Move to Canada's Royal City - Guelph

Dreaming of a vibrant new life where urban convenience meets captivating natural beauty? Look no further than Guelph, Ontario! Nicknamed "The Royal City," Guelph offers a unique blend of rich history, cutting-edge innovation, and a thriving community spirit.

Guelph has something special for everyone, whether you're seeking exciting career opportunities, a safe and welcoming environment, or endless outdoor adventures. Let’s explore the city's hidden gems and diverse offerings, and look into the exciting prospect of making Guelph your new Canadian home.

Introducing Guelph - The Royal City

Introducing Guelph | Move to Canada's Royal City - Guelph

Imagine rolling green hills cradling a vibrant city, kissed by the meandering Speed River. This is Guelph, proudly wearing the crown of "The Royal City" in southern Ontario.

Guelph is set on treaty land with a profound Indigenous history. Archaeological findings suggest that Indigenous Peoples inhabited the area now recognized as Guelph as early as 11,000 years ago. The Attawandaron, also known as the Neutral peoples, thrived here until their decline in the 15th century, engaging in farming, hunting, and other activities. In 1690, the Mississauga peoples arrived in the region. The land was later acquired from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples by the British in 1784. This land transfer, covered by Upper Canada Treaty No. 3 in 1792, holds historical significance.

In 1827 when Scottish novelist John Galt envisioned a utopian community, he named it after the British Royal Family, forever linking Guelph's destiny to a noble heritage.


The latest Statistics Canada Census data shows that Guelph has a population of around 144,355 residents. This means you'll step into a friendly and close-knit environment when you move here. You can expect a well-balanced mix with a growing young professional and family demographic, creating a vibrant atmosphere. The city is quite the melting pot, with over 130 ethnicities, fostering inclusivity and appreciation for different cultures.

Where History Comes Alive

Step back in time at the Guelph Civic Museum, exploring exhibits that unveil the city's fascinating journey. Stroll down Wyndham Street, lined with charming Victorian architecture, and feel the whispers of the past. Even the University of Guelph, established in 1874, carries a legacy of academic excellence, adding another layer to the city's rich tapestry. The city thrives on a harmonious blend of past and present. Heritage buildings like the stunning Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate and the iconic McCrae House whisper tales of bygone eras. Meanwhile, sleek modern structures seamlessly blend in, showcasing a city embracing innovation.

While it has its historical charm, Guelph pulsates with modern energy. A thriving downtown buzzes with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit of its residents. Cutting-edge research happens at the university, fueling innovation in sectors like agriculture and technology.

Location and Accessibility

Guelph's strategic location in Southwestern Ontario opens doors to a wealth of experiences within the province. With its proximity to major cities, such as Toronto, just a 75-minute drive or train ride away, Guelph provides:

  • Easy access to Canada's largest city
  • Offering world-class attractions
  • Cultural events
  • Diverse career opportunities

When you move to Canada and settle in Guelph, you'll be able to enjoy weekend getaways to explore museums, theaters, and vibrant nightlife, all within comfortable reach. Additionally, a mere 30-minute drive brings you to the heart of Canada's technology hub, Kitchener-Waterloo, where you can immerse yourself in the innovation scene, attend industry events, or network with professionals in cutting-edge fields.

Guelph's strategic position is further enhanced by its highway connections, with Highway 401, a major east-west artery, running directly through the city. This allows for seamless travel to destinations like London, Windsor, and Ottawa. You can look forward to wandering across diverse regions, historical sites, or even weekend road trips within Ontario with ease.

Traveling north on Highway 6 leads to cottage country and the stunning scenery of Muskoka Lakes, offering opportunities for weekend escapes to nature, water sports, or simply unwinding in Ontario's wilderness.

Air Travel

For air travel, the Kitchener-Waterloo International Airport, located just 20 minutes away, provides various domestic and international connections, allowing convenient exploration of other Canadian cities or destinations beyond the border without lengthy travel times.

Public Transport

Guelph offers excellent public transportation options, including GO Transit, a regional rail service connecting the city to Toronto and other major cities, providing a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to driving. Additionally, Guelph Transit operates an efficient bus system covering all major areas of the city, making it easy to get around locally without a car. With its strategic location and excellent accessibility options, Guelph offers unparalleled convenience for residents and visitors alike.

Living in Guelph

Living in Guelph | Move to Canada's Royal City - Guelph

Guelph isn't just a place to live; it's an invitation to immerse yourself in a multitude of experiences. Whether you're a history buff, an art aficionado, a foodie with a discerning palate, or an adventurer seeking adrenaline rushes, the city has something to ignite your passions.

For the History Buff

Journey into the past at the stunning Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, marvel at the Victorian architecture of the Dominion Bank building, or wander through the exhibits at the Guelph Civic Museum, uncovering the city's rich past. Unearth hidden gems at the Sleeman Brewery, Canada's oldest independent brewery, or explore the McCrae House, the former home of famed war poet John McCrae.

For the Art Enthusiast

Immerse yourself in the city's renowned art scene with galleries showcasing local and international talents. Catch a thought-provoking play at the River Run Centre, or lose yourself in the beauty of sculptures at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. Fuel your creativity at vibrant art studios, participate in workshops, or attend outdoor art festivals that transform the city into a living canvas.

