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Guelph
City of Guelph
Downtown Guelph
Downtown Guelph
Flag of Guelph
Flag
Coat of arms of Guelph
Coat of arms
Official logo of Guelph
Logo
Nickname(s): 
"The Royal City"
Motto(s): 
Faith, Fidelity and Progress
Guelph is located in Southern Ontario
Guelph
Guelph
Location in Southern Ontario
Guelph is located in Wellington County
Guelph
Guelph
Location in Wellington County
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Founded April 23, 1827
Incorporated April 23, 1879
Area
 • Land 87.22 km2 (33.68 sq mi)
 • Urban
87.22 km2 (33.68 sq mi)
 • Metro
593.51 km2 (229.16 sq mi)
Elevation
334 m (1,096 ft)
Population
 (2021)
 • City (single-tier) 143,740
 • Density 1,644.1/km2 (4,258/sq mi)
 • Urban
143,740
 • Urban density 1,644.1/km2 (4,258/sq mi)
 • Metro
165,588
 • Metro density 278.3/km2 (721/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Guelphite
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
N1C to N1H, N1K to N1L
Area code(s) 519, 226 and 548
GDP (Guelph CMA) CA$9.5 billion (2016)
GDP per capita (Guelph CMA) CA$62,638 (2016)

Guelph ( gwelf; 2021 Canadian Census population 143,740) is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Known as "The Royal City", Guelph is roughly 28 km (17 mi) east of Kitchener and 100 km (62 mi) west of Downtown Toronto, at the intersection of Highway 6, Highway 7 and Wellington County Road 124. It is the seat of Wellington County, but is politically independent of it. The city is built on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Guelph began as a settlement in the 1820s, established by Scotsman John Galt, who was in Upper Canada as the first Superintendent of the Canada Company. He based the headquarters, and his home, in the community. The area – much of which became Wellington County – had been part of the Halton Block, a Crown Reserve for the Six Nations Iroquois. Galt would later be considered as the founder of Guelph.

For many years, Guelph ranked at or near the bottom of Canada's crime severity list. However, the 2017 Crime Severity Index showed a 15% increase from 2016. Guelph has been noted as having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country throughout the Great Recession. In late 2018, the Guelph Eramosa and Puslinch entity had an unemployment rate of 2.3 per cent, which decreased to 1.9 percent by January 2019, the lowest of all Canadian cities. The national unemployment rate at the time was 5.8 percent. Much of this achievement was attributed to the numerous manufacturing facilities, including Linamar.

History

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 British development firm "the Canada Company" by its first superintendent John Galt, a popular Scottish novelist who designed the town to attract settlers and 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 are still in place today. The street plan was laid out in a radial street and grid system that branches out from downtown, a technique which was also employed in other planned towns of this era, such as Buffalo, New York.

1855 Map of Guelph
An 1855 map of Guelph

John Galt of the Canada Company established Guelph in 1827 to serve as the company's headquarters during the development of the Huron Tract, when the area was still a forest. In later years, the town came into its own as a prosperous railway and industrial centre. Guelph was founded by the symbolic felling of a tree on St. George's Day, April 23, 1827, the feast day of the patron saint of England. 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 Goderich, but reluctantly accepted the fait accompli. John Galt, the company's first Superintendent, constructed what was one of the first buildings in the community, his home, "The Priory" (built 1827-1828), on the banks of the Speed River near the current River Run Centre for performing arts. The building later became the first CPR station in the city.

A historical plaque commemorates his role with the Canada Company in populating Upper Canada's Huron Tract, calling it "the most important single attempt at settlement in Canadian history".

The Smith's Canadian Gazetteer of 1846 indicates that the town had a jail and court house made of cut stone, a weekly newspaper, five churches/chapels and a population of 1,240; most were from England and Scotland with a few from Ireland. In addition to many tradesmen, the community had 15 stores, seven taverns, and some industry, tanneries, breweries, distilleries and a starch factory. The Post Office was receiving mail daily.

