Guelph, also known as “The Royal City”, is located in Southwestern Ontario and covers an area of roughly 87 sq. kilometres. The city has around 120,000 people, and is situated 100km west of Toronto.
Guelph is known for its high standard of living, cleanliness, and low unemployment rates, and has been ranked as one of the best places to live in Canada.
The city also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, which contributes to its glowing reputation as a very desirable city to live in and raise a family.
The climate is similar to other cities in Ontario, comprising of warm, humid summers and cold winters. Guelph falls within the Köppen climate classification Dfb zone and sees lows of around -11°C in winter, and mid-20s in the summer.
High levels of rainfall and snow is very common, and the city is generally cooler than regions situated around the Great Lakes shorelines.
The city’s diverse economy contributes to its low unemployment rates, with the manufacturing industry accounting for a large proportion of jobs, followed by educational services.
Guelph also enjoys a strong cultural identity, and around a third of the population is made up of families with young children.
Guelph has a number of natural attractions, sports teams, arts facilities and festivals, and is home to the University of Guelph, which is celebrated for its veterinary and horticultural programs.
Nickname(s): "The Royal City"
Urban: 78.39 km2
Land: 86.72 km2
Metro: 378.45 km2
The city is situated along the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, and there are a number of creeks, rivers, densely populated forests, and trails around the area. The population is split into a number of ethnic origins, primarily English (32%), Canadian (32%), Scottish (24%) and Irish (21%). Around 74% of Guelph’s population are Christian, and there’s an even split between Protestant and Roman Catholic. Guelph has a number of attractions, including historic sites such as museums and heritage buildings, nature sites and parks located by the rivers, annual festivals such as Guelph Pride Week and Festival Italiano, arts facilities, and a number of sports teams. Guelph also has a thriving music industry – particularly indie rock music – and is home to the popular Hillside Festival.
Guelph boasts urban living with a “small town” vibe, and a wide range of properties can be found in the different neighbourhoods. The city’s neighbourhoods each have their own appeal, many with heritage homes, good schools, and affordable real estate.
Within close proximity to restaurants, bars, and shops, the Downtown area is desirable for all demographics. Convenience is a huge factor in Downtown, as everything is within walking distance and Guelph has a great transport system which runs through the city. Downtown is also known for its Victorian and 19th century homes.
Located in the northwest corner of Guelph, the West End includes neighbourhoods such as Willow West, Waterloo West and West Acres. The real estate is a mix of condos and apartments, as well as older detached homes. The area has four elementary schools and the housing is an affordable alternative to areas such as Westminster Woods.
Comprising some of Guelph’s newer communities, South End Guelph offers a mix of mainly townhouses and single-detached homes. Westminster Woods is one of the area’s most desirable neighbourhoods due to its accessibility to the 401 for commuters, but housing prices are generally higher, averaging around $450,000. Westminster Woods also has some of the best public elementary schools in Guelph.
Located within walking distance of the University, Kortright East boasts some of the most expensive homes in the city. Populated largely by retirees rather than students, the area has a mix of detached homes and bungalows, many of which are over 30 years old.
Situated south of the University, Kortright West has a large student population and is great for those looking to invest in a rental property. The neighbourhood is more affordable than its neighbouring areas, and it has some of the best schools in the whole of Guelph.
With a large student community, the Guelph University neighbourhood is located in close proximity to the University and Downtown, and is a hot spot for rental property investors. However, there is also a large number of residents who occupy charming homes, and many young families move here to get access to École John McCrae, the third best school in Guelph.
With a mix of young professionals and families inhabiting the area, St. Georges & The Ward is an up-and-coming area of Guelph due to its affordable housing options and close proximity to Downtown. Some parts are considered to be ‘grittier’ than others, however the area is growing in popularity with huge potential for growth.
North Guelph comprises a mix of neighborhoods. The General Hospital Area has older homes but is on the grittier side, Riverside Park is slightly better-kept with small bungalows and young homeowners, and Victoria North is growing in popularity with newer developments and a mix of semis and detached homes.
The real estate market in Quebec is varied and tailor-made to fit any buyer’s needs. There are historic homes, apartments, modern condos and
suburban houses. The housing market for new home sales in metropolitan Quebec is predicted to slow down in the coming years. The housing starts
will fall to 3,550 in 2016 and the drop will continue in 2017 coming in at 3,125.
The slowdown is primarily attributed to the increased number of existing properties put up for sale and the ample supply of unsold new condominiums and the slowing down of the conventional rental market. There are signs of growth in the existing house market. This market will increase by 4 percent in 2016 and another 3 percent in 2017. This translates to 7000 units being sold in 2016 and 7200 units in 2017. Factors contributing to this increase are the solid job market, lower interest rates and the wider choice of homes for sale. The market will favor buyers as the average prices of homes will slightly increase. The rental market is looking at a slowdown with the significant increase in the inventory coupled with a diminished demand. The rental market overall will slow down over the next year or two.
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The following table, based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA’s) National MLS® Report for April 2016 (the latest information available), demonstrates how homes in LSTAR’s jurisdiction continue to maintain their affordability compared to other major Quebec and Canadian centres.
The University of Quebec is headquartered in Quebec City. The university system has 10 universities in the province of Quebec. The university coordinates 300 programs for 87,000 students. The university system was founded by the government. The universities have since gone public. Laval University is located in the western end of the city in the borough of Sainte–Foy. Quebec has many CEGEP in its city limits. These universities are publicly funded pre-college universities. They are like the American community colleges or junior colleges. The big difference is these CEGEP’S offer Diplomas of College studies. They offer 2 year programs and upon graduation from these programs the students will receive these diplomas. The Quebec educational system requires these diplomas before students may enter a proper university program. If the student is a mature student of 21 years old then they can enter the universities without these diplomas.
Manufacturing accounts for 10% of the jobs in Quebec. Mainstays of their economy include pulp and paper products, processed food,
metal/wood products, chemicals, electronics, electrical products and printed products. Their economy has a little bit of everything to
keep its wheels rolling. If that wasn’t enough they even host the headquarters for many prominent companies. The fashion giant-La Maison
Simons, engineering firms-BPR and Roche Ltd, Consulting Group, investment fund sector-Cominar, Industrial Alliance, La Capitale, Promutuel,
SSQ Financial Group, and Union Canadienne. These are just a few of the names that are solid components in the city’s economy.
The forecast for 2016 promises that the economy will grow a healthy 1.9 percent. This is a positive outlook for residents of Quebec. Housing construction will pick up in the near future in coordination with new interest in the resale housing market. Also contributing to the upswing is the prospect for increased external export opportunities. Generally, economic forecasts are looking for the economy to rebound and show some solid growth. Quebec’s real merchandise exports increased by a solid 6.6 percent helping to keep the city’s economy strong in that sector.