For the Foodie

When settling in Guelph, you'll enjoy a culinary adventure from award-winning farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes serving international flavors. Indulge in fresh, local produce at the vibrant Saturday Farmers Market, or discover hidden gems tucked away in charming neighborhoods. Savor the craft beer scene at Guelph's many microbreweries, each with unique offerings and a lively atmosphere. Take a brewery tour, sample local favorites, and raise a glass to the city's vibrant spirit.

For the Nature Lover

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the sprawling trails of the Royal Botanical Gardens, home to stunning floral displays and diverse ecosystems. Canoe down the scenic Speed River, bike along the Grand River Trail or soak up the tranquility of the many parks throughout the city. Seek thrills at the nearby Puslinch Ski Club, or challenge yourself at the rock climbing facilities. In winter, embrace the snow with ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing adventures.

Beyond these specific interests, Guelph offers a vibrant nightlife with live music venues, comedy clubs, and trendy bars catering to diverse tastes. The city also hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, from cultural celebrations to art exhibitions and outdoor concerts, ensuring there's always something to discover and enjoy.

Reasons to Move to Guelph

Guelph isn't just a pretty face (although it is charming!). This vibrant city offers a compelling proposition for anyone seeking a fulfilling life in Canada. Here's why:

Thriving Economy With Plenty of Job Opportunities

Forget the rat race of major cities. Guelph boasts a stable and diverse economy, attracting top companies and fostering entrepreneurship. You'll find ample job opportunities across various industries, from established tech giants to innovative startups. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, Guelph offers a platform to launch or advance your career.

Top-Ranked Education

Looking for exceptional education for yourself or your family? Guelph has you covered. Home to the prestigious University of Guelph, consistently ranked among Canada's best, the city also boasts excellent public and private schools. Access cutting-edge research facilities, renowned professors, and diverse programs that equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the global marketplace.

Safe and Welcoming Community

Safety is paramount, and Guelph delivers in this area. Consistently ranked among the safest cities in Canada, it fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Enjoy peace of mind knowing your family thrives in a community that champions respect, diversity, and belonging. Learn more about safety levels in Canada.

Affordable Cost of Living

Tired of skyrocketing rents and expenses? Guelph offers a welcome respite. Compared to major cities, the cost of living is significantly lower, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals and families. Enjoy a higher quality of life without breaking the bank. You can afford a comfortable home, delicious food, and exciting experiences without compromising your financial well-being.

A Beautiful Setting

Guelph is an urban oasis cradled by nature's beauty. Explore the sprawling Royal Botanical Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting diverse ecosystems and breathtaking floral displays. Lace up your hiking boots and conquer the Eramosa River Conservation Area trails or the Grand River Marshes, teeming with wildlife and scenic vistas. Kayak down the tranquil Speed River or unwind in the lush green spaces scattered throughout the city. Whether you're an avid adventurer or a nature enthusiast seeking serenity, Guelph's natural beauty provides endless opportunities to reconnect with the outdoors.

A Close-Knit Community

Guelph isn't just a place to live; it's a place to belong. The city fosters a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a strong sense of community that makes newcomers feel instantly at home. Engage with friendly neighbors, participate in vibrant community events like the Hillside Festival or the Downtown Guelph Farmer's Market, or join local clubs and organizations that align with your interests. Guelph's supportive and inclusive environment ensures you'll never feel alone, fostering a sense of belonging and connection that enriches your life.

Making the Move to Guelph

Immigrate to Guelph - Move to Canada's Royal City - Guelph

Excited about the possibilities Guelph offers? Turn your dream into reality by navigating the Canadian immigration landscape. Two key programs can open doors to making this city your new home: Express Entry and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Express Entry

The Express Entry System is Canada's primary federal immigration system, which offers a merit-based pathway to Canadian permanent residency. You can apply to three Express Entry programs, namely:

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which targets individuals with skilled work experience in occupations classified under Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), which caters to individuals with skilled trades experience in specific high-demand NOC occupations Requires at least two years of continuous full-time or equivalent work experience in a
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which is geared towards individuals with Canadian work experience in skilled occupations.

Your eligibility for Express Entry to Canada depends on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score calculated based on age, education, work experience, language skills, and adaptability. With a high CRS score, you enter the Express Entry pool, where your profile is visible to provinces seeking skilled immigrants. Learn how to increase your CRS Score.

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)

As Guelph falls within Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP) is crucial in bringing newcomers to the region. This provincial program nominates qualified candidates for permanent residence who align with Ontario's economic needs and labor market demands. OINP offers various streams tailored to specific criteria. Options include:

  • The Human Capital Priorities Stream targets skilled workers with experience in high-demand occupations.
  • The Skilled Trades Stream prioritizes foreign workers with Ontario experience in eligible skilled trades.
  • The French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream focuses on French-speaking workers with English language proficiency.


Will I Have Access to Healthcare in Guelph When I Become a Canadian Permanent Resident?

Yes. Once you gain Canadian Permanent Residency, you can access Ontario's Health Care Plan (OHIP). The healthcare plan applies to all residents of Ontario who possess an Ontario Health Card. So, if you have successfully applied for your Ontario Health Card, you will be eligible for the OHIP.

What is Minimum CRS Score for the OINP?

The minimum requirement for OINP is usually around 400 CRS points. However, over the last year, it has gone as low as 350 and as high as 489.

It is important to stay updated when it comes to score fluctuations.