News Feed

City invites community to vote on official bird for Bird Friendly City designation

Vote open until March 11

 Vote for Guelph’s official bird as we apply to become a Bird Friendly City.

Visit until March 11 to place your vote. Take the survey or upload a photo to tell us what bird should represent Guelph!

Media release

Guelph, Ont., February 23, 2022 – The City invites the community to vote for Guelph’s official bird in support of an application to become a Bird Friendly City.

“Only four cities in Canada are designated a Bird Friendly City by Nature Canada – Vancouver, London, Toronto and Calgary,” reports Jayne Holmes, Guelph’s deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Protecting our environment is both a community and City priority, and we would love to be next on that list.”  

City staff has teamed up with bird experts from two local groups – Bird Safe Guelph and Nature Guelph Bird Wing – to come up with a starting list of eight birds that represent Guelph for the community to choose from:

  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Chimney Swift
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Common Merganser
  • Green Heron
  • Peregrine Falcon

The three birds with the most votes will move to a second round of voting on April 1. The bird with the most votes by April 22 will become Guelph’s official bird for the Bird Friendly City designation. In the event of a tie, Bird Safe Guelph will choose the winning bird.

Bird populations are in decline

North American bird populations have dropped by more than 25 per cent in recent years. Domestic cats, window and car collisions, and habitat loss are all risks to birds living in urban communities. Birds play an essential role in our ecosystem by pollinating plants, dispersing seeds and helping to control insects.

Guelph’s application to become a Bird Friendly City supports the community’s desire to protect and sustain our natural biodiversity. A Bird Friendly City designation will help raise awareness about local birds and inspire Guelphites to learn more about the important role birds play in our world and the simple actions they can take to help protect them.

On June 7, staff will present the community’s bird of choice to Council and seek approval on the application for Guelph to become a Bird Friendly City.


Media contact

Leah Lefler, Environmental Planner
Planning and Building Services, Infrastructure, Design and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2362
[email protected]

City assesses Guelph’s park needs ahead of Parkland Dedication Bylaw Review

Guelph, Ont., January 6, 2022 – The City is looking for community input as it assesses Guelph’s current park system and determines future land needs as the community grows. This Park Plan engagement is underway until January 20 and will be closely followed by engagement for the Parkland Dedication Bylaw in February 2022.

The Park Plan is a continuation of the parks conversation from the Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PRMP)  and aims to address time-sensitive legislative changes to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw required before September 2022. The final Park Plan will be integrated into the PRMP and delivered to Council in 2023.

Residents are encouraged to consider and share:

  • If their park needs have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and as Guelph grows.
  • How we can use parkland more efficiently or reshape existing spaces for new park needs.
  • Ideas about how or where the City could grow its park system as Guelph’s population grows.
  • Other questions or advice as the Park Plan is updated and integrated into the larger master plan.

“The Park Plan ensures the City has the right number and types of parks to meet the community’s needs,” says Tiffany Hanna, park planner at the City of Guelph. “Having the Park Plan conversation first allows the opportunity to assess all of the tools at Guelph’s disposal to achieve that goal and become future ready.”

Provide input by January 20

Residents can share their thoughts and opinions on City parks by filling out the survey on until January 20.

The City is hosting two facilitated focus groups to share information about the project, talk about how the City might plan parks for a growing population and hear about the community’s parks experiences and needs. The online focus groups are being held Wednesday, January 12, 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, January 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

A separate information session is being held for the development community on Thursday, January 13, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Media contact

Tiffany Hanna, Park Planner
Park and Trail Development, Parks
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3371
[email protected]

Help create a connected cycling network for riders of all ages and abilities

Click here to provide feedback by December 17

Guelph, Ont., November 30, 2021 – We’re looking to create a protected cycling network in Guelph that will help all riders feel comfortable biking along key streets in the city while connecting large parts of our community. To help us get started, we’d like your input on what this may look like.

As part of this study, we’ll develop conceptual designs for 13 kilometres of “AAA” (all ages and abilities) protected cycling facilities along three corridors that provide safe, continuous connections for cycling and micro-mobility, such as scooters, to and from community destinations and major transit stops. This study will look at:

  • Eramosa Road between Woolwich Street to Victoria Road (Study Area A)
  • Gordon Street between Waterloo Avenue to Clair Road (Study Area B)
  • College Avenue between Janefield Avenue to Dundas Lane (Study Area C)

Have your say by December 17

Regardless of whether you travel along Eramosa Road, Gordon Street and College Avenue, drive a vehicle, walk or are a new or avid cyclist, your perspective will help inform the design of a new cycling network for our city. Submit your questions throughout the study and check out the interactive mapping tool by December 17 to submit feedback about the three study areas at

About the process

The cycling network conceptual design study is following the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Process (2000, as amended). Public input and comments will be incorporated into the planning and design of this project.

