Guelph is a city in Southwestern Ontario, situated along the banks of the Speed River less than an hour's drive west of Toronto. It is nicknamed The Royal City, as its name comes from the imperial House of Guelph that once ruled Great Britain. The city is home to the University of Guelph , one of Canada's premier research universities. Guelph is known for its beautiful limestone architecture, vibrant culture and a variety of festivals. It is also considered one of the most liveable cities in Canada, with a low crime rates, a clean environment and a relatively high standard of living. To contact the City of Guelph Tourism Services division , call +1-800-334-4519.
From Highway 401:
- Take exit 295, Highway 6 North, the Hanlon Expressway; for downtown, exit at Wellington St., to Wyndham; for University of Guelph, exit at Stone Road, or College Road to Gordon St.
- Alternately, take exit 299, Brock Rd. (also known as "old Highway 6") north through the village of Aberfoyle, becomes Gordon St at the Guelph city limits. The University of Guelph will be on your right after Stone Rd.; Gordon Street becomes Norfolk St. in downgown Guelph. This route is more direct and more scenic; however, it's slower than taking the Hanlon.
From Highway 6, Hamilton and Niagara, alternatively continue through the village of Morriston; then, either take Highway 401 West to exit 295, or take Brock Rd. north as above.
Two other surface highways run through Guelph: Highway 7, that links Guelph with Kitchener-Waterloo and Stratford in the west and Brampton and the GTA in the east, and Wellington Street/Eramosa Road (formerly Highway 24), which links Guelph with Brantford and Cambridge in the south and Erin and Caledon in the north.
- VIA Rail, 79 Carden St (Corner of Wyndham), toll-free: +1-888-842-7245. Operates trains through Guelph, between Sarnia and Toronto. At Toronto, one can transfer for access from the rest of the VIA system.
- Westbound trains from Toronto take 70–75 minutes to arrive in Guelph, arriving at 12:11PM, 6:55PM, and Sunday–Friday 11:13PM.
- Eastbound trains take about 3 hours from Sarnia or 2 hours from London, arriving in Guelph at 9:38AM, 10:00PM, and Monday–Friday 7:07AM. One can also arrive from Windsor by transferring at London.
- Greyhound operates buses to/from downtown Toronto, 15 times daily.
- GO Transit operates buses to/from Yorkdale and York Mills subway stations in Toronto, Bramalea GO station, Brampton GO station and Georgetown GO station (to the Guelph Bus Terminal) and to/from Square One and Cooksville GO in Mississauga (to Guelph University).
From the airport
- The Red Car Service provides front door service from Guelph and surrounding areas to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Region of Waterloo International Airport, Hamilton International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
While Guelph is starting to experience some urban sprawl, especially in the south of the city, it is still a fairly compact city and traffic is rarely too busy. So, travelling by car is generally a fast option. There is ample parking in the downtown (city-owned lots are on Baker, Macdonell, and Wilson Streets, and there is lots of street parking) that is free on evenings and Sundays and reasonably-priced at other times (the lots charge $1.50 per hour from 8:00AM to 6:00PM Monday–Friday, and a flat rate of $2 on Saturday).
Walking or cycling are also reasonable options for destinations within walking or cycling distance.
Guelph Transit operates buses within the city. The hub of the transit network is St. George's Square in Downtown Guelph. Buses on most routes depart from the Square on the hour and 20 and 40 minutes after the hour Monday to Friday from 5:40AM to 6:20PM, and run on a 30 minute service evenings and weekends, departing from the Square at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. Bus fare is $2.75.
Guelph has 2 main cab companies:
- Canadian Cab (88 Macdonell Street, +1 519-824-3110)
- Red Top Taxi (77 Macdonell Street, +1 519-821-1700)
- Timberframe pedestrian covered bridge. Built in 1992 by 400 Timber Framers Guild volunteers. A 120' pedestrian lattice covered bridge over the Speed River.
- Church of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street. Stands high above the streetscape, overlooking the city. Built of local limestone in Gothic Revival style. Construction began 1877, completed in 1926.
- McCrae House, 108 Water St.. 1:00 PM–5:00 PM daily (closed Saturdays in December–June). This small limestone cottage, the birthplace of John McCrae, author of In Flanders Fields, is now a museum that interprets McCrae's life. A National Historic Site.
- MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, 358 Gordon Street. Public art gallery houses an extensive collection of Canadian Art, including Inuit artists, as well as an outdoor sculpture park.
- Guelph Civic Museum, 6 Dublin Street South. Highlights Guelph's history from pre-settlement to present. Also houses the Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet Growing Up in Guelph Children's Museum.
- The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec St., ☎ +1 519 821-3311. Downtown rep cinema shows slightly more unusual movies than elsewhere and also has a cafe, restaurant, bar (eBar), and bookstore in the same building.
- University of Guelph Arboretum. 165 hectares (408 acres) with 8.2 km of trails.
- Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival. Avant-garde choreography performed by high-calibre dancers.
- Guelph and District Multicultural Festival. Celebrate the city's diversity with performances, food, crafts and more.
- Hillside Music Festival. This 3-day, 5 stage event had an eclectic mix of musical genres from folk to hip-hop, blues to reggae, Celtic to Funk in a refreshingly non-commercial environment.
- Guelph Jazz Festival. Innovative jazz and creative improvised music in a community setting.
- College Royal. The largest university open house of its kind in North America.
- River Run Centre, 35 Woolwich Street. Guelph's premiere performing arts centre in the heart of downtown. Features an exciting line-up of professional performances as well as community arts events.
- Guelph Arts Council - Historical Walking Tours. Trace Guelph's history and view its beautiful architecture with five popular, award-winning tours. Tours run on selected Sundays from April to October. Companion booklets of each tour are available at The Bookshelf for $5.
- Victoria Park East Golf Club, 1096 Victoria Road South. One of the region's finest championship-length golf courses.
- Sleeman Centre, 50 Woolwich Street. Guelph's largest and most modern sports and events arena, featuring seating for 4000, private suites, VIP seating areas, 300 seat full-service sports bar and restaurant.
- Guelph Lake Conservation Area, 7743 Conservation Drive. Camping, hiking, fishing, swimming and sailing are only some of the activities you can take part in at Guelph Lake, part of the Grand River Conservation Authority.
- Guelph Junction Express, toll-free: +1-877-823-9799. Dinner, brunch and sightseeing rail excursions between Guelph and Campbellville
- Dutch Toko, 118 Wyndham Street North. Sells Dutch foods.
- Kama Designs, Kama means bed. They sell sheets, furniture, futons, duvets, lamps, curtains, crates, rugs, vases…almost everything in the store.
- IF Footwear Boutique, 42 Wyndham Street North. Top designer shoes and boots for every foot in every season. Handbags and more as well as footwear.
- Creative Edge, 9 Quebec Street, ☎ +1 519-824-5350. Rustic gifts and furniture, many unique pieces by local artists.
- MEOW!, 10 Carden Street, ☎ +1 519-821-7442. Guelph's funkiest consignment shop, with new and vintage clothes to choose from.
- Wyndham Art Supplies, 125 Wyndham Street. Art supplies, classes for all ages and more.
- Stone Road Mall, 435 Stone Road. Guelph's largest mall, housing over 140 different shops and services and a large food court.
- Guelph Farmers' Market, 2 Gordon Street. Open year round. Local meats, vegetables, dairy products, local and organic foods, unique arts and crafts, and a great sense of community all in one place. Over 180 years old. Open Saturdays 7AM–12noon.
- Simply Wonderful Toys, 10 Paisley Street, ☎ +1 519-824-5682. In the Royal Plaza. Toys for every age.
- ...And Venus Smiled, 55 Wyndham Street North (old Quebec Street Shops, downtown Guelph), ☎ +1 519-821-5846. An award winning consignment shop for women offering recent pre-loved styles and a multitude of accessories, footwear, handbags and jewellery. A dash of Victorian bordello in downtown Guelph!
- Wild Rose Consignment Clothing, 23a Macdonell St (Down the road from the famous Church of Our Lady), ☎ +1 519 763-2233. Monday-Sunday. Woman's Consignment Clothing. Funky to Formal Casual to Career. Readers Choice award winner, Guelph Mercury and Tribune.
