Development Charges

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Consultation has concluded

This consultation is now closed

Our new bylaws have been adopted and will come into effect March 2, 2024.


How did we engage the community? 

In fall 2022 a Peer Review group was formed. The group is comprised of private citizens, community representatives, developer representatives, and a Council representative. This group met to review topics covered in the Development Charge Background Study. Participants openly discussed views and opinions and sought common ground. The Peer Review group’s feedback helped shape the early draft document that is now available to the wider public for comment. 

The 2023 Development Charges Background study was presented to Council on July 19, 2023. 

Between July 25 and August 13, 2023 the community was invited to submit comments and questions  to ensure the background study captures an approach to development charges that is the right fit for our community.

Read the full studies here:

The City’s current bylaw will expire on March 2, 2024. A Development Charges Background Study has been completed and approved as required, and new bylaws have been adopted and will come into effect March 2, 2024.

For more information and to stay up to date with Development charges, visit our page on Guelph.ca.

This consultation is now closed

Our new bylaws have been adopted and will come into effect March 2, 2024.


How did we engage the community? 

In fall 2022 a Peer Review group was formed. The group is comprised of private citizens, community representatives, developer representatives, and a Council representative. This group met to review topics covered in the Development Charge Background Study. Participants openly discussed views and opinions and sought common ground. The Peer Review group’s feedback helped shape the early draft document that is now available to the wider public for comment. 

The 2023 Development Charges Background study was presented to Council on July 19, 2023. 

Between July 25 and August 13, 2023 the community was invited to submit comments and questions  to ensure the background study captures an approach to development charges that is the right fit for our community.

Read the full studies here:

The City’s current bylaw will expire on March 2, 2024. A Development Charges Background Study has been completed and approved as required, and new bylaws have been adopted and will come into effect March 2, 2024.

For more information and to stay up to date with Development charges, visit our page on Guelph.ca.

Consultation has concluded

We are an open book.  Ask us a question and we will get back to you in 2-3 business days.  You can also use this space to leave our team a comment about the background study

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    It is my understanding that taxpayers may need to pay as much as 8% more in property taxes if this goes ahead. Can you confirm that is true? It is also my understanding that if this goes through, our taxes will be subsidizing payment to developers in order to reduce costs for the new buyers of the to-be-developed housing infrastructure. Is that also correct?

    BC asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your questions.

    Regarding your first question, the estimated costs of exemptions, discounts, and ineligible expenses associated with Bill 23 over 10 years is approximately $227 million. Bill 23 has received Royal Assent as of November 28, 2022 and some exemptions are in force. At this time, regulations have not yet been released to put into effect the affordable and attainable housing exemptions introduced under Bill 23.

    A delayed implementation of these regulations will delay in the impact of these exemptions on the City’s tax and rate funded budgets. We are working to estimate the annual budget impacts based on this uncertainty as well as timing of impacts from the new rate phase-in requirements. Recommendations for phasing in the impacts to tax and ratepayers will be forthcoming to Council through the 2024-2027 multi-year budget.

    Regarding your second question, payments are not made to developers by the City. Rather developments that are eligible for exemptions under the Development Charges Act will not have to pay development charges (or will receive a discount, as applicable). Any exemptions must be funded by property tax and utility rate payers to keep the development charge reserve funds whole, as outlined in the City’s Development Charge Exemption Policy.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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    Comment on the study. City council needs to come up with a better way of filling the gap on development charges. Having development charges for housing labelled as "affordable" or otherwise paid for by tax payers (municipal, provincial, or federal) is a demerit to existing residents who are already straining just to buy an existing home and hold onto it. If Guelph wants to attract & retain younger residents for the long-term, property taxes need to be competitive with other nearby regions. Canada's workforce has the highest percentage of "remote" workers in the world, thus, they can be gainfully employed in any location. Developers already make a fortune in profits - make them pay the charges and put the onus on them to competitively market their projects into the free real estate market. Otherwise, this is just corporate welfare with a painted with a different brush, and is no different than those subsidies given to the likes of Volkswagen, Bombardier, and Trans Mountain. Property taxes are already high enough, and nobody subsidized our house when we moved here - why should existing residents have to shoulder that burden for others? If legislative ambiguity persists, why not hold a vote on a temporary extension of the existing bylaw until a clearer picture emerges. If you want Guelph to have a youthful, growing demographic, then make our community an affordable place to live. Otherwise, only the wealthy boomers will be able to afford this community, and the civic demographic will be that of an aging community on its way out.

    Pat F asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to submit your feedback and sharing your thoughts. Developers should pay their fair share to accommodate growth. The City is working to ensure that we charge the highest rates allowed under provincial legislation that will help fund and facilitate growth.

    With respect to the strategy of extending the by-law, the by-law expires in March, 2024. Council cannot extend the by-law further due to mandatory expiry date under provincial legislation. Information, legislation, and regulation is always changing and the development charge background study uses the best information available. We continue with our work to make help Guelph an affordable place to live.

    Thank you for sharing a little bit about your experience. The City understands the importance affordable housing and meeting the needs of existing and future residents. The City is advocating to restore and expand funding tools to support growth and looking for partnerships to improve housing supply and reduce the tax impact. We are working to address the funding gap through our budget process and what solutions might look like that work best for everyone.

     Please let us know if you have any follow up questions or more feedback to share.

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    Development must pay for development. Developers keep getting richer while homebuyers, renters, and even cities get poorer. The developer's "woe is me" story is tired. They're making healthy profits while everyone one else suffers. Development charges must accurately reflect what it costs to build all the stuff needed for new developments (roads, sidewalks, parks, pipes, stormwater ponds, etc.) and the people already living in a community shouldn't have to pay for the cost of building resources for new homes. In Waterloo, developers are willing to forego profits to help get affordable housing built. So refreshing! My real question is, how much will taxes go up when developers appeal (and win!) the city's plans to make them pay their share?

    Wally D asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to submit your feedback and sharing your thoughts. Developers should pay their fair share to accommodate growth. The City is working to ensure that we charge the highest rates allowed under provincial legislation that will help fund and facilitate growth.

    That’s a great story from Waterloo! Would you have link to a newspaper article that you can share so we can learn more about it?

    The City is advocating to restore and expand funding tools to support growth and looking for partnerships to improve housing supply and reduce the tax impact. We are working to address the funding gap through our budget process and what solutions might look like (including the tax impacts) that work best for everyone.

    Please let us know if you have any follow up questions or more feedback to share.