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Guelph ( ) is a city located in the Southwestern region of Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. Known as "The Royal City", Guelph is roughly east of Kitchener-Waterloo and west of downtown Torontomarker at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 7. It is the seat of Wellington County, but as a separated municipality, the city is not part of the county. As one entity, Guelph and Wellington County have a population of 200,425.

Because of its low crime rates, clean environment and generally high standard of living, Guelph is consistently rated as one of the country's most livable cities.


Before colonization, the area was considered by the surrounding indigenous communities to be a "neutral" zone. On selected dates members from these communities would meet and trade goods by the Speed River.

Guelph was selected as the headquarters of the Canada Company, a British development firm, by its Canadian superintendent John Galt, a popular Scottishmarker novelist who designed the town to attract settlers to it and to the surrounding countryside.

Galt designed the town to resemble a European city centre, complete with squares, broad main streets and narrow side streets, resulting in a variety of block sizes and shapes which is still in place today. The street plan was designed to resemble a lady's fan, many of the streets forming triangles (the segments of the fan) . This technique had been used in other planned towns such as Buffalo, New Yorkmarker.Guelph was founded on St. George's Day, April 23, 1827, the feast day of the patron saint of Englandmarker. The town was named to honour Britain's royal family, the Hanoverians, who were descended from the Guelfs, the ancestral family of George IV, the reigning British monarch; thus the nickname The Royal City. The directors of the Canada Company had actually wanted the city to be named Goderichmarker, but reluctantly accepted the fait accompli.

The city is home to the University of Guelphmarker and Sleeman Breweries Ltd.. The Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), the oldest part of University of Guelph, began in 1873 as an associate agricultural college of the University of Torontomarker. Guelph's most famous landmark is the Church of Our Lady Immaculatemarker.

Geography and climate

Topography and water courses

Downtown Guelph is situated above the confluence of the Speed and Eramosa, which have numerous tributaries. The Speed River enters from the north and the Eramosa River from the east; the two rivers meet below downtown and continue southwest. There are also many creeks and rivers creating large tracts of densely-forested ravines, and providing ideal sites for parks and recreational trails. The city is built on many drumlins and buried waterways, the most famous being an underground creek flowing below the Albion Hotel, once the source of water used to brew beer.


The weather and climate of that region of Ontario is moderate in both summer and winter. However, due to its location close to other moderate or major cities (Cambridgemarker, Kitchener-Waterloo, Londonmarker, Torontomarker and the GTA) Guelph experiences the highest percentage of acid rain downfall in all of Ontario and the area is prone to severe weather causing high winds in summer, due to its location on the Lake Breeze Front.


Manufacturing is a leading sector, accounting for 18 per cent of employment.

The City of Guelph's Economic Development Strategy identified life science, agri-food and biotechnology firms, environmental management and technology companies as growth industries on which to focus economic development activities.

Guelph's major employers include the University of Guelphmarker, Linamar Corporation, and Sleeman Breweries among others.


Ethnic Origin Population Percent
English 36,975 31.93%
Canadianmarker 36,845 31.82%
Scottish 27,875 24.07%
Irish 24,445 21.11%
German 14,505 12.52%
Italian 11,135 9.61%
Guelph is the fourth fastest growing city in Canada with a population growth rate of about 2% per year. Guelph's current population is estimated to be around 127,872 and is projected to have a population around 175,000-195,000 by the year 2027. Population varies throughout the year because of variations in the University of Guelph student population.

The 2001 census indicates 117,344 people residing in Guelph, of whom 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 6.2% of the resident population of Guelph, whereas 12.2% of the resident population in Guelph were of retirement age. The average age is 35.7 years of age. In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Guelph grew by 10.7%. Population density of Guelph averaged 310.1 people per square kilometre.

Historically, Guelph's population has been principally British in origin, with 92% in 1880 and 87% in 1921.

Now, some 10 percent of the resident population described themselves as visible minorities, predominantly South Asian mostly of Afghan, Indian and Pakistani origin: 2.43%, Chinese: 2.42%, Black Canadian/African Canadians: 1.25%, and many others including Filipino, Vietnamese and Arab. The city is mostly Christian: 74.17%, almost evenly split among Protestants and Roman Catholics. The largest non-Christian religion is Buddhism: 1.45%, followed by Islam, and Hinduism.


There are two public school boards that operate inside the city. The Upper Grand District School Board administers all of Wellington County, as well as adjacent Dufferin Countymarker, while the Wellington Catholic District School Board administers Catholic education in Wellington County, including Guelph.

Secondary schools

Due to the presence of two different school boards, Guelph has numerous elementary and secondary schools. The secondary schools are as follows:



Post-secondary institutions

Public library system

Although a private library had existed since 1832, a public library did not exist in Guelph until 1882, when the Free Libraries Act allowed municipalities to operate libraries. After occupying premises near City Hall, it moved into an Andrew Carnegie-funded building in 1905, which was eventually demolished in 1964. The current main branch building was opened in 1965. The Guelph Public Library currently has five branches, and also serves as the unofficial repository for records created by the City of Guelph.



Guelph City Hall at Night, Guelph, ON

The city is a single-tier municipality governed by a mayor-council system. The structure of the municipal government is stipulated by the Ontario Municipal Act of 2001. There are currently 12 councillors and a mayor, with 2 councillors representing each of the six wards.

The mayor and members of the city council serve four-year terms without term limits, with the next election in November 2010. Prior to the 2006 election, the mayor and city councillors served three-year terms.

Guelph City Council is responsible for policy and decision making, monitoring the operation and performance of the city, analyzing and approving budgets and determining spending priorities.