After 1878

Guelph was incorporated as a city in 1879. Despite optimism, the population growth was very slow until the Grand Trunk Railroad reached it from Toronto in 1856; in that year, the village became a town.

Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Guelph, 2015
Interior of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate after the renovation (2015)
McCrae House Guelph tac
McCrae House, Guelph
Ontario Agricultural College sign
Ontario Agricultural College plaque

A few years later, George Sleeman Sr. founded an electric radial railway, the Guelph Railway Company, which had only five miles of track in 1895, but was extended in 1902; in addition to carrying passengers, the cars carted coal to heat the Ontario Agricultural College.

The Canadian Communist Party began as an illegal organization in a rural barn near the town of Guelph, Ontario, on May 28 and 29, 1921.

Guelph was the home of North America's first cable TV system. Fredrick T. Metcalf created MacLean Hunter Television (now part of Rogers Communications) and their first broadcast was Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1953.

Guelph's police force had Canada's first municipal motorcycle patrol. Chief Ted Lamb brought back an army motorcycle he used during the First World War. Motorcycles were faster and more efficient than walking.

The city is home to the University of Guelph, established in 1964, and Sleeman Breweries Ltd.. The Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), the oldest part of the University of Guelph, began in 1874 as an associate agricultural college of the University of Toronto. Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute (GCVI), established in the 1840s, is one of the province's oldest high schools.

Guelph has three sites buildings on the National Historic Sites of Canada register: the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, McCrae House and Old City Hall.

Etymology

The name Guelph comes from the Italian Guelfo and the Bavarian-Germanic Welf. It is a reference to the reigning British monarch at the time Guelph was founded, King George IV, whose family was from the House of Hanover, a younger branch of the House of Welf sometimes spelled as Guelf or Gwelf.

Geography and climate

Topography and water courses

Downtown Guelph is situated above the confluence of the Speed River and the Eramosa River, 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, where they merge with the Grand River (Ontario). There are also many creeks and smaller rivers creating large tracts of densely forested ravines, and providing ideal sites for parks and recreational trails. The city is built on several drumlins and buried waterways, the most notable being an underground creek flowing below the Albion Hotel, once the source of water used to brew beer.

Climate

This region of Ontario has cold winters and warm, humid summers, falling into the Köppen climate classification Dfb zone, with moderately high rainfall and snowfall. It is generally a couple of degrees cooler than lower elevation regions on the Great Lakes shorelines, especially so in winter, the exception being on some spring afternoons when the lack of an onshore breeze boosts temperatures well above those found lakeside.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Guelph was 101 °F (38.3 °C) on 6 August 1918 and 13 July 1936. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −35 °F (−37.2 °C) on 25 January 1884.

