18 Reasons to Live in Guelph

Moving to a new home can be a very exciting time.

It can mean a fresh start with new surroundings and a chance to create new memories.

While moving itself can be a big task, moving to a new city can be thrilling, adventurous, and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

Many factors come into play when considering a move to a new town.

For example, do you have a young family you want to raise in a quiet, family-friendly community? Are you a young, single individual looking for a place with a vibrant downtown core and great nightlife? Are you looking for a city with a small-town feel but has all the big-city necessities? These are just a few things to consider when deciding on moving to a new city.

By the way, if you answered "yes" to any of those questions above, consider moving to Guelph! Whether you are looking to move your family or are seeking a place to live on your own, the "Royal City" checks off each of these boxes and has much to offer.

In honour of ringing in 2018, we've put together a list of 18 reasons to live in Guelph. Enjoy!


1. Community

One of the first things you will notice when you are in Guelph is the sense of community showered around the city. With a population just north of 130,000, Guelph has that small-town feel to it with big-city amenities. The people are amongst the friendliest you will ever meet and are proud of the city they live in.


2. Lowest Unemployment Rate in Canada

Guelph has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire country. In 2017, the city reached an unemployment rate of just 3.9%, tying it with Victoria, British Columbia for the lowest in the country and Guelph's best since early 2016.


3. One of the safest cities in Canada

Year after year, Guelph is consistently ranked among the safest and most livable cities in the country. For a period of five consecutive years it was crowned as Canada's safest city and as of last year was still in the Top 10. If you are looking for a place to move to where crime is low, Guelph should be on your list. 


4. Vibrant Downtown

Guelph's vibrant downtown core is an attraction to anyone. Whether you are looking for a quiet night out, an upbeat evening, a quick cup of coffee, or great retail shopping, you don't need to look any further than Downtown Guelph. City Hall is also located here and hosts a variety of events for the public throughout the year, including a splash pad in the summer and a skating rink in the winter.


5. Multicultural

A big part of what makes the Guelph community so welcoming is the multicultural factor. You can find just about any type of food from around the world here and many different nationalities as residents. The Multicultural Festival, hosted at Riverside Park, is a yearly hit within the community.


6. Commitment to the environment

Guelph is easily one of the leading cities in perhaps Canada when it comes to being environmentally conscious. Whether it's caring for the city's water, developments or transportation, the city is as environmentally aware as it gets. Bike lanes are constantly being developed throughout the city to promote less automobile use, an extensive waste system has been in place for years, and energy-efficient solutions are always on the minds of leaders.


7. Location

Considering everything that Guelph has to offer, it's truly remarkable that it is still so close to everything. The city is only 25 KM from Kitchener-Waterloo, 100 KM to Toronto, and 120 KM to Niagara Falls. It is also a short drive off of Ontario's busiest highway (401) and accessible through Highways 6 and 7. Whether you are looking for a day or weekend trip, Guelph's convenient location makes it all so simple.


8. First-class education

Supported by 4 school boards and 8 high schools, Guelph boasts two top-end post-secondary education schools in the University of Guelph and Conestoga College. The University of Guelph is one of the most comprehensive universities in Canada and is also home to the Ontario Agricultural College and Ontario Veterinary College. Additionally, Conestoga College has one of its 7 campuses in Ontario located in Guelph.


9. The only Canadian city ranked in the Top Small American Cities of the Future

In a recent study, Guelph was the only Canadian representative on a list of the Top 10 Small American Cities of the Future. The study looked at several factors, including foreign direct investment (ranked 10th), human capital and lifestyle (ranked 4th), and business friendliness (ranked 8th). The study included 209 small cities with a population between 100,000 and 300,000.

If you're looking to move to a city that is moving in the right direction for the future, Guelph is one of the best in Canada.


10. Business Development

Located in the core of what is known as the Innovation Corridor - a stretch between Toronto and the Waterloo Region - Guelph is consistently generating new businesses (locally and nationally) and developing upcoming talent. In fact, in a recent study conducted by the Brookfield Institute, Guelph came in at 7th for Canadian cities with a high concentration of software developers.

Additionally, local small businesses are consistently launching across the city each year. It's difficult to argue that Guelph is one of the best cities to grow your business in.


11. One of the top places in Canada to raise a family

If you're looking for a city to raise your family in, it doesn't get much better in Canada than Guelph.

A 2016 study by Readers Digest found Guelph to be the 3rd best city in Canada to raise a family, trailing only Ottawa, ON/Gatineau, QC and Sherbrooke, QC. The study ranked a total of 42 cities based on several categories that included transit, median age, mom groups, cost of food, daycare, and more.


12. Local festivals

Guelph's seemingly never-ending list of festivals is another great reason why Guelph rocks. Between Hillside, Musicfest, the Multicultural Festival, Ribfest, Jazz Festival and Taste of Guelph, there is no shortage of fun events in town.


13. Arts

You will certainly be exposed to the creativity and laid-back attitude of the Arts community when living in Guelph. Throughout the city you will find examples of art at nearly every corner. From theatres and dance studios to art galleries and monuments, the city is as unique as it gets.

It's truly difficult to walk around Guelph without feeling inspired.


14. Public transportation

Whether you need to get from the West End to the East End or even to Toronto, Guelph's public transportation system is one of the best. It's remarkably easy to navigate and get where you need to go.

The bus system allows for flexible travelling around town, and there is also a Go Train, Via Rail and Greyhound Bus station to make Guelph accessible from just about anywhere.


15. Access to parks

More than 1000 hectares of parks and 70 KM of trails makes Guelph one of the most outdoor-friendly cities around. Whether you're a walker, runner, jogger, cyclist, canoer or kayaker, Guelph has the rivers, lakes, and trails you need to enjoy a day outside.

Guelph Lake, Riverside Park, Speed and Eramosa Rivers, Guelph Junction, Exhibition Park and Eramosa River Park highlight the list of locations to spend an exciting afternoon outside. You can view a list of all Guelph Parks here.


16. History

Founded in 1827 as a settlement by John Galt, Guelph was incorporated as a city in 1879. Much history resides within the city and there are three sites that are on the National Historic Sites of Canada list: Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Old City Hall, and the McCrae House.

There are also several museums across the city that exhibits the history of Guelph, including the Guelph Civic Museum located downtown, which has more than 30,000 artifacts.


17. Nightlife

A popular place for a night out is in Guelph. Whether it's a night of dancing in a club or a more relaxing scene, Guelph offers some great nightlife. Downtown Guelph has many restaurants that turn into a bar/club in the evenings and is a hit thanks to its proximity to the University.

Check out some of the top places to go out in Guelph, per Yelp:


18. Libraries

The Guelph Public Library first opened in 1882 and since then has grown substantially throughout the town. The oldest library in Canada, GPL currently has 6 locations across the city and is committed to "providing lifelong learning opportunities and the freedom to read, learn and discover."



Living in Guelph can quickly become one of the best decisions of your life. With its diverse, vibrant and engaging community, it is a fantastic place to call home.

Whether you're a student, searching for an entry-level job, an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom, or just simply want to live in a place that consistently ranks as one of the safest places in the country, residing in Guelph can be the perfect fit you've been looking for.

If you're considering moving to Guelph or are already in the city and looking for a new place to live, check a list of our apartments for rent!