This study is part of the City’s Strategic Plan to create a transportation network that connects us, one that fosters easy, accessible and safe movement through trails, paths, roads and corridors to tie the community together. By investing in and promoting active transportation today, the City is ensuring Guelph will be future ready.

Funding for this project is provided by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant.

For more information

Jennifer Juste, Manager of Transportation Planning
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2791
[email protected]

Budget town hall

Join City of Guelph staff as they host a citywide budget town hall event on Tuesday, November 23.

Starting at 7 p.m., this 90-minute virtual event is a great opportunity to learn about the 2022 and 2023 Budget as City staff unpacks the November 16 Council presentation.

It’s also a time to ask your most pressing budget questions and get them answered by our staff experts in real time.

Watch the event at:

Ask questions using the Vimeo chat and Facebook comment sections. A call-in option will also be available.

Guelph revisits Community Plan with new approach to eliminating systemic racism

Online engagement launches today, closes December 5

Guelph, Ont., November 18, 2021 – Guelph’s Community Plan is getting an update and everyone’s voice is needed.

Until December 5, the Guelph community is invited to participate in an online engagement session at to help set the community standard for the elimination of systemic racism.

“The Community Plan is a living document, and was always intended to evolve and change as the community grows. In revisiting the plan, our goal is to address the significant omission of any direction related to systemic racism,” says Sara Sayyed, the City of Guelph’s senior advisor of Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Relations, adding, “We know that eliminating systemic racism and turning what we’ve learned from the community into new policy and action won’t be easy goals to achieve, but it’s an aspiration we need to reach for and push to achieve. We need people to look at the draft of the new section and add their thoughts.”

The update comes from conversations with community members, leaders and groups from across the city.

“We’ve listened and learned from many equity-deserving and rights-asserting voices over the last year and a half, and we continue to hear from and listen to others,” says Marva Wisdom, a community leader who was also involved in the first version of the Community Plan.

The draft new section of the Community Plan speaks of a vision for how everyone must work as a united community. It also talks about the importance of building the relationships and trust necessary for the sustained effort needed to eradicate the racism and colonialism embedded in structural systems.

“Our learning has helped to shape the new and important pieces of the Community Plan; addressing gaps we have known existed for some time and laying a strong foundation for the action planning ahead. While we’ve made good progress in this work, we know that we have more voices to listen to. Often those with lived experience of systemic racism are not afforded the space to impart their experience and knowledge toward its mitigation and, we expect, it’s elimination. That’s why we’re here, reaching out more broadly to the community, so that we can support and amplify these voices and make sure that we’re getting this right,” explains Wisdom.

Have your say

Join the conversation at

“We acknowledge that racism and exclusion exist in many forms including but not limited to Anti-Black racism, Anti-Indigenous racism, Anti-Asian racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Anti-2SLGBTQIA+, ageism and ableism. We also acknowledge that some conversations about systemic racism are difficult for some people. We have partnered with Here247 to provide free mental health or crisis support for community members to access while having these difficult conversations with us,” says Sayyed.

Community members are encouraged to read the background information, including how we got here, and revisit the original Community Plan to see the new section in context.

Each of the eight elements of the vision were created from conversations with people and communities from across Guelph, but not everyone’s voice has been heard.

“Please read each element and share your thoughts and your unique ideas to help reframe the Community Plan with a vision about how we will work together to end systemic racism,” says Sayyed.

What comes next?

The next step is to create an action plan with specific strategies and actions to rid systemic racism and barriers to inclusion from our institutions, policies and governance structures.


Here247 website or call 1-844-437-3247 to speak to a trusted service provider.

A United Vision: Guelph’s Community Plan, 2019

About the Community Plan

Introduced in 2019, Guelph’s Community Plan is a celebration of the community’s diversity, shared values and direction for the future. It is the culmination of 18 months of conversations, observations, research and writing. More than 10,000 Guelphites worked together to write the plan. Themes include we are home, we protect our environment, we create value, we feel well, we play explore, and we move around freely. The plan guides the work of Guelph’s municipal government and gives community organizations and residents a shared road map to monitor progress and share what is learned.

