Shaping Guelph: Guelph’s growth management strategy

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Multi-colour images of different types of silhouetted buildings including houses, one with chimney, multi-storey highrise with windows, basillica, and silhouetted crane standing in front of all buildings.

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.

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.


Please ask us any questions related to this project or future growth in Guelph.  A response will be provided as soon as we can.


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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: What type of housing is planned for the Dolime Quarry when it comes onilne? Will this be a higher density node?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    The quarry lands aren't in the City's borders (they are largely in Guelph-Eramosa Township) so this property is not currently included in Guelph's Official Plan. Because this is still a proposal under consideration, how this land would fit into Guelph's plans for growth hasn't been determined and it cannot be considered in making plans for Guelph unless and until the land is moved into Guelph's boundary.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: In the Official Plan, Gordon Street between Arkell Road and Edinburgh Road shows a wetland area as built area. Why would it be shown as built when it is a significant wetland?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    The information shown in the residential intensification virtual town hall presentation showed the built-up area of Guelph. The built-up area are lands that were already developed or were part of lands that were planned to be developed as of 2006. The built-up area includes wetlands, woodlands, employment lands, residential lands, commercial lands, and institutional lands. Not all land within the built-up area can be developed but the land is part of our developed neighbourhoods. The Official Plan has several maps which show the different layers of land use planning. The first map illustrates different terms used by the Province as part of the previous Growth Plan. This map shows the boundary of the built-up area, the designated greenfield area, and the urban growth centre. The second map sets out our land uses, whether lands should be used for residential or employment uses, or whether they are part of our natural heritage system. There are also several maps in the Official Plan that show specific elements of our natural heritage system. These maps work together to protect uses like our natural heritage system and permit development of urban uses.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: What is the relationship between the three scenarios where more housing could be provided in the City and the scenarios for different building heights in the City?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    Generally, the more units that can be accommodated in one area, the less land we may need for future growth. However, the more units that are directed to one area, the more room they may take up in that area. We could accommodate this by allowing buildings to take up more space on the ground which would give them a bigger footprint and that could leave less space for other things like amenity areas, greenspace, and parking. It could also be accommodated by allowing buildings to be taller. 

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: What is the City's role in planning for 34,000 new jobs over the next 30 years?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    As part of our work to conform to A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (APTG) we are required to ensure that we have enough employment land available and designated to support the additional 34,000 jobs.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: How will the City use public feedback from the session tonight and the online survey?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    Community input received as part of the residential intensification study will be used to inform our recommendations for future Shaping Guelph background studies, growth scenarios and to update the Growth Management Strategy for the City. Earlier this year, the community input we received through our sessions in January and February was used to inform our updated draft vision and principles for growth, which were endorsed by Council in June.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: We are forecast to grow by 60,000 people over the next 30 years, is this growth anticipated to be evenly distributed over that time?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    Currently our Official Plan anticipates a steady growth rate of about 1.5 percent annually. As part of Shaping Guelph, we will look at what that rate should be and when, over then next 30 years, we would be expecting higher growth. This work will be considered as we prepare growth scenarios in 2021.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: Would the City provide environmental studies along with the second survey?

    Planning asked about 2 months ago

    The City's natural heritage system is already protected through our Official Plan. When a specific development is proposed, environmental studies are submitted as part of a complete development application. The requirements for environmental impact studies are used to determine the limits of development and environmental buffers.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: Would the City do a second survey once areas are more defined?

    about 2 months ago

    Yes, there are more engagement opportunities planned throughout the entire Shaping Guelph project.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: Why is the City developing by Highways 7 and 6? Those could be better suited as density corridors.

    about 2 months ago

    This area is currently planned for service commercial and employment uses. In addition to looking at where we can accommodate residential growth in our already developed areas, we will also be looking at areas where we can accommodate job growth. Through our upcoming employment lands strategy we will look at how much land we need to accommodate our job growth. If we have more land than we need, we can look to these areas to accommodate other uses, such as residential development.

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    A question from the September 17, 2020 virtual town hall: Can the City balance the growth amongst the nodes and corridors? It seems like all of the intensification is happening on Gordon Street.

    about 2 months ago

    Our current Official Plan directs the majority of our new residential units to all of our nodes and corridors. Gordon Street is one intensification corridor where we are currently seeing development occurring. Some of our other nodes and corridors, such as the Paisley/Imperial node, are also seeing development, just not as much at the moment.