Shaping Guelph: Guelph’s growth management strategy

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Guelph needs to plan to meet provincial growth forecasts for a population of 203,000 and 116,000 jobs by the year 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. We need your help to ensure that we develop a Guelph-made approach to accommodate this growth.

See the "Project Updates" tab for current engagement opportunities.

Guelph needs to plan to meet provincial growth forecasts for a population of 203,000 and 116,000 jobs by the year 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. We need your help to ensure that we develop a Guelph-made approach to accommodate this growth.

See the "Project Updates" tab for current engagement opportunities.

  • CLOSED - Shaping Guelph - three scenarios for growth

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    In 2020 we had community conversations about one possible way for Guelph to grow and what other growth scenarios should be explored. Technical studies on housing and employment lands have been completed. Based on these conversations and technical studies three growth scenarios have been prepared. Growth scenarios look at different ways Guelph can accommodate and manage its population and employment growth to 2051. The three growth scenarios are:

    • Scenario 1 meets the minimum forecasts and targets of A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (APTG) using the Official Plan urban structure, heights, densities, and lands uses as the guide
    • Scenario 2 builds on scenario 1 but adds more medium density housing, like townhouses and mid-rise apartments, to the city-wide housing mix
    • Scenario 3 increases the target amount of housing in the already developed areas of the city – the built-up area, from 50 per cent to 55 percent, by adding more low density housing, like single detached houses, and medium density housing to the city-wide housing mix

    Share your reactions to these growth scenarios, your thoughts on the proposed growth scenario evaluation framework, and a proposed urban structure – an urban structure defines area of the city of that are the focus for different types of uses like industrial and residential. Your input will help us develop a made in Guelph growth strategy that will guide and manage our growing city for the next 30 years.

    More information on the growth scenarios, proposed evaluation framework, and proposed urban structure is available here.

    CLOSED - Online surveys

    These surveys are now closed. Thank you for participating.

    Learn more about the growth scenarios and complete the growth scenarios and growth scenarios evaluation framework survey as well as the urban structure survey between April 15 and May 7. Hard copies of the surveys are available by calling 519-822-1260 extension 2459.

    Virtual Town Hall April 15 - UPDATED

    A virtual town hall was held on April 15 to share information about three growth scenarios for Guelph, the proposed growth scenario evaluation criteria, and proposed urban structure. A recording of the town hall is now available.

    Why does Guelph need to grow and develop?

    Guelph must plan for population of 203,000 and 116,000 jobs by 2051 to meet provincial Growth Plan targets. This work is part of Shaping Guelph—Growth Management Strategy and supports our Official Plan review. In June 2020, City Council endorsed a draft vision and principles for growth based on community input.

    This work aligns with the Sustaining our future priority in the City’s Strategic Plan by supporting population and economic growth for future generations. This work also supports the Community Plan by preserving our “Guelphiness” as our city continues to grow.

  • Learn about the housing analysis and strategy

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    To help us decide how Guelph should grow and develop over the next 30 years, we need the right mix and amount of housing to meet Guelph’s population needs to 2051.

    Last year we heard community thoughts about where and how to add new housing throughout our city and we explored one possible growth scenario. In January we looked at future jobs and where we put those jobs, areas knows as employment lands. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the housing supply needed for Guelph and explore an appropriate housing mix and density targets for our city.

    What is the housing analysis and strategy and what does it tell us?

    The purpose of the housing analysis and strategy (HAS) is to confirm Guelph’s population and housing needs to 2051 while meeting provincial growth targets and aligning with the City’s draft vision for growth.

    At a high level, the HAS confirms and recommends:

    • Guelph has enough land to accommodate its forecast population of 203,000 people by 2051
    • Guelph has enough land within its existing built-up area to accommodate 50 per cent of its growth within this already developed area up to 2051
    • Based on the Guelph Innovation District Secondary Plan and current work on the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan, newer areas of Guelph, known as the designated greenfield area, can achieve an average density of 66 persons and jobs per hectare
    • Guelph’s housing mix between 2016 and 2051 will continue to provide housing choices while increasing the share of high-density housing
    • Based on the Downtown Secondary Plan, there is capacity in Guelph’s downtown to accommodate a density of 200 persons and jobs per hectare by 2051
    • An evaluation of existing and new nodes and corridors as part of the growth scenario portion of Shaping Guelph

    Learn more and submit a question or comment

    Learn more by reading the full housing analysis and strategy and submit a question or comment by March 19. We will respond to each question within 2 to 3 business days.