Media contacts

For Community Plan inquiries

Marva Wisdom
Lead external advisor to the Community Plan
Senior Leadership and Equity Practitioner
[email protected]

For Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities/action plan inquiries

Sara Sayyed
Senior Advisor, Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives
Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3509
[email protected]

Have your say to bring Guelph’s Transportation Master Plan to life

Take our survey on proposed policies and programs by October 24

Guelph, Ont., October 1, 2021 – Help us move Guelph forward! Whether you walk, roll, ride a bike, take a bus, drive a car, or use some other form of travel we want your ideas to make the Transportation Master Plan a success.

Where we’re at

Council approved moving ahead with the Sustainability and Resiliency Focus transportation solution earlier this year, and you shared how this might affect your transportation needs and wants as you move through the city. Now we’re moving closer to the finish line as we explore on-the-ground actions and projects to bring the Transportation Master Plan to life.

In this final phase of the master plan development we’re proposing policies and programs to help build a sustainable and resilient transportation network for Guelph over the next 30 years. We’re also figuring out how we schedule these future ready transportation projects.

We need your input (again)

Check out the updated story map and other resources to learn more about we’re where at and where we plan to go, then complete the online survey at by October 24.

Through the survey you’ll:

  • Consider what future changes are most important for the resilience transportation network
  • Weigh in on the policies and programs that will support improvements to Guelph’s transportation network including roads, trails, sidewalks and transit corridors
  • Help decide how we prioritize transportation projects

Your feedback will help shape the final master plan that we’ll share with Council for approval early next year.

For project updates or to get involved, follow the project at

For more information

Jennifer Juste, Project Manager

Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2791

[email protected]

New policy requires City staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or regularly tested

Guelph, Ont., August 27, 2021 – The City of Guelph is implementing a new COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees. All staff, not just paramedics, will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status or get tested for the virus on an ongoing basis. This policy also applies to members of Council, the Guelph Public Library, and contractors and volunteers working for the City.

“I am one hundred percent in support of this,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We will continue to do whatever we can to keep everyone in our community safe and requiring the people who deliver public services to be vaccinated just makes sense.”

Like vaccination plans from other municipalities and levels of government, any staff member who chooses not to receive the vaccine will need to complete training about the benefits and safety of vaccinations. If an employee still chooses not to get vaccinated, and cannot work from home, they’ll need to get tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis.

Medical and religious exemptions

The City will exempt staff with medical, religious or other valid reasons related to the Human Rights Code from vaccination requirements. Where possible, the City will make work accommodations for employees falling into these groups. Individuals with exemptions who need to work at a City facility will also need to get tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis.

“Vaccinations are the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is very supportive of the City’s employee vaccination policy,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Chief Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “We hope to see many other organizations in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph follow the example of the City of Guelph. Policies like this will be essential to drive further vaccination in our community and limit community spread this fall.”

The City’s policy comes into effect September 7, 2021. Staff will have until October 15, 2021 to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status or to advise the City of a medical or other valid exemption.

“Many of our office-based staff are still working from home, but others don’t have that option because they’re enforcing our bylaws, mowing fields and taking care of our parks or sorting our garbage,” notes Scott Stewart, chief administrative officer for the City of Guelph. “Regardless of where folks are working, we do hope to bring people back together in office spaces, at Council meetings and for engagement, and whether that’s sooner or later, we need to make sure we’ve done our part to keep our employees and our community safe.”


City policy

Media Contact

Laura Mousseau, Manager, Corporate Communications
Corporate Communications and Customer Service

City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2463[email protected]

Downtown infrastructure project sets foundation to be future ready

Guelph, Ont., August 10, 2021 – The Downtown Guelph Project, a multi-year construction project to replace and improve downtown’s aging infrastructure, will become familiar to many business owners, residents and visitors over the next few years.

“Replacing and improving downtown infrastructure is a fundamental component of Guelph’s sustainable City-building vision as reflected in our strategic plan,” explains Jayne Holmes, the City’s deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services.

The project will begin with two environmental assessments (EA); one will consider reducing the number of lanes on Wyndham Street from four to two as outlined in the 2014 Streetscape Manual, and the other EA will examine the Macdonell Street Bridge and Allan Dam structures across the Speed River to determine improvements and the preferred solution for each.

“This significant infrastructure investment will make our vibrant downtown resilient for years to come by replacing aging infrastructure and preparing for new growth with updated streetscape features creating an even greater work, live and play destination for businesses, residents and visitors,” adds Holmes.    

