|| Guelph ||

The City of Guelph (pronounced gwelf) (2004 population 125,872, metropolitan population 155,635) is a city located in southwestern Ontario, Canada, roughly 100 kilometres west of downtown Toronto at the intersection of Ontario provincial highway 6 and Ontario provincial highway 7. It is the seat of Wellington County but is, in many respects, politically autonomous from the county itself.

One of the first planned communities in Canada, Guelph was founded on St. Georgeís Day, April 23, 1827. It was selected as the headquarters of the Canada Company, a British development firm, by its Canadian Superintendent John Galt. Galt, who was also a novelist, designed the town to resemble a European city centre and chose the name "Guelph" after the House of Guelph, the ancestral family of George IV, the reigning monarch, thus the nickname The Royal City. The directors of the Canada Company, Galt's employers, had actually wanted the city to be named Goderich, but reluctantly accepted the fait accompli.

It was not until the Grand Trunk Railway connected the town to Toronto in 1856, and several buildings were erected in the late 19th century, that Galt's grandiose plan for Guelph was fully realized. It became a city in 1879.

The city is home to the University of Guelph and Sleeman Breweries Ltd..

Music has always played a large part in the life of people living in Guelph. From a Bell Organ factory to Edward Johnson until today, Guelph has been a source of musical contribution. Today, Guelph is notable for its indie rock scene, which has spawned some of Canada's most important indie bands, including King Cobb Steelie, Royal City, The Constantines and the kramdens. Guelph is also home to the Hillside Festival, an indie music festival held at Guelph Lake during the summer, and CFRU 93.3FM, a campus radio station at the University of Guelph.

Famous current and former Guelphites (as Guelph residents are known) include WWI poet John McCrae, children's author Robert Munsch, novelist Jean Little, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, cartoonists Brian Fray, Seth and Jay Stephens, singer-songwriter Jane Siberry, actress Neve Campbell, Lou Embro and Riki Gee.

Sports Teams

Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. They play at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre.
Guelph Royals of the Intercounty Baseball League.
Guelph Gryphons of the University of Guelph. They play in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Leagues.
Guelph Regals of the Ontario Lacrosse Association. They play at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.
Guelph Oaks of the Kitchener District Soccer League
Guelph Dominators of the Mid-Western Jr B Hockey League. They play at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.
Guelph Bears of the Ontario Varsity Football League. They play at J.F. Ross and Alumni Stadium.

Education

Guelph has two major school boards that operate inside the city at a public level. The Wellington Catholic District School Board which administers a catholic education open to the public in Guelph and Wellington County while the Upper Grand District School Board administers a public education to the public surrounding the upper Grand River.

Due to the 2 different school boards, there are several elementary schools within the city and 7 High Schools. The High Schools are:

Bishop Macdonell C.H.S. (Catholic) - Sports: Celtics
Centennial C.V.I. (Public) - Sports: Spartans
College Heights C.V.I. (Public) - Sports: Crusaders
Guelph C.V.I. (Public) - Sports: Gaels
John F. Ross C.V.I. (Public) - Sports: Royals
Our Lady of Lourdes C.H.S. (Catholic) - Sports: Crusaders
Saint James C.H.S. (Catholic) - Sports: Lions
The University of Guelph is open for post-secondary education as one of Canada's comprehensive universities. Kitchener-based Conestoga College has a small campus in Guelph.

Government

Wards

Guelph is divided up into six wards or sections. The areas east of and including most of downtown and the area east of the University of Guelph are considered Ward 1. The areas Northeast of downtown are considered Ward 2, Ward 3 is in the central and some of the north ends, and Ward 4 is in the Northeast end of the city as well as the west end. Ward 5 is the area south of downtown and north of Stone Road. This ward includes the University and Stone Road Mall. Finally, Ward 6 is better known as the "South End" of Guelph. This ward is south of Stone Road and, in recent years, has seen rapid residential development.

City Hall

In Guelph, City Hall is run by a mayor which has a council made up of 12 councillors with 2 councillors representing each of the six wards. During elections, the people of Guelph elect the 2 councillors from their ward and also elect the mayor. City elections generally take place every 3 years with the next election slated for November 13, 2006.

The last election, in 2003, saw Kate Quarrie defeat incumbent mayor Karen Farbridge, 53% to 40%.

Ward 1: Laura Baily, Rocco J. Furfaro
Ward 2: Ray Ferraro, Dan Moziar
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw, Dan Schnurr
Ward 4: David Birtwistle, Gloria Kovach
Ward 5: Cathy Downer, Lise Burcher
Ward 6: Christine Billings, Peter Hamtak

Population Growth & Demographics

Guelph is the 5th fastest growing mid-size city (population 100,000 to 200,000) in Ontario with a population growth rate of about 2% per year. Guelph's current population is estimated to be around 125,872 and is projected to have a population around 153,000 by the year 2027. [1]

Downtown GuelphAccording to the mid-2001 census, the population estimates there were 117,344 people residing in Guelph, located in the province of Ontario, of whom 49.1 % were male and 50.9 % were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 6.2 % of the resident population of Guelph. This compares with 5.8 % in Ontario, and almost 5.6 % for Canada overall.

In mid-2001, 12.2 % of the resident population in Guelph were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2 % in Canada, therefore, the average age is 35.7 years of age comparing to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Guelph grew by 10.7 %, compared with an increase of 6.1 % for Ontario as a whole. Population density of Guelph averaged 310.1 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 12.6, for Ontario altogether.

At the time of the census in May 2001, the resident population of the Guelph city authority had 117,344 people, compared with a resident population in the province of Ontario of 11,410,050 people.

White: 102,330 or 90.0%
Chinese: 2,705 or 2.3%
Asian: 2,685 or 2.2%
mixed: 1,380 or 1.2%
Black: 1,110 or 1.0% (based on single responses)
The Top 5 largest ethnic groups in Guelph are: British Isles: 52.8%, German: 12.5%, Italian: 9.6%, French: 9.0%, and Dutch: 5.2%. Christian faiths are divided as follows: 38.7% Protestant, 31.3% Roman Catholic, 4.0% other Christian.

Media

Guelph's daily newspaper is the Guelph Mercury. There is also a twice-weekly newspaper called the Guelph Tribune.

The two main radio stations are 1460 CJOY, which broadcasts oldies, and Magic 106.1 FM. CFRU 93.3 FM is the University of Guelph's campus radio station. Guelph is otherwise served primarily by media from the Kitchener-Waterloo area and from Toronto.

Miscellaneous Facts

Mondex: Guelph was the first North American test site of the Mondex electronic cash system in 1997. Parking meters, buses, bank machines, and payphones were converted to accept the cards which stored 'money' on a microchip. Many local merchants also installed card readers. Ultimately, however, public reception to the program was poor, and the trial ended without further expansion.

Wet-Dry+: Guelph has one of the most advanced municipal waste management systems in Canada. In order to maximize recycling and diversion of waste from landfills, household wastes are divided into three streams: wet, dry, and clear. The wet stream, which must be placed at the curb side in translucent green bags, is composed of compostable materials. The dry stream, which must be placed in translucent blue bags, handles recyclable materials. The clear stream, which uses transparent bags, is for non-compostable and non-recyclable items. The city estimates compliance with the program at 98%. The system prevents about 70% of household waste from going to landfills. In addition to having to sort through their trash, citizens of Guelph must endure the wrath of the sanitation workers who will refuse to dispose of improperly bagged trash.

Wal-Mart: Guelph is noted for its resistance to Wal-Mart's protracted efforts to set up a store in the community. Community activists have actively opposed efforts to the corporation's plans to build one of its megastores in the north end of the city, adjacent to a Jesuit retreat centre. With the election of a new city council in 2003, the city's official plan was amended (to commercial designation from industrial) to accommodate Wal-Mart's location preference by making a zoning change. This amendment is being challenged before the Ontario Municipal Board on various grounds.

Native History: Before the colonization and development of Guelph it 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 main river passing through Guelph; known today as the Speed River.