- Ground Floor Music, 13 Quebec St. (Quebec St. at Baker), ☎ +1 519-827-1444. An independent retailer of new CDs and DVDs with a great selection, service and knowledge. Emphasis on folk, roots and world music and special order fulfillment.
With Guelph being situated in the heart of Southwestern Ontario's agricultural country, many of the local restaurants and pubs emphasize cooking with local foods in season. Guelph's vibrant multicultural community is represented by several local eateries, making Guelph an excellent spot to sample ethnic foods.
- Artisanale Cafe, 37 Quebec Street, ☎ +1 519-821-3359. Upscale local, seasonal, organic fare with a French twist.
- Bollywood Bistro, 51 Cork Street East. downtown. Excellent South Asian food.
- The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham Street North. Has vegetarian food, beer and coffee.
- The Boathouse Tea Room, 116 Gordon Street. Traditional high tea. Ice cream parlour. Lovely setting next to the Speed River.
The vast majority of Guelph's drinking establishments are located in a compact area in the heart of downtown, meaning that it's really easy to switch venues once you get bored.
- Woolwich Arms & Arrow, 176 Woolwich Street, ☎ +1 519-836-2875. Noon–1AM. Located in a beautiful former Victorian house, this pub emphasises local brews. Cozy atmosphere. Was listed on All About Beer magazine's list of 125 places in the world where you should have a beer before you die.
- The Albion Hotel, 49 Norfolk Street. Located in an 1856 hotel built of limestone, the hotel holds the second-oldest liquor licence in Ontario.
- Frank and Steins
- Jimmy Jazz
- Trappers/Palace/Tabu/The Taphouse
- Molly Bloom's
- Van Gogh's Ear
- Bobby O'Brien's, 90 Macdonnell Street (in downtown), ☎ +1 519-763-0043. Irish pub with wide selection of beer on tap and wonderful kitchen of fantastic eats.
- Ragin Caygeons, 166 Wyndham Street North. A country music bar (although Top 40 is played on Fridays). Inexpensive drinks.
- The Ranch, Woodlawn. This is Guelph's local bar, and is a must-see. It's an authentic country bar located on the north end of town near Guelph's "suburbs." Thursday and Saturday nights are the big nights. No trip to Guelph is complete without spending a night at the Ranch.
- The ALBION HOTEL, 49 Norfolk Street, ☎ +1 519 821-7125. 155 Years of service, The Albion Hotel holds Ontario's second oldest liquor licence. Located at the top of beautiful downtown Guelph, right below the Church of Our Lady.
Guelph offers a wealth of places to stay. From familiar large chain hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts you'll be able to find a comfortable place to hang your hat.
Hotels and Inns
- Best Western Royal Brock, 716 Gordon Street. Located adjacent to the University of Guelph and government offices. Renovated ballroom, meeting rooms, bold new lobby. Guest facilities include Gordon Restaurant, Library Lounge and outdoor swimming pool. Pets welcome.
- Comfort Inn Guelph, 480 Silvercreek Parkway. Free Comfort Sunshine Breakfast, free wireless internet, common room with patio and barbecue. Pets welcome.
- Days Inn Guelph, 785 Gordon Street. Free Continental breakfast. Wheelchair accessible rooms available. Located near the University of Guelph.
- Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre, 50 Stone Road West. Located across the street from the University of Guelph. Deluxe king and luxury suites available. Licensed restaurant with outdoor patio, wheelchair accessible rooms available, conference facilities with wireless, pets welcome.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, 35 Cowan Place. Located in the Hanlon Business Park, just off the 401. Complimentary high-speed internet, free continental breakfast, 24-hour business centre, lounge, meeting space, pool with waterslide, whirlpool and fitness facilities. Wheelchair accessible rooms available.
- Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, Guelph, 725 Imperial Road North. Located in the North end of Guelph near Elora, Fergus, St. Jacobs and Elmira. Attractions packages available for African Lion Safari, Wings of Paradise and more. Romantic getaway packages available as well. Free "On the House" Hot Breakfast, 32" flat panel LCD TV in all guest rooms, banquet/meeting space for 150, business centre, fitness centre, indoor heated saltwater swimming pool, Jacuzzi spa, free high-speed Internet.