Over the next two years, the City will look at the existing infrastructure and the future needs of downtown, and plan what needs to be replaced and updated below and above the surface—and when. Design for downtown will start in 2023, with construction starting as early as 2024.

“Downtown Guelph is a vibrant destination with many shops, restaurants and activities for residents and visitors alike,” says Reg Russwurm, manager of Design and Construction. “We’re going to start construction downtown to support existing and future users and maintain our critical infrastructure…but not quite yet. We have a lot of work to do before we put shovels into the ground.”

Join the conversation online

Managing the construction impacts of this important capital project will involve robust and ongoing engagement with downtown businesses, property owners, downtown residents and citizens across the city.

“We know there is a lot happening in the downtown core over the next several years and the City is committed to listening to business owners and residents before we start construction to help ensure the downtown remains accessible and open for business during construction,” adds Russwurm.

The project will include many engagement opportunities for all downtown users over the next few years.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for email notices about upcoming engagement opportunities at, and learn more about the project.

Key connections

The Downtown Guelph Project aligns with the City’s Downtown Secondary Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Urban Design Manual and Downtown Streetscape Manual. The plan also helps achieve the City’s Guelph. Future Ready. strategic plan priorities of Building our Future and Navigating our Future.

Construction planning and phasing for the Downtown Guelph Project will coordinate with the Baker District redevelopment to minimize impacts to downtown businesses, residents and visitors.


Reg Russwurm, Manager of Design and Construction

Engineering and Transportation Services

City of Guelph

519-822-1260 extension 2765 [email protected]

Six new red-light cameras to help make Guelph roads safer

Guelph, Ont., July 8, 2021 –The City is installing six red-light cameras this summer−one per ward− throughout Guelph. The cameras will go live sometime in the fall.

“Running a red light is more likely to cause significant injury than any other type of collision,” explains Steve Anderson, manager of Transportation Engineering. “Installing red-light cameras in Guelph will help decrease the severity of injuries from collisions by reducing right-angle collisions and cars running red lights.”

Red-light camera locations

The City is installing red light cameras at the following locations in 2021:

  • Wellington Street East at Wyndham Street South (Ward 1)
  • Eramosa Road at Stevenson Street North (Ward 2)
  • Speedvale Avenue West at Dawson Road (Ward 3)
  • Imperial Road at Willow Road (Ward 4)
  • Scottsdale Drive at Stone Road West (Ward 5)    
  • Clair Road West at Gordon Street (Ward 6)

Camera locations were chosen based on previous collisions and conditions near the road such as sightlines blocked by trees or hydro poles, driveway placement, hills and overhead power cables.

Other municipalities using red light cameras include London, Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo Region and Durham Region.

How red-light cameras work

Red-light cameras are live around the clock and take pictures of vehicles entering an intersection after the traffic signal turns red. Vehicles entering the intersection on a green or amber light are not photographed. Drivers making legal right and left turns are not issued tickets.

Tickets for violations are sent to the registered licence plate holder of the photographed vehicle within 30 days.

Road safety is a community priority

Guelph residents and stakeholders identified road safety as their top priority throughout the development of Guelph’s Community PlanTransportation Master Plan and Community Road Safety Strategy, and this priority is also reflected in the City’s Strategic Plan.

“Red-light cameras act as a deterrent,” adds Anderson. “Public awareness of red-light cameras reduces aggressive driving, running of red lights and right-angle collisions leading to safer travel for everyone.”

Studies show that red-light violation rates can be cut in half within a few months of cameras being installed, and that right-angle collisions can be reduced by more than a quarter.

Full cost recovery expected

City staff expect full cost recovery for the red-light cameras through tickets issued in 2021, with surplus revenues expected in future years. Staff will report back through the 2022 budget process with a recommendation for using future revenue.

Staff will also monitor the effectiveness of the cameras to determine whether additional cameras should be placed at more intersections in the future.

Media contact

Steve Anderson, Manager, Transportation Engineering
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2037
[email protected]

Virtual Information Session: Proposed Transitional Housing With Supports project at 65 Delhi Street

On Tuesday June 29th at 7pm Ward 2 Councillors Gordon & Goller hosted an information session with staff from Wellington County to find out more information about the proposed Transitional Housing With Supports project at 65 Delhi Street. Below is the vide recording of that event.

The purpose of this session was to provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions. Several questions were submitted in advance and during the event. This virtual event will include short presentations, a Q & A session where speakers respond to questions submitted in advance as well as a during the event.

For more information on this project: