Council composition and ward boundary review

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We’re reviewing Guelph’s Council composition and ward boundaries, virtually, to understand if our Council and wards are effective, equitable and an accurate reflection of who lives here.

This review will have a lasting impact on how you’re represented at the municipal level, now and into the future.





In this next phase of engagement, we need your help to answer some big questions about Guelph’s wards:

  • How should the following principles underpinning the ward boundary review be prioritized?
    • Population
    • Projected growth
    • Communities of interest
    • Natural boundaries and geographic features
  • Where should ward boundary lines be drawn?
  • Should City Council have 8, 10 or 12 councillors?
  • Should Guelph have one or multiple councillors per ward?
  • Should councillors be full or part-time?

In keeping with the City’s Community Engagement Framework and in response to physical distancing restrictions, public meetings cannot be held in person so citizen involvement has expanded the use of online tools and telephone. Citizens are encouraged to participate in multiple ways, such as:

  • Interact online through surveys and the other website features such as Q&A, video, maps, and shared documents.
  • A live-streamed panel discussion scheduled for Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00pm.
  • The panel discussion will be streamed live on the City's Facebook page and recorded for future viewing.
  • The pannel discussion will be re-broadcast on Rogers Cable TV and rogerstv.com on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7:00pm.
  • Dedicated dates for residents to call and speak with someone from the City Clerk’s office:
    • Wednesday, January 6, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
    • Friday, January 8, 2021 from 11:00-12:00pm - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 1:00-2:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
    • Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 10:00-11:00am - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
  • Citizens are also welcome to write a letter to the City Clerk's Department in the good old fashioned way.

On this site you can:

  • Ask questions and get answers;
  • Review background information;
  • Register to keep in touch;
  • Share your ideas; and,
  • Make recommendations.

Online engagement for this phase of the project will take place in three rounds. The first round is about prioritizing the principles which underpin our ward boundaries. The second and third rounds will focus on getting feedback on several different possible ward boundary options.

This phase of consultation is open until January 22 with more rounds of consultation to follow.



We’re reviewing Guelph’s Council composition and ward boundaries, virtually, to understand if our Council and wards are effective, equitable and an accurate reflection of who lives here.

This review will have a lasting impact on how you’re represented at the municipal level, now and into the future.





In this next phase of engagement, we need your help to answer some big questions about Guelph’s wards:

  • How should the following principles underpinning the ward boundary review be prioritized?
    • Population
    • Projected growth
    • Communities of interest
    • Natural boundaries and geographic features
  • Where should ward boundary lines be drawn?
  • Should City Council have 8, 10 or 12 councillors?
  • Should Guelph have one or multiple councillors per ward?
  • Should councillors be full or part-time?

In keeping with the City’s Community Engagement Framework and in response to physical distancing restrictions, public meetings cannot be held in person so citizen involvement has expanded the use of online tools and telephone. Citizens are encouraged to participate in multiple ways, such as:

  • Interact online through surveys and the other website features such as Q&A, video, maps, and shared documents.
  • A live-streamed panel discussion scheduled for Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00pm.
  • The panel discussion will be streamed live on the City's Facebook page and recorded for future viewing.
  • The pannel discussion will be re-broadcast on Rogers Cable TV and rogerstv.com on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7:00pm.
  • Dedicated dates for residents to call and speak with someone from the City Clerk’s office:
    • Wednesday, January 6, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
    • Friday, January 8, 2021 from 11:00-12:00pm - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 1:00-2:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
    • Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 10:00-11:00am - contact: Lindsay Cline 519-822-1260 extension 2440
    • Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 6:00-7:00pm - contact: Dylan McMahon 519-822-1260 extension 2811
  • Citizens are also welcome to write a letter to the City Clerk's Department in the good old fashioned way.

On this site you can:

  • Ask questions and get answers;
  • Review background information;
  • Register to keep in touch;
  • Share your ideas; and,
  • Make recommendations.

Online engagement for this phase of the project will take place in three rounds. The first round is about prioritizing the principles which underpin our ward boundaries. The second and third rounds will focus on getting feedback on several different possible ward boundary options.

This phase of consultation is open until January 22 with more rounds of consultation to follow.

  • The City of Guelph is entering the second phase of its Council Composition and Ward Boundary Review project. This phase will be a deep dive into the boundaries of Guelph's electoral wards. There will be three rounds of public consultation.

    1. January 2021: review the current ward boundaries and tell us about their strengths and challenges. We are also looking at the guiding principles for revising boundaries and need your help to know what is most important to you.
    2. In March you will see several maps of possible revised ward boundaries to review and discuss in depth. This will be the main consultation period. In March your input will help our team identify the preferred ward boundaries that will be presented to City Council. 
    3. In May we will ask you about parts of the report going to Council to make sure we have have identified the best recommendations for their decision.

    The alternatives we will discuss in March 2021 will highlight some of the strengths and challenges of: having either one or two councillors elected from each ward, having full-time or part-time councillors and variations in the number of wards. There will be a lot for you to discuss in March. This January survey does not address these issues directly.

    What are we looking for in this survey?

    Ward boundary reviews must consider a number of factors. These considerations act like guiding principles for drafting alternative ward boundary maps. None of these principles are perfect. All of them are necessary. Each has its interesting trade-offs. The balance among them can vary from place to place and from time to time. The question for you in January 2021 is: What principles are most important for the people of Guelph at this point in their history? 

    To understand these guiding principles, it helps if you read the background paper first. Short summaries are provided inside the questions below. There is one overriding principle that guides the entire review: effective representation. What is a locally appropriate combination of the following four principles that would give us effective representation?

    The Guelph Ward Boundary Review of 2021 will reflect the following guiding principles:

    • Representation by population
    • Projected growth patterns
    • Communities of interest
    • Natural boundaries and geographic features

    What relative importance do the residents of Guelph put on each principle? 


    All public comments and feedback will be used to inform a report evaluating the current wards and possible ward boundary re-configurations with further opportunity for community engagement and input in the spring.

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