- Holiday Inn Express - Hotel & Suites, Guelph, 540 Silvercreek Parkway North. Complimentary Express Start "hot" buffet breakfast. Indoor pool, hot tub, fitness and business centre, free high-speed internet access. Located near Elora, Fergus, St. Jacobs/Elmira. Wheelchair accessible rooms available.
- Holiday Inn Guelph, 601 Scottsdale Drive. Full service hotel, with complimentary high-speed internet and business centre. Indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna and fitness facilities available. Executive floor with king beds, microwaves, minifridges and other amenities. Gazebo's restaurant and lounge. Located near University of Guelph and Stone Road Mall. Over 10,000 square feet of banquet space perfect for hosting special events. Pets welcome.
- The Maples Inn II, 25 Welinton Street West. Fully furnished suites for short or long term needs. Reasonable rates without a lease. All suites have a fully equipped kitchen and 5 piece bathroom. Pets welcome.
- Staybridge Suites Guelph, 11 Corporate Court. Located in the Hanlon Business Park, just off the 401. Extended-stay executive hotel. Fully-equipped kitchens, complimentary hot/cold buffet breakfast, 24-hour business centre, complimentary wired/wireless internet. Movie theatre, complimentary guest laundry, heated indoor pool/fitness, grocery service, golf putting green, barbecue. Wheelchair accessible rooms available. Pets welcome.
- Super 8 Motel Guelph, 281 Woodlawn Road West. Complimentary hot and cold breakfast, wireless high-speed internet, room service, fridge and microwave, queen and king size beds. Whirlpool suites available. Wheelchair accessible rooms available. Pets welcome.
- Travelodge Inn & Suites, 106 Carden Street. Located downtown. Compliemtnary deluxe continental breakfast. Apartment-style units for long-term rentals. Onsite meeting facilities. Free downtown parking.
Bed and Breakfasts
- Norfolk Upscale Accommodations—102 Eramosa Road, 519-767-1095. Norfolk Guest House offers a personal alternative to a hotel in downtown Guelph .
- At Wakefield House Bed & Breakfast, 11 Graham Street, ☎ +1 519-822-1479. Conveniently situated near the University of Guelph and historic downtown. A unique, affordable alternative to hotel lodging. Beautifully appointed rooms and scrumptious breakfasts.
- London House Bed & Breakfast, 80 London Road West, ☎ +1 519-824-6874, toll-free: +1-877-836-6874. Beautifully renovated heritage home in a historic neighbourhood with views overlooking Exhibition Park. Bountiful breakfast with many wholesome specialties, including handmade breads and house preserves.
- Lyon's Den Bed & Breakfast, 18 University Avenue East, ☎ +1 519-821-2556. Luxury and Comfort with a view. Across the street from the University of Guelph, backing onto the Cutten Club Golf Course. Air conditioned, wireless internet, parking, TV.
- Willow Manor, ☎ +1 519-763-3574, toll-free: +1-866-763-3574. —408 Willow Road. Award winning 1851 stone manor on 2.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, with outdoor swimming pool. Delicious breakfast served daily with locally produced foods and scones baked daily.
- Guelph Lake Conservation Area, 7743 Conservation Road, ☎ +1 519-824-5061, toll-free: +1-800-ONT-CAMP (668-2267). 4000 acre park with camping, hiking and other activities. Five kilometre long lake is great for fishing, swimming and sailing.
Guelph Lake rents canoes in the summer. There is also canoe and kayak rental at the Speed River, next to the aforementioned Boathouse. The beautiful Elora Gorge is nearby, as is the Rockwood Conservation Area. There are spectacular trails through the city, and a free summer series of concerts downtown.
The world-famous Jazz Festival takes place the first week of September.
|Routes through Guelph|
|Sarnia ← Kitchener ←||W E||→ Georgetown → Toronto|
|London ← Cambridge ←||W E||→ Milton → Toronto|
|Owen Sound ← Fergus ←||N S||→ Waterdown → Hamilton|
|Sarnia ← Kitchener ←||W E||→ Acton → Markham|
|END ← Kitchener ←||W E||→ Acton → Toronto|