Guelph was selected as the headquarters of British development firm, the Canada Company, by its first superintendent John Galt, a popular Scottish novelist who designed the town to attract settlers.
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 are still in place today.
The Canada Company established Guelph in 1827 during the development of the Huron Tract (land purchased by the Canada Company to be distributed to colonial settlers of Upper Canada), although the town later came into its own as a prosperous railway and industrial centre
The town was named to honour Britain’s royal family, the Hanovers, who were descended from the Guelfs, the ancestral family of George IV, the reigning British monarch. Thus the nickname The Royal City. Guelph was incorporated as a city in 1879.
Guelph, with its rich colonial history, is not stranger to historic housing or large estates, but it also has a great selection of modern homes in suburban tracts, as well as condominium projects.
To see a list of lowrise homes for sale, go here
For a list of highrise offerings, go here
The City of Guelph has a diversified economy that has helped it obtain the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Manufacturing is the leading sector, accounting for 24.3 per cent of employment, according to the 2006 census). The second largest industry is educational services. The City of Guelph’s Economic Development Strategy identified life science, agri-food and biotechnology, environmental management and technology companies as growth industries on which to focus economic development activities. Guelph’s three largest employers include Linamar , the University of Guelph and the Upper Grand District School Board.
The Upper Grand District School Board administers all of Wellington County, as well as adjacent Dufferin County, while the Wellington Catholic District School Board administers Catholic education in Wellington County, including Guelph. The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud offers French language education. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde operates the École élémentaire L’Odyssée . There are also numerous private schools in Guelph. The city is also home to the University of Guelph , which is where the Ontario Agricultural College and the Ontario Veterinary College reside. Conestoga College has a small campus in Guelph.
Guelph has a lot to offer for people with all interests, from art galleries to hockey games. The Art Gallery of Guelph presents over 12 regional, national, and international exhibitions that explore contemporary and historical visual arts each year. AGG’s collections contain over 9,000 works, including Canadian and international contemporary art, Inuit art, and public sculpture, while the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre is a public gallery and adjoining sculpture park.
The Ed Video Media Arts Centre is an artist-run centre with a focus on video art, but also serving all forms of media art.
The River Run Centre has three performance halls and holds concerts, plays, comedy acts and kid-friendly productions. The Sleeman Centre is a sports and entertainment venue that holds a variety of events such as concerts, sporting and family events, trade shows and conferences, and it is home to the local hockey team, the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. Guelph Civic Museum is located on Catholic Hill adjacent to the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate. There you can find pictures, films and other antique materials related to the historic development of the City of Guelph. Guelph boasts three National Historic Sites: Old City Hall, McCrae House, home of John McCrae, the author of “In Flanders Fields,” and Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, which was designed by Joseph Connolly.
The Goldie Mill now serves as a venue for outdoor public and private events.
Guelph boasts three National Historic Sites: Old City Hall, McCrae House, home of John McCrae, the author of “In Flanders Fields,” and Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate which was designed by Joseph Connolly.
Guelph is also home to a number of festivals, including Pride Week, a multicultural festival, Hillside Festival, a jazz festival and Faery Fest. visitguelphwellington.ca/events/calendar
Antiques, breweries and wineries, farmers’ markets, craft shows and sales — Guelph has it all. It’s easy to spend the day at the many retail outlets of the Old Quebec Street Shoppes, located in the heart of downtown Guelph. Browse shoe shops, clothing boutiques and artisan and craft stores. Have lunch at one of the restaurants or pamper yourself at the salon.
Stone Road Mall, situated at Stone Road West and Edinburgh Road, is the largest shopping mall in Guelph, with 130 stores.
Parks & Rec
Most of the natural attractions of Guelph are located beside the two rivers which pass inside the city, the Speed River and the Eramosa River. Guelph has over 1,000 hectares of parks and open space where you can find over 70 kilometres of trails and paths, sports facilities and heritage features including Heritage Park, Goldie Mill, IODE Fountain, Blacksmith Fountain, Riverside Floral Clock Gardens and John McCrae Gardens.
Guelph Lake is a man-made reservoir on the Speed River and is part of a 13,971-acre conservation area maintained by the Grand River Conservation Authority. Riverside Park is an 80-acre park built around a portion of the Speed River and features a floral clock, a miniature train that can take you through the park and a carousel that pays tribute to Guelph’s history. There are well maintained walking and hiking trails, baseball diamonds, skating on the Speed River in winter and cross-country skiing.
Guelph Transit provides local transportation around the city. Intercity connections by GO Transit and Greyhound Canada are made at the Guelph Central Station. Via Rail provides inter-city passenger rail service. The area is also well served by highways with Highway 401, Highway 7 and Highway 6, also known as the Hanlon Expressway. There are plans to extend the Hanlon to Kitchener.