Quick facts for kids
|City of Guelph|
View of Guelph downtown with Norfolk St. and Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate pictured
"The Royal City"
Faith, Fidelity and Progress
|County||Wellington County (independent)|
|Founded||April 23, 1827|
|Incorporated||April 23, 1879|
|• Land||86.72 km2 (33.48 sq mi)|
|• Urban||78.39 km2 (30.27 sq mi)|
|• Metro||378.45 km2 (146.12 sq mi)|
|Elevation||334 m (1,096 ft)|
|• City (single-tier)||131,794|
|• Density||1,325.5/km2 (3,433/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||1,475.1/km2 (3,820/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||335.6/km2 (869/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Postal code span||
N: N1C, N1E, N1G, N1H, N1K, N1L
|Area code(s)||519, 226 and 548|
Guelph (i//; Canada 2016 Census population 131,794) is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Known as "The Royal City", Guelph is roughly 28 kilometres (17 mi) east of Waterloo and 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Downtown Toronto, at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 7. It is the seat of Wellington County, but is politically independent of it.
The current Guelph began as a settlement in the 1820s, started by John Galt, originally from Scotland, the first Superintendent of the Canada Company. He who based the headquarters, and his home, in the community. The area - much of what became Wellington County - had previously been part of the Halton Block, a Crown Reserve for the Six Nations Iroquois. Galt would later be considered as the founder of Guelph.
Because of its low crime rates, clean environment and generally high standard of living, Guelph is consistently rated as one of Canada's best places to live. Guelph has been noted as having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country throughout the Great Recession. In February 2016, it had the lowest rate in the country, at 3.9 per cent, compared to the national rate of 7.3 per cent; in large part, this is because of the great number of manufacturing facilities, including Linamar.
For many years, the ranked at the bottom of Canada's crime severity list. Even after a slight increase, it had the second lowest crime rate in Canada in 2014, at 43 (per 100,000 population); by comparison the national rate was 68.7.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.7
|Average high °C (°F)||−3.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−37.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||51.9
|Rainfall mm (inches)||17.6
|Snowfall cm (inches)||38.6
|Avg. 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|
|Avg. 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|
|Avg. 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|
|Source: Environment Canada|
|2011 National Household Survey||Population||% of Total Population|
|Multiple visible minorities||655||0.5|
|Other visible minority||205||0.2|
Guelph is the fifth fastest growing city in Canada with a population growth rate of about 2% per year. According to the Ontario Places to Grow plan, Guelph's population is projected to be about 144,500 by the year 2021. Population varies throughout the year because of variations in the University of Guelph student population.
The 2006 census enumerated 114,943 residents of Guelph. 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female. 6.2% were under five. The average age is 35.7 years of age. Between 1996 and 2001, the population of Guelph grew 10.7%. The 2011 metro population density of Guelph was 335.6 people per square kilometre.
Historically, Guelph's population has been principally British in origin, with 92% in 1880 and 87% in 1921.
- 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
- Old City Hall, a formal, classical civic building; built in 1856-57.
- McCrae House, home of John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Fields".
- Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, a Roman Catholic church designed by Joseph Connolly, located downtown, is a local landmark.
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)
- 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
- The Art Gallery of Guelph, formerly Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
- The Bookshelf Ebar Art Space
- Ed Video Media Arts Centre
- River Run Centre
- Guelph Youth Music Centre
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.
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.
|Guelph Storm||Ontario Hockey League||Hockey||Sleeman Centre||1991
|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|
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 modelling 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 by GO Transit and Greyhound Canada are made at the Guelph Central Station.
Guelph was the first municipality in Canada to have its own federally chartered railway, the Guelph Junction Railway. This 25 kilometre (16 mile) link to the CPR is still municipally owned.
The following is cited from the 2010 community profile:
"Guelph is also served by both the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway. The City's own Guelph Junction Railway provides industry with freight handling facilities and connections to CNR and CPR. Via Rail provides inter‐city passenger rail service. On December 19, 2011, GO Transit began commuter train service to Guelph, with two trains heading eastbound to Toronto in the morning, and two returning westbound in the evenings."
- Highway 401 to Toronto and London.
- Highway 7 to Kitchener and Acton.
- Highway 6 to Hamilton and Owen Sound. This highway is known as the Hanlon Expressway for most of its length inside the city. The MTO has plans to extend the Hanlon to Kitchener, Ontario, as well they plan to upgrade the status to a controlled-access highway.
Images for kids
The original Carnegie library in Guelph.
Guelph Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.