Guelph Trail Master Plan Update

The City of Guelph is updating the Guelph Trail Master Plan (GTMP). The master plan provides strategic direction and specific guidelines for work related to City trails, including trail planning, land securement, funding, design, implementation, operation, promotion and maintenance.

Updating the existing GTMP is an opportunity to incorporate additional items into the master plan such as new trail design guidelines, a trail promotion strategy, revised trail routes, and new types of trail facilities.

An updated GTMP will reflect best practices, be consistent with the Official Plan and coordinate the City’s other trail-related guidelines, policies and strategies such as the Facility Accessibility Design Manual, Cycling Master Plan, and Active Transportation Network.

Project timelines

The City is working with HTFC Planning and Design and Alta Planning + Design to complete the study in a four-phase process.

Phase 1: Background review (summer 2017)

  • Review of all relevant policies, guidelines and other documents.

Phase 2: Data collection, best practice review, Trans Canada Trail Route Selection Study and community engagement (fall 2017 to early 2018)

  • Gather and review trail mapping data and trail guideline examples
  • Study Trans Canada Trail route options
  • Gather staff and community input on the GTMP goal, guiding principles and other components of the original document

Phase 3: Draft report and community engagement (spring 2018 to fall 2018)

  • Propose a recommended Trans Canada Trail route
  • Draft the GTMP report based on results of background review, trail mapping data, best practice review and staff and community comments
  • Gather community and staff input on the draft report

Phase 4: Final report (spring 2019)

  • Finalize the GTMP report based on staff and community comments and present it to Council for approval

Study area

The study area includes the entire city of Guelph as well as selected lands outside city boundaries to study potential future City trail connections to Wellington County, including the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). Lands with completed or ongoing trail planning studies, including some Secondary Plan areas, will not be studied in depth. However, confirming appropriate trail connections to these areas is included in the study.

832 KBProposed study area map

Trans Canada Trail (TCT) – Route selection study

This is a component study within the GTMP Update. Its purpose is to determine an approximate route alignment for the remaining unbuilt section of Guelph’s TCT route between Woodlawn Memorial Park and the Kissing Bridge Trail in Guelph-Eramosa Township (about three to four kilometers). The study will develop and evaluate potential TCT route options based on a number of criteria including owner willingness, cost, technical, environmental and accessibility.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the City updating the Guelph Trail Master Plan?

  • The GTMP (2005) Council resolution requires that the plan be updated every five years;
  • The previous five-year update wasn’t comprehensive; only the trail network map was updated;
  • Legislation, best practices and City polices related to trails have changed since the master plan was created and it needs to be updated to reflect these changes;
  • The City trail network data needs to be updated to include trails that have been designed and built since the last update; and
  • The City has received requests for revised trail alignments, which require investigation and community engagement.

Is there a difference between the Guelph Trail Master Plan Update and the Active Transportation Network Study?

The Active Transportation Network (ATN) Study (2017) focuses on upgrading a portion of the City’s existing trails to improve commuter trips for active forms of transportation such as walking, running, cycling and inline skating. In contrast, the GTMP Update project will review the City’s entire network of existing and planned trails and provide guidelines regarding all aspects of the City’s trail-related work. One of the main objectives of the GTMP Update is to coordinate it with the ATN so that the two plans complement each other.

Why complete the Active Transportation Network Study before the Guelph Trail Master Plan Update?

The City has made excellent progress developing the on-road cycling network: the length of on-road bike lanes has more than doubled since 2008. However, to achieve the Cycling Master Plan’s goal of tripling daily trips by bicycle it was recognized that the City’s cycling network had to appeal to cyclists who are reluctant to use the on-road network. The ATN study was undertaken to implement off-road trail improvements for this purpose within the Cycling Master Plan’s planning horizon (2022). The GTMP Update timing was guided by the Council-mandated GTMP update period—every five years.

Will the Guelph Trail Master Plan Update determine the exact routes of future trails?

While the project will improve the accuracy of the City’s existing trail network data and review trail routing issues, the updated GTMP will be a citywide master planning tool. So it will contain a conceptual (approximate) level of mapping for future trails. Separate studies and construction drawings are needed to determine the precise locations of future trails and their infrastructure designs.

For more information

Helen White
Park Planner, Parks and Recreation
519-822-1260 extension 2298