Potential Community Benefits Charges

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We’re considering implementing community benefits charges (CBC) in Guelph. Municipalities can help pay for local infrastructure, community services and parkland that our growing communities need through:

What is a community benefits charge?

Under the Planning Act, any municipality in Ontario can create and collect community benefits charges (CBC) from new buildings or structures that are a minimum of five storeys high and have 10 or more residential units. The rate can’t exceed 4 per cent of the property’s land value on the day before a building permit is issued. The CBC is paid as a one-time fee by the property developer or builder.

The CBC will cover any public service associated with new growth, if those costs are not already covered by development charges or parkland dedication. Specifically, it helps pay for City capital investment in facilities and services like parking, arts and culture, parkland and more.

The following developments are exempt from CBCs:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Universities, colleges and Indigenous Institutes
  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Hospices
  • Non-profit housing

Why does Guelph need a Community Benefits Charge?

The CBC will help Guelph tackle the increasing costs of critical infrastructure and services as our population increases and community grows, especially those not traditionally covered by development charges and parkland dedication.

We can implement community benefits charges at any time. We’re working towards a September 18 deadline to implement community benefits charges which would also provide partial funding for creating parking as development charges can’t continue to fund this.

Guelph is considering the full 4 per cent charge

What does 4 per cent really mean?

The maximum charge allowed by the legislation is 4 per cent. That amount charged to developers would be calculated based on property value at the time of the building permit application for any development with 10 or more units and five or more storeys high.

The actual amount paid by property developers will differ depending on where they are building and what they are building and will be subject to some exemptions designed to encourage developments that benefit Guelph’s most vulnerable community members.

For the development projects that do qualify for community benefits charges, the fees will fund many projects to benefit people across the city as Guelph continues to grow. Projects like arts and culture initiatives, and heritage plans, not to mention expanded parking capacity have been severely underfunded in the past and would benefit from these charges.

Though a 4 per cent charge is the maximum charge allowed, it won’t cover the funding gap completely, it will fund numerous projects to enhance community and quality of life in our growing city over the next 10 years and beyond. Any reduction in the charge percentage will make prioritizing which projects receive the limited funding difficult and will result in a slower pace of making these community improvements compared to our rate of growth.

The process for creating a community benefits charge

We are asking the community about your thoughts on the proposed four per cent charge and possible exemptions to include if it were to be implemented. Take our survey or join us virtually on April 27 for the discussion.

The City is also working with Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., to explore the potential for CBCs in Guelph. This includes assessing:

  • Population growth forecasts and proposed development over the next 10 years
  • Estimated cost for future City services, facilities and infrastructure
  • Guelph’s land values
  • How much money can we expect to collect based on eligible land values
  • The best percentage for the CBC rate, to a maximum of 4 per cent.

Learn more

Read the full Community Benefits Charge Strategy report to learn more.


We’re considering implementing community benefits charges (CBC) in Guelph. Municipalities can help pay for local infrastructure, community services and parkland that our growing communities need through:

What is a community benefits charge?

Under the Planning Act, any municipality in Ontario can create and collect community benefits charges (CBC) from new buildings or structures that are a minimum of five storeys high and have 10 or more residential units. The rate can’t exceed 4 per cent of the property’s land value on the day before a building permit is issued. The CBC is paid as a one-time fee by the property developer or builder.

The CBC will cover any public service associated with new growth, if those costs are not already covered by development charges or parkland dedication. Specifically, it helps pay for City capital investment in facilities and services like parking, arts and culture, parkland and more.

The following developments are exempt from CBCs:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Universities, colleges and Indigenous Institutes
  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Hospices
  • Non-profit housing

Why does Guelph need a Community Benefits Charge?

The CBC will help Guelph tackle the increasing costs of critical infrastructure and services as our population increases and community grows, especially those not traditionally covered by development charges and parkland dedication.

We can implement community benefits charges at any time. We’re working towards a September 18 deadline to implement community benefits charges which would also provide partial funding for creating parking as development charges can’t continue to fund this.

Guelph is considering the full 4 per cent charge

What does 4 per cent really mean?

The maximum charge allowed by the legislation is 4 per cent. That amount charged to developers would be calculated based on property value at the time of the building permit application for any development with 10 or more units and five or more storeys high.

The actual amount paid by property developers will differ depending on where they are building and what they are building and will be subject to some exemptions designed to encourage developments that benefit Guelph’s most vulnerable community members.

For the development projects that do qualify for community benefits charges, the fees will fund many projects to benefit people across the city as Guelph continues to grow. Projects like arts and culture initiatives, and heritage plans, not to mention expanded parking capacity have been severely underfunded in the past and would benefit from these charges.

Though a 4 per cent charge is the maximum charge allowed, it won’t cover the funding gap completely, it will fund numerous projects to enhance community and quality of life in our growing city over the next 10 years and beyond. Any reduction in the charge percentage will make prioritizing which projects receive the limited funding difficult and will result in a slower pace of making these community improvements compared to our rate of growth.

The process for creating a community benefits charge

We are asking the community about your thoughts on the proposed four per cent charge and possible exemptions to include if it were to be implemented. Take our survey or join us virtually on April 27 for the discussion.

The City is also working with Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., to explore the potential for CBCs in Guelph. This includes assessing:

  • Population growth forecasts and proposed development over the next 10 years
  • Estimated cost for future City services, facilities and infrastructure
  • Guelph’s land values
  • How much money can we expect to collect based on eligible land values
  • The best percentage for the CBC rate, to a maximum of 4 per cent.

Learn more

Read the full Community Benefits Charge Strategy report to learn more.


Page last updated: 03 May 2022, 07:56 AM