In 2006, Karen Farbridge defeated incumbent mayor Kate Quarrie, 51% to 35% along with 8 new City councilors who replaced many of the long-time council members.


Guelph occupies a single provincial riding of the same name, and is currently represented in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario by Liz Sandals, a member of the ruling Ontario Liberal Party.


Guelph also occupies a federal riding of the same name, and has been represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canadamarker by Frank Valeriote of the Liberal Party of Canada since 2008.


Church of Our Lady, above city
Old flood-control embankment, Gordon St bridge
Riparian restoration

Historic sites

  • Downtown Guelph: Many downtown streets are lined with Victorian era buildings, which are now well over a century old.
  • Guelph Civic Museum, a museum located near Downtown Guelph. At Guelph Civic Museum one can find pictures, films and other antique materials related to the historic development of the City of Guelph at a 1850- three-story Guelph limestone building.

National Historic Sites

Outdoor attractions

Most of the natural attractions of Guelph are located beside the two rivers which pass inside the city, Speed River and Eramosa River.
  • Guelph Lakemarker
  • University of Guelph Arboretummarker
  • Riverside Park, located beside the Speed River at north of Guelph
  • York Road Park
  • Hanlon Creek Park (Preservation Park)
  • Royal City Park and Wellington Street nature sites
  • Exhibition Park (the oldest park in Guelph)

Arts facilities

The Macdonald Stewart Art Centre serves the community by providing a balanced program of temporary exhibitions of contemporary and historical art, craft and design drawn from regional, national and international sources. As the major public collection in this area, the collection is presented through specialized exhibitions.

The Bookshelf Ebar Art Space showcases monthly exhibits of local and regional artists. It functions as Guelph's main alternative art space located in the downtown core.

Ed Video Media Arts Centre is one of Canada's leading artist-run centres devoted to the proliferation and appreciation of Canadian media art and film, and is the main driving force behind a growing movement of professional filmmakers within the region. Ed Video carries out an ongoing monthly programming schedule of regional and national media art.

The River Run Centre, opened in 1997, serves as Guelph's premier performing arts centre. Encompassing three separate halls (including Canada Company Hall, Co-operators Hall, and the 785-seat Main Stage), River Run has played host to corporate functions, as well as dramatic and musical performances.

The Guelph Youth Music Centre is a permanent facility in which Guelph youth can participate in music and arts education and activities. In 1992, the former Heritage Seed Company along the Speed River was purchased by the City of Guelph and turned over to the GYMC under a long-term lease. Following an extensive renovation, GYMC opened their new facility in September 2001. The Centre includes a beautiful 180-seat Recital Hall, a dance studio and 15 rehearsal and teaching studios. The Centre provids a forum for affordable leadership, teaching, rehearsal and performance for hundreds of local music and arts students.


Music has always played a large part in the lives of people living in Guelph. From a Bell Organ factory to the opera singer Edward Johnson, Guelph has been a source of musical contribution. Today, Guelph is particularly notable for its indie rock scene, which has spawned some of Canada's more notable indie bands, including King Cobb Steelie, Royal City, The Constantines, Jim Guthrie, The Barmitzvah Brothers, Elbow Beach Surf Club, Flashlight Brown, Green Go, The D'Urbervilles, the kramdens, Razor and Arise and Ruin.

Guelph is also home to the Hillside Festival, a hugely popular music festival held at Guelph island during the summer, as well as the Guelph Jazz Festival.

Sports teams

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Guelph Storm Ontario Hockey League Hockey Sleeman Centremarker 1991

Guelph Royals Intercounty Baseball League Baseball David E. Hastings Stadium at Exhibition Park 1919 8
Guelph Gryphons Canadian Interuniversity Sport University W.F. Mitchell Centre and Alumni Stadium 1874 0
Guelph Regals Ontario Lacrosse Association Lacrosse Victoria Road Recreation Centre 1992 1
Guelph Rangers Kitchener District Soccer League Soccer Centennial Park and Guelph Lake Sports Fields circa 1985 3
Guelph Underdogs SC Conestoga College Indoor Soccer League Soccer Conestoga College Recreational Centre 2004 0
Guelph Hurricanes Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Hockey Victoria Road Recreation Centre 1963 0
Guelph Bears Ontario Varsity Football League Football John Ross High School and University of Guelphmarker's Alumni Stadium 1997 0
Guelph Gargoyles Ontario Australian Football League Australian Football Magaret Green Park 2001 0


  • Guelph Mercury, Guelph's daily newspaper.
  • Guelph Tribune, Twice-weekly community newspaper.
  • Echo Weekly, Regional alternative newspaper serving Guelph and area.
  • The Ontarion The University of Guelph's student newspaper is published weekly and distributed throughout the city.
  • The Record- A Kitchener-Waterloo newspaper that also covers Guelph and area.



City weblogs:



Guelph Transit provides local transportation around the city. On June 20, 2007 Guelph Transit launched a web-based system known as Next Bus. Global positioning satellites (GPS) technology and advanced computer modeling provide riders via the Internet, handheld devices (including Palms, Blackberries, and Web-capable cellular phones), or their telephones to receive accurate, real-time arrival and departure information. Intercity connections are made at the Guelph Bus Terminalmarker.

GO Transit also provides service to both the University and the city's bus station via rapid transit buses.


Guelph Train Station
Guelph was the first municipality in Canada to have its own federally chartered railway, the Guelph Junction Railway. This 16-mile link to the CPR is still municipally owned.

VIA Rail provides daily passenger rail service from the railway stationmarker to Londonmarker and Torontomarker. The Goderich-Exeter Railway and Guelph Junction Railway provide freight service.


Twin cities


Notable people associated with Guelph:

See also


  2. Guelph Jazz Festival
  3. City of Guelph

External links

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