The ELS identified the city’s long-term employment growth projections, assessed the ability to accommodate the city’s long-term employment demand, recommended employment density targets, provided policy direction to promote intensification of existing employment lands, outlined conversion to accommodate non-employment uses, and provided strategic policy recommendations within the Employment Areas.
  • Land needs assessment – a community and employment land needs assessment that was used to determine the total quantity of land needed to accommodate the forecast growth to 2051. The results were used to inform the growth scenario evaluation and the recommended preferred growth scenario. This land needs assessment is embedded within the Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment Report.
  • Growth scenario planning – provided background details into the development of criteria to assess potential growth scenarios, as well as presented three (3) growth scenarios being considered for evaluation. The criteria for evaluating growth scenarios was developed on the basis of a series of themes and the report provided a detailed summary of the planning objectives and evaluation criteria associated with each theme. A preferred growth scenario was selected and informed the Growth Management Strategy.
  • Long-term population and housing growth – analyzed the city’s long-term population and housing growth potential, to extend the city’s population forecast to 2051, and to inform the land needs assessment. This report examined macro-economic trends as well as regional economic and demographic trends that are anticipated to influence the amount, type, and the location of future residential development within the City of Guelph to the year 2051.

Documents and community engagement materials

Council and Committee reports

Project initiation – October 7, 2019Vision and Principles for Growth – June 15, 2020Where and how to grow Council workshop – October 19, 2020Growth scenarios Council workshop – April 21, 2021Guelph Growth Management Strategy and Land Needs Assessment – January 17, 2022

Long-term Population and Housing Growth – January 17, 2022

Shaping Guelph Municipal Comprehensive Review Fiscal Impact Analysis – March 14, 2022

Decision Meeting

On July 11, 2022, the Council of the City of Guelph adopted Official Plan Amendment 80 to conform to provincial plans and policies and conform to A Place to Grow.

Adopted Official Plan Amendment 80 – July 11, 2022

Decision Report: Shaping Guelph Official Plan Amendment 80 – July 11, 2022

July 11, 2022 Decision Meeting video

Statutory Public Meeting and Open House

In March of 2022, an Open House and Statutory Public Meeting of City Council were held in accordance with Section 26 of the Planning Act to consider proposed Official Plan Amendment 80.
Draft Official Plan Amendment 80, March 30, 2022

Shaping Guelph: Official Plan Review (OPA 80) Statutory Public Meeting Report – March 30, 2022

March 22, 2022 Public Open House video

March 30, 2022 Statutory Public Meeting video

Official Plan and related amendments

City of Guelph Official Plan (February 2022 Consolidation)

Growth Management Monitoring Reports (Growth Plan 2006)

Guelph Growth Management and Affordable Housing Monitoring Report 2022

Growth Scenarios Technical Brief and Urban Structure Technical Brief

In April 2021, the Growth Scenarios Technical Brief and Urban Structure Technical Brief were released. Read the technical briefs and Council information report.

Growth Scenarios and Urban Structure technical briefs and Council information report

Growth Scenarios community engagement summary

Housing analysis and strategy

In February 2021, the Housing Analysis and Strategy was released. Read the strategy and Council information report.

Housing Analysis and Strategy and Council information report

Employment Lands Strategy

In December 2020 the Employment Lands Strategy, one of the technical background studies of Shaping Guelph, was released. Read the strategy and Council information report.

Employment Lands Strategy technical background study

Employment Lands Strategy community engagement summary

Developing growth scenarios

On November 26, 2020 a virtual town hall was held to share information about growth scenario 1 and gather input on it and other growth scenarios to be explored.

Where and how to grow

Community engagement took place in August and September 2020 to understand the community’s preferences on where and how to grow in Guelph’s already developed areas. An online survey was available through Have Your Say and virtual town hall was held on September 17, 2020.

Vision and principles for growth

Community engagement took place in February and March 2020 to update a vision and principles for growth to 2041. Two online surveys were available through Have Your Say and a speaker event was held on February 27, 2020.

Shaping Guelph February 27, 2020 Speaker Event – Display BoardsVision and principles for growth community engagement summary

For more information

Melissa Aldunate, Manager Policy Planning Urban Design
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2361
[email protected]
Jason Downham, Planner II, Policy and Analytics
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2262
[email protected]