    Next steps

    We’ll use the housing analysis and strategy, together with the other technical background studies being done as part of Shaping Guelph, to develop growth scenarios and inform a growth management strategy for Guelph throughout 2021.

  • Learn about the employment lands strategy

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    To help us decide how Guelph should grow and develop over the next 30 years, we need to consider employment needs, including the amount of new jobs we need to plan for and where we put those jobs, areas knows as employment lands.

    What is the employment lands strategy and what does it tell us?

    Part of Guelph’s provincially mandated growth to 2051 includes an employment target of 116,000 jobs. That is an increase of about 33,300 jobs between 2021 and 2051 with an average annual growth rate of about 1 per cent. The employment lands strategy (ELS) includes an overview of how much land we have for jobs and looks at whether this is enough land to accommodate our job growth. The ELS also outlines different things that Guelph could do to plan for its forecast job growth.

    In addition to Guelph’s supply of occupied employment lands, we have about 354 hectares of vacant employment lands – land that is available for future industrial, office and related jobs. Jobs in retail or services, referred to as population-related employment, are typically accommodated in commercial areas or neighbourhoods not on employment lands. Guelph’s commercial lands were considered through the commercial policy review.

    The ELS shows that we need about 319 hectares of employment lands to accommodate our growth. Guelph’s current supply of vacant employment lands is just enough to accommodate employment growth to 2051. There will only be about 35 hectares of employment land left for growth after 2051. In order to manage our supply of employment lands, we need to focus on:

    • maximizing intensification of existing developed employment lands, such as through building additions. About 15 per cent of Guelph’s job growth must occur through intensification
    • planning for employment land densities of a minimum of 40 jobs per hectare city-wide
    • continuing to promote downtown as a focus area for major office development
    • increasing Guelph’s long-term supply of “shovel-ready” employment lands, those that have all the approvals and infrastructure in place, in the Hanlon Creek Business Park and the Guelph Innovation District

    Learn more and submit a question or comment

    Learn more by reading our employment lands strategy and submit a question or comment through the "Ask a Question" tab by January 28. We will respond to each question within 2 to 3 business days.

    Next steps

    We’ll use the ELS, together with the other technical background studies being done as part of Shaping Guelph, to develop growth scenarios over the next few months.

  • CLOSED - Developing growth scenarios survey November 26-December 18

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    There are different ways Guelph can adapt to reach the 2051 population and employment growth targets that the Province has set for our community. Join us for a virtual town hall TONIGHT, November 26, from 7-8 p.m. to learn about one way our community could grow. You can join the town hall through the virtual WebEx event or watch it live on guelph.ca/live or the City of Guelph’s Facebook page. Ask questions, share reactions and suggest other ways we could grow during this live event.

    Complete the survey! Share your reactions to growth scenario 1 and provide input into other growth scenarios that we should explore. Hard copies are available by calling 519-837-5616. We are also looking for your input on which lands should be considered as part of the Guelph central station major transit station area. Learn more and pin areas on the map for us to consider!

    Your input will help us develop a made-in-Guelph growth strategy that will guide and manage our growing city for the next 30 years.

  • Shaping Guelph - developing growth scenarios

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    Earlier this year we heard your thoughts about where and how to add new housing throughout our city. Now it’s time to start a conversation about how we grow.

    There are different ways Guelph can adapt to reach the 2051 population and employment growth targets that the Province has set for our community. Join us for a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 26, 7-8 p.m. to learn about one way our community could grow.

    You can join the town hall through the virtual WebEx event or watch it live on guelph.ca/live or the City of Guelph’s Facebook page. Ask questions, share reactions and suggest other ways we could grow during this live event.

    Learn more about how Guelph might grow and complete the online survey between November 26 and December 18. Hard copies of the survey will be available on November 26 by calling 519-837-5616.

    Your input will help us develop a made-in-Guelph growth strategy that will guide and manage our growing city for the next 30 years.

    Why does Guelph need to grow and develop?

    Guelph must plan for population of 203,000 and 116,000 jobs by 2051 to meet provincial Growth Plan targets. This work is part of Shaping Guelph—Growth Management Strategy and supports our Official Plan review. In June 2020, City Council endorsed a draft vision and principles for growth based on community input to help guide this project.

    This work aligns with the Sustaining our future priority in the City’s Strategic Plan by supporting population and economic growth for future generations. This work also supports the Community Plan by preserving our “Guelphiness” as our city continues to grow.


Page last updated: 06 October 2021, 12:31