Climate data for University of Guelph Arboretum, 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1881−present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.7
(62.1)
14.6
(58.3)
26.4
(79.5)
29.2
(84.6)
32.2
(90.0)
36.2
(97.2)
38.3
(100.9)
38.3
(100.9)
36.7
(98.1)
29.4
(84.9)
23.9
(75.0)
19.1
(66.4)
38.3
(100.9)
Average high °C (°F) −3
(27)
−2.1
(28.2)
3.4
(38.1)
11.4
(52.5)
18.4
(65.1)
23.4
(74.1)
25.9
(78.6)
24.5
(76.1)
19.8
(67.6)
13.1
(55.6)
6.2
(43.2)
0.0
(32.0)
11.7
(53.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.9
(19.6)
−6.3
(20.7)
−1.4
(29.5)
6.0
(42.8)
12.2
(54.0)
17.1
(62.8)
19.7
(67.5)
18.6
(65.5)
14.1
(57.4)
8.1
(46.6)
2.4
(36.3)
−3.5
(25.7)
6.7
(44.1)
Average low °C (°F) −10.8
(12.6)
−10.5
(13.1)
−6.1
(21.0)
0.6
(33.1)
6.0
(42.8)
10.8
(51.4)
13.7
(56.7)
12.6
(54.7)
8.4
(47.1)
3.0
(37.4)
−1.3
(29.7)
−7
(19)
1.6
(34.9)
Record low °C (°F) −37.2
(−35.0)
−32.8
(−27.0)
−28.9
(−20.0)
−16.7
(1.9)
−7.8
(18.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
1.7
(35.1)
−1.1
(30.0)
−6.7
(19.9)
−12.8
(9.0)
−20.6
(−5.1)
−31.1
(−24.0)
−37.2
(−35.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 51.9
(2.04)
58.0
(2.28)
66.9
(2.63)
73.7
(2.90)
79.7
(3.14)
78.8
(3.10)
95.8
(3.77)
92.8
(3.65)
90.4
(3.56)
71.6
(2.82)
91.2
(3.59)
80.5
(3.17)
931.3
(36.67)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 17.6
(0.69)
24.1
(0.95)
43.8
(1.72)
69.9
(2.75)
79.6
(3.13)
78.8
(3.10)
95.8
(3.77)
92.8
(3.65)
90.4
(3.56)
70.1
(2.76)
81.2
(3.20)
38.1
(1.50)
782.0
(30.79)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 38.6
(15.2)
37.2
(14.6)
26.4
(10.4)
3.8
(1.5)
0.07
(0.03)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
1.5
(0.6)
9.0
(3.5)
38.6
(15.2)
155.1
(61.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16.2 12.8 12.7 13.7 13.3 11.8 11.7 13.5 14.1 14.6 16.0 16.8 167.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.0 3.9 7.9 12.3 13.3 11.8 11.7 13.5 14.1 14.5 13.4 6.9 127.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 12.7 9.6 5.9 1.6 0.07 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.43 3.4 11.0 44.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 80.4 96.7 146.3 172.5 230.7 256.5 277.9 236.7 172.2 140.6 82.1 55.4 1,947.9
Percent possible sunshine 27.8 32.8 39.7 42.9 50.6 55.7 59.5 54.7 45.8 41.0 28.1 19.8 41.5
Source: Environment Canada

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1841 1,240 —    
1851 1,860 +50.0%
1871 6,878 +269.8%
1881 9,890 +43.8%
1891 10,537 +6.5%
1901 11,496 +9.1%
1911 15,175 +32.0%
1921 18,128 +19.5%
1931 21,075 +16.3%
1941 23,074 +9.5%
1951 27,386 +18.7%
1961 39,838 +45.5%
1971 60,087 +50.8%
1981 71,207 +18.5%
1991 87,976 +23.5%
1996 95,821 +8.9%
2001 106,170 +10.8%
2006 114,943 +8.3%
2011 121,688 +5.9%
2016 131,794 +8.3%
2021 143,740 +9.1%

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Guelph had a population of 143,740 living in 56,480 of its 59,746 total private dwellings, a change of 9.1% from its 2016 population of 131,794. With a land area of 87.43 km2 (33.76 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,644.1/km2 (4,258/sq mi) in 2021.

At the census metropolitan area (CMA) level in the 2021 census, the Guelph CMA had a population of 165,588 living in 64,175 of its 67,685 total private dwellings, a change of 9% from its 2016 population of 151,984. With a land area of 595.08 km2 (229.76 sq mi), it had a population density of 278.3/km2 (721/sq mi) in 2021.

Guelph was the third fastest-growing city in Ontario, with a 5-year growth of 8.3% from 2011 to 2016. According to the Ontario Places to Grow plan, Guelph's population is projected to be about 144,500 by the year 2021 and 175,000 by 2031. The actual number of residents varies throughout the year because of variations in the University of Guelph student population.

The most common mother tongue in 2016 was English at 77.2% followed by Chinese Languages at 2.7%, Italian at 1.7% Vietnamese at 1.3% French at 1.3% Punjabi at 1.2%, Tagalog at 1.2%, Spanish at 1.1% and Polish at 1%. 1.5% claimed both English and a non-official language as their first language.

