City launches Council composition and ward boundary review

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Guelph, Ont., August 17, 2020 – The City invites community input as it starts a review of Guelph’s Council composition and ward boundaries that will explore whether the city’s local government structure should change as it grows.

“This review is an opportunity to come together as a community to evaluate citizen representation and ward boundaries,” says Dylan McMahon, manager of Legislative Services in the City Clerk’s Office. “Residents will help decide if change is needed for fair and effective representation as Guelph grows.”

The first phase, Council Composition, will determine how many councillors Guelph needs in each ward, whether they should be full time or part time, and whether they should be ward specific or serve the community at large. Engagement will take place until September 4, entirely online.

The second phase – a review of Guelph’s ward boundaries— will take place in January 2021 to look at Guelph’s current ward structure and any changes required to ensure a fair election process.

“We recognize that Guelph’s six wards have distinct and vibrant identities,” says McMahon. “The ward boundary review will respect existing geographic and natural boundaries, like main roads, railways and rivers, as well as distinct neighbourhoods within each ward like Old University, St. Patrick’s Ward and the Junction.”

In the third phase, a public advisory committee will be assembled in late 2021 to review Council compensation starting January 2022. A report to Council is expected by the end of June 2022.

Staff will take a report to Council with recommendations for composition in November 2020, and a second report for ward boundaries in 2021. Staff will also consider current and alternative voting systems and methods with public engagement planned for November 2020 following recommendations from the first phase. A report to Council with recommendations on voting systems and methods will happen in early 2021 to be ready for the 2022 municipal election.

Participate in the conversation online

The Council composition and ward boundary review engagement will take place entirely online during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensures public safety while still offering a robust and complete way for residents to have their say.

Ask a question online at

Participate in the virtual town hall on August 25 from 6-7 p.m.

Media contact

Dylan McMahon, Manager
Legislative Services, City Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2811
[email protected]