What Guelph loves about Guelph

May 14, 2024 | Guelph

Our community has spoken.

In early 2024, Destination Marketing Guelph launched a social media campaign asking community members to share what they love about living here. We asked several questions: When friends come to visit, where do you take them? What’s your favourite free event? What’s a ‘secret’ Guelph experience? We realized there was no better way to get a bead on our ever-evolving scene than by asking those who live the experience. 

Dozens of people rose to the challenge, sharing your favourite hangouts, burgers, events and shops. A few themes emerged:

Guelph loves to gather

It would appear that we hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing slogan: Gather Here is indeed a pastime for Guelphites and the many visitors who stop by. From the Art Gallery of Guelph’s Sculpture Park to the popular Hillside Festival and Art on the Street to the Guelph & District Multicultural Festival, celebrating Canada Day and Christmas festivities at Riverside Park, we love to come together to connect over shared experiences. 

“We love @guelphpottersmarket, free PWYC events by @guelphdance and @guelphjazz,” we heard from one person. “The downtown exotic car show is always a great free event to attend,” said another. “Splash or skate at City Hall!” replied one enthusiastic resident.

The great outdoors is, indeed, great here

In comment after comment, our community told us how much you cherish the natural environment in and around Guelph. You like to play tennis or take in a Guelph Royals ball game at Exhibition Park, bring the kids to the accessible playground at Riverside Park, or enjoy one of the many other beautiful local green spaces. You enjoy bringing guests to Guelph’s famed covered bridge or nearby Heffernan Street Footbridge and Gow’s Bridge. You love the trails along the Speed River and Guelph Lake, and kayaking and canoeing there, not to mention take a stroll in University of Guelph’s acclaimed Arboretum where one can easily rinse away life’s stresses amongst the lush greenery and colourful flowers.

While some communities are sacrificing green space for development, Guelph’s thoughtful approach has meant that our urban greenness has grown in the past 20 years. 

The food and drink scene here is second-to-none

While Guelph is no longer a rural agricultural centre, we’re still home to food innovation, be it the circular food economy or the advanced work happening at the University. It’s no surprise, then, that our community has some strong opinions about the best burger in town (Park Eatery, Wimpy’s and Royal Electric really do need to stage a battle!) and where to gather with friends for delicious Italian fare at Buon Gusto, a hint of Mexican at Einstein’s Café, or even just a tasty footlong hot dog at one of Rocky Drive-In’s picnic tables – a Guelph mainstay! The adult crowd likes to raise their spirits at Dixon’s Distillery or Springmill Distillery, or enjoy a local pint at one of the many outstanding microbreweries around town. The people have spoken – and we’ve only grazed the tip of the iceberg. Climbing enthusiasts mentioned Guelph Grotto, hockey fans are hard pressed to miss a Guelph Storm game, we’re known to be found browsing one of Canada’s most successful independent bookstores The Bookshelf or catching a film at their cinema upstairs, or sharpening our creative muscles at Play with Clay or the Children’s Art Factory – there’s no shortage of great Guelph things to do, according to Guelph residents themselves.

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