Approximately 78.2% of residents were European Canadians in 2016, whereas 18.8% were visible minorities and 3% were aboriginal. The largest visible minority groups in Guelph were South Asian (5%), Chinese (3.2%), Black (2.2%), Filipino (2.2%), Southeast Asian (1.9%), West Asian (1.2%), and Latin American (1.0%).

The 2016 Census indicated that 14,430 Italian Canadians lived in Guelph. Many Italians from the south of Italy, particularly from Monforte San Giorgio, had immigrated to the area in the early 1900s, and also in later years. Historically however, Guelph's population has been principally British in origin, with 92% in 1880 and 87% in 1921.

The city is mostly Christian (61.8%) according to the 2011 Census, almost evenly split among Protestants and Roman Catholics. The largest non-Christian religion is Islam (2.6%), followed by Buddhism (1.9%), Hinduism (1.5%) and Sikhism (1.0%).

Culture

Church of Our Lady, Guelph, Ontario, from rivers confluence
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, above city
Riparian restoration, Speed River
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 on Catholic Hill adjacent to the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate. At Guelph Civic Museum one can find pictures, films and other antique materials related to the historic development of the City of Guelph.
  • St. Patrick's Ward
  • Goldie Mill ruins: Once owned by the Goldie family, an important name in the early Waterloo Region, the mill was operated until 1953 when a fire destroyed it. It now serves as a venue for outdoor public and private events.

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 Lake
  • University of Guelph Arboretum
  • 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)

Festivals

  • Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival
  • Guelph Pride Week
  • Guelph and District Multicultural Festival
  • Hillside Festival
  • Two Rivers Festival
  • John Galt Day
  • Festival Italiano
  • Guelph Jazz Festival
  • Guelph Festival of Moving Media
  • Faery Fest

Arts facilities

Entertainment

The Sleeman Centre is a sports and entertainment venue in Guelph. The large, modern facility allows for 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.

Music

From a Bell Organ factory to the opera singer Edward Johnson, Guelph has been a source of musical contribution. Today, Guelph has a thriving indie rock scene, which has spawned some of Canada's more well-known indie bands. Guelph is also home to the Hillside Festival, a hugely popular music festival held at nearby Guelph Lake during the summer, as well as the Guelph Jazz Festival.

Guelph is also home to the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, and two yearly classical music festivals. The Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph showcases students from Guelph and surrounding areas, while the Guelph Musicfest offers performances by local professional classical musicians.

Sports teams

Guelph Storm face off
The Guelph Storm at home ice in 2006.
Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Guelph Storm Ontario Hockey League Hockey Sleeman Centre 1991
3
Guelph Royals Intercounty Baseball League Baseball David E. Hastings Stadium at Exhibition Park (Guelph) 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 Ontario Soccer League, Kitchener and District Soccer League, South West Region Soccer League, Soccer Centennial Park and Guelph Lake Sports Fields circa 1985 3
Guelph Hurricanes Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Hockey Sleeman Centre 1963 0
Guelph Bears Ontario Football Conference Football University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium 1997 0
Guelph Gargoyles Ontario Australian Football League Australian Football Margaret Green Park 2001 0
Royal City Roller Girls Full Member WFTDA League Roller Derby Arenas in Guelph (Victoria Road Rec Centre, Exhibition Park, West End Rec Centre) 2010 0
Speed River Track and Field Club Athletics Canada Athletics Alumni Stadium 1997 10

Infrastructure

Medical facilities

The city currently has one hospital, Guelph General, which is rated as one of the safest in Canada in terms of the hospital standardized mortality ratio; the lower the better. Guelph's facility had a score of 78 in 2017, notably better than the national average of 91. By comparison, Cambridge Memorial Hospital had a score of 95. St. Joseph's Health Centre was previously a hospital, but is now a 240-bed long-term care home with a 91-bed specialty unit for complex continuing, rehabilitation and palliative care. Various outpatient services are also provided at this facility.

Another major facility, Homewood Health Centre offers treatment for mental health and addiction issues. The facility was founded in 1883 by the Homewood Retreat Association of Guelph as "a private asylum for the Insane and an Asylum for Inebriates" on a 19-acre property which included the Donald Guthrie house. The first patients were admitted in December of that year.

Homewood grew to a 312-bed mental and behavioural health facility and also formed a partnership with R.B. Schlegel Holdings Inc.to operate Oakwood Retirement Communities Inc., a long-term care facility.

Transportation

Bus

Guelph Transit provides local transportation around the city. On June 20, 2007, Guelph Transit launched a web-based system known as Next Bus. Intercity connections by GO Transit are made at the Guelph Central Station and University of Guelph.

Rail

Guelph Railway Station 2015
Guelph Central train station

Guelph was the first municipality in Canada to have its own federally chartered railway, the Guelph Junction Railway. This 25 kilometre (16 miles) link to the CPR is still municipally owned.

Built in 1911, the Guelph Central Station (still in use), was constructed by the Grand Trunk Railway which had arrived in Guelph in 1856; years later, it was taken over by the Canadian National Railway. It is a classic example of early 20th Century Canadian railway station design and has been designated as a heritage structure under the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act. The Romanesque Revival building, with its Italianate tower, has been listed on the Canadian Register since 2006 and was formally recognized as one of Canada's Historic Places in November 1992. A renovation project in 2016-2017 provided various benefits, including repairs to maintain and restore heritage aspects.

There had also been passenger stations in Guelph that were built by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The first CPR station, from the 1800s, was the Priory House station, converted from the first house in Guelph. It stood opposite the current Priory Square and was eventually dismantled. Its replacement, located between Cardigan Street and the Speed River, was a brick building erected in 1911. After this brick building was no longer used as a rail station, it was converted for other purposes; eventually it was moved to the Galt area of Cambridge, Ontario.

Highways

  • Highway 401 to Toronto and London.
  • Highway 7 to Kitchener and Acton. The MTO has commenced construction of the Hanlon link to Kitchener, Ontario, a controlled-access highway running parallel to the existing Highway 7 from the Hanlon Expressway to Kitchener.
  • Highway 6 to Hamilton and Owen Sound. This highway is known as the Hanlon Expressway for most of its length inside the city.

Twin cities

  • Italy Loria, Veneto, Italy
  • Italy Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
  • Italy La Castellana, Treviso Italy

Economy

The city of Guelph's diversified economy helped Guelph obtain the country's lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 per cent in 2011 and at 3.9 per cent in February 2016. The great diversity in the types of employers is a significant factor too; the city is not dependent on a single industry. The workforce participation rate of 72% was the best in Canada in December 2015 according to BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic. The job growth of more than 9 per cent at the same time was also of great value to the community. At the time, the BMO economist also rated Guelph as the top city in Canada for those looking for work. Over subsequent months, the rate increased steadily and the jobless rate was at a more typical 5.9% by October 2017, compared to 5.1% in Kitchener-Waterloo. The rate in June 2018 had decreased to 4.5%. By December 2018, StatsCan was indicating an unemployment rate of only 2.3%, down from 4% in November, and the lowest in Canada at that time.

The overall economy of the Guelph "region" (including the city and the townships of Guelph/Eramosa and Puslinch, Ontario) grew at an average of 3.5% per year over the previous five years and was expected to be 2.1% in 2019 and also in 2020 according to the Conference Board of Canada's August 2019 report. Guelph's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.6% per cent in 2018, the highest among medium-sized cities in Canada. "Although economic growth is poised to moderate in 2019, Guelph will maintain its place as one of Canada’s economic growth leaders," the report predicted.

Manufacturing and education sectors

Manufacturing is the leading sector of the economy of the city with the most significant sector being auto parts manufacturing. The Conference Board of Canada's August 2019 report stated that the Guelph region's manufacturing was experiencing significant growth, averaging 5.9% over the past five years and expected to be 4.2% in 2019.

Linamar is the city's leader in this sector, with 22 manufacturing plants. The company has received government funding for expansion that would create additional jobs, most recently in 2015 ($101 million) and in 2018 ($99 million). The latter would create 1,500 additional jobs and maintain 8,000 others in the Canadian operation.

According to research completed by the City of Guelph in 2010, fabricated metal product manufacturing accounted for 26.1% of the types of industries, followed by machinery manufacturing for 12.8% and miscellaneous manufacturing for 10.4%. The city'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.

The city also touts the importance of advanced manufacturing which is its largest employer. The roughly 360 businesses of this type employ approximately 14,755 people (roughly 25% of Guelph's labour force). The category includes "high precision manufacturing and auto parts assembly to plastic injection moulding machines manufacturing and automation devices. This enables advanced manufacturing to be a strong driver of the local economy."

The second largest industry is Educational services, accounting for 11.3%.

Other sectors

Guelph is very attractive to the agri-food and biotechnology market sector, according to the city. It was ranked as the top cluster in Ontario and one of the top two in Canada. This sector includes over 90 companies in Guelph-Wellington, employing approximately 6,500 people.

The City encourages movie and television filming. Parts of several productions have been filmed here, including Agnes of God (1985), American Gods (released in 2017), 11.22.63 (2016) with James Franco, Total Recall (2012), Dream House (2011), The Heretics (2017), Dead Rush (2016) and episodes of Murdoch Mysteries (2013 and 2015).

Guelph Innovation District

As part of the plan to increase development, City Council voted in late 2017 to buy 98 hectares (243 acres) south of York Road owned by the Provincial government, including part of the property of the former Wellington Detention Centre. After the acquisition, the city would seek one or more developers to buy the property. The land actually purchased was only 23% of the long-term plan for development in the entire site bounded by Watson Parkway South, the south border of the city and Victoria Road South.

The city decided in late 2018 not to purchase the additional land for economic reasons. In 2019, the remaining 362 acres of Ontario government land was listed for sale by the province.

Employment data

According to the Bank of Montreal's fourth quarter 2018 report, Guelph was the leading city in Canada in terms of job growth and low unemployment. In January 2019, the city had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada.

The 2016 Census indicated a labour force of nearly 76,000, of which about 55% said they worked full-time all year. At the time the data was gathered, 4,610 persons indicated they were unemployed. The top five occupations in terms of the number so employed were Sales and service (16,195), Education, law and social, community and government services (10,205), Business, finance and administration (10,150), Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (9,170) and manufacturing and utilities (8,205).

The City of Guelph's published 2016 data was sorting occupations in a different manner. In that report, Professional, Scientific and Technical jobs employed 39,141, Advanced Manufacturing employed 20,735, Retail and Service employed 11,345, Agri-Innovation employed 11,345, Culture and entertainment employed 7,711 and that Distribution, warehousing and wholesale employed 5,909.

The largest private enterprise employers in Guelph (2016) included:

  • Linamar Corporation
  • Cargill Meat Solutions
  • Polycon Industries
  • The Co-operators
  • Guelph Manufacturing Group Inc.
  • Blount Canada Ltd.

The Cooperators was one of the Platinum Winners in Canada's Best Employers 2017 report; the company has been on this list for 14 years.

The largest public sector employers (2016) included:

  • Upper Grand District School Board
  • University of Guelph
  • City of Guelph
  • Wellington Catholic District School Board
  • Guelph General Hospital
  • Homewood Health Centre

The University's staffing fell into three categories in 2015: there were 2,600 regular full-time faculty and staff, 1,890 temporary (full-time and part-time) and 3,690 student employees. The University was among Canada's Best Employers in 2016 according to Forbes magazine, making the top 20 in the list.

Two Guelph companies were among the 2018 winners of the Waterloo Area's Top Employers competition. According to the report, Reid's Heritage Group of Companies, a home builder with 212 full-time employees, "supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments .... [provides] flexible work hours, helps employees balance work and their personal commitments with up to 10 paid personal days ... and offers referral bonuses [for staff hires]." Sleeman Breweries Limited, with 991 full-timers, offers "generous tuition subsidies ... opportunities for the next generation to gain meaningful experience through summer employment and co-op placements ... retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options" as well as bonuses for salaried staff and profit-sharing for those who are unionized.

Education

Four school boards operate in the city. The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) administers all of Wellington County, as well as adjacent Dufferin County, while the Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) administers Catholic education in Wellington County, including Guelph. The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud offers French First language education for students with parents who had elementary and secondary education in French at École Saint-René-Goupil. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde, with similar entrance requirements, operates the École élémentaire L'Odyssée. Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir operates the École élémentaire catholique Saint-René-Goupil.

There are also numerous private schools in Guelph: Cornerstone Canadian Reformed Christian School, Resurrection Christian Academy, Guelph Community Christian School, Guelph Montessori School, Trillium Waldorf School, Wellington Hall Academy, and Wellington Montessori School, Echo Montessori. An International Baccalaureate Program is available at Guelph C.V.I.

Secondary schools

All of Guelph's secondary schools belong to either the Upper Grand District School Board or the Wellington Catholic District School Board. The following is a list of all secondary schools in Guelph:

Public (Upper Grand District School Board):

  • Centennial C.V.I.
  • College Heights C.V.I.
  • Guelph C.V.I.
  • John F. Ross C.V.I.

Catholic (Wellington Catholic District School Board):

  • Our Lady of Lourdes C.H.S.
  • Saint James C.H.S.
  • Bishop Macdonell C.H.S.
  • St. John Bosco High School

In January 2018, The Upper Grand District School Board announced new plans to build a secondary school northwest of the Victoria Road at Arkell Road intersection. The project is a part of Ontario's Ministry of Education's plan to build 30 new schools across the province and renovate 40 others. The new secondary school is expected to provide relief for the overpopulated Centennial C.V.I. (currently 40% overcapacity). The school is designed to accommodate 900 students and will cost the government $25.5 million. The school is expected to be complete by 2022.

Post-secondary institutions

  • University of Guelph, (with approximately 25,300 students) is one of Canada's top comprehensive universities, and home to the Ontario Agricultural College and the Ontario Veterinary College.
  • Conestoga College operates a small campus in Guelph but in late 2019, the College advised the news media that a major expansion was planned. "Within five or six years, we will have at least 5,000 students there ... [with] full-service programming," said College President John Tibbits. At the time, the Guelph campus had approximately 1,000 students.

Public library system

Guelph Public Library Old
The original Carnegie library in Guelph.

Although a private library, run by the Farmers and Mechanics Institute, existed since 1832, a public library did not open 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. The neo-classical (Beaux Art) structure, had been designed in 1902 by W. Frye Colwill. The collection of the Farmers and Mechanics Institute library was contributed to the new library.

The current main library building of the Guelph Public Library, on Norfolk St. was opened in 1965. Guelph is served by a growing library system composed of a main library located in the downtown core, five branches and a Bookmobile. With a membership of over 85,000, the Guelph Public Library system's goals include preserving and indexing public materials relating to the history of Guelph. Although no formal program has been developed, the library acquires municipal records of archival value from the City of Guelph.

A new library location has been discussed since 2018 as part of the redeveloped area downtown, known as the Baker District. This project was approved as part of the 2021 budget and as of July 2021 the library board was reviewing architectural designs.

Museums

The City of Guelph operates Guelph Museums, including the Guelph Civic Museum which showcases the city's history with exhibits, an interactive gallery and special events; this facility has some 30,000 artifacts. Since 1983 when the city took over this facility, the Civic Museum has also operated McCrae House, the birthplace of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918), author of In Flanders Fields. The Museum also arranged for the restoration and placement of Locomotive 6167, a 1940s steam engine, which was located at the Guelph Central Station, but was moved to John Galt Park in November 2020 in order to make room at the station for future expansion of train service.

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Guelph para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
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