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The City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
What does Guelph look like?
Picture Gallery 1


Carden Street Wyndham Street St. George's Square

Carden Street, one of Guelph's earliest thoroughfares, was made in 1828 and named after Sir Robert Carden, a Director in the Canada Company. Through much of Guelph's history, Carden Street was a thriving area of commerce for the City of Guelph. Today, Carden Street still hosts a number of eclectic shops and restaurants as seen in this photograph of the street taken in April 2002.

Wyndham Street is another early Guelph street and, like Carden Street, was laid in 1828.  This street is named after George Francis Wyndham, an English Earl. The south end of the street, or what is now known as Lower Wyndham, was known as Huskisson Street until its name was changed in 1956.  Huskisson Street was named after William Huskisson, Colonial Secretary.

St. George's Square remains a central hub of the City of Guelph. Public transportation, for instance, still congregates in the Square as it has done since 1895 when George Sleeman first introduced electric streetcars to the Royal City.  Interestingly, this meeting of buses is an issue that is receiving much attention today and it may well be that the Square will soon fade as the City's main transportation hub.  Since the building of large malls, such as the Stone Road Mall in the 1970s, much commercial activity has gravitated to the City's edges.

The Courthouse Guelph General Hospital Church of Our Lady

The Courthouse. The Wellington County Courthouse located at 74 Woolwich Street is the oldest surviving public stone building in Wellington County and was built between 1841 and 1843.  With later additions, particularly the addition of offices in 1980-1981, this building is a curious hybrid, integrating new space with the older section of the building. The successful blending of the architecturally old and new even won the designers a Guelph Arts Council Bronze Plaque Heritage Award. The Courthouse is thought to have been designed by Thomas Young and is done in the Scottish castellated style.

Guelph General Hospital. Since registering its first patient, Harriet Hiscock for dysentery in August 1875, the Guelph General Hospital has been offering health care services to Guelphites for the past 127 years.  After the construction of St. Joseph's Hospital in 1861, several Guelph businessmen began planning for the construction of a non-denominational hospital. By Act of Parliament, March 19, 1861, the hospital corporation was established but it was not until 1873, when Dr. William Clarke offered the land on Delhi Street for a price of $1000 that work on the hospital began in earnest. Initially projected to be built for under $8000, the hospital exceeded its budget and was finally built at a cost of $9871.49.  By the end of its first year of operation, the hospital had admitted 44 patients. Last year, Guelph General admitted more than 8,800 in-patients.

Church of Our Lady.

"On this hill would one day rise a church to rival St. Peter's in Rome"

So John Galt wrote in the deed transferring the land on which the Church of Our Lady would one day stand. As he noted in his autobiography, "a beautiful central hill was reserved for the Catholics, in compliment to my friend, Bishop MacDonnell, for his advice in the formation of the [Canada] company." Arguably the City of Guelph's most recognizable building, the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception towers over Guelph and is visible from miles around. After an aborted attempt to begin construction of the Church in the middle of the 1860's, its construction began in earnest in 1874 with the selection of the architect Joseph Connelly. The Church was completed in full in 1926 with the addition of its two towers. In 1958 a new entrance from MacDonnell Street was constructed but aside from this, the exterior appearance of the Church has changed very little since 1926.

City Hall Guelph Public Library University of Guelph
City Hall, Designed by William Thomas in 19th century Renaissance Revival style, the cornerstone for Guelph's City Hall was laid in September, 1856 and the building was completed the following year.  In June 1978, the exterior of City Hall and the Annex behind it was designated historically significant by the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC). Guelph Public Library. The present main branch of the Guelph Public Library was completed in 1965, replacing the Carnegie Library building that had stood on the same spot since 1905. The Library is currently working on the building of a new main branch but it is still early in the process. Major decisions such as the site selection and the size of the new building are presently being carefully considered. University of Guelph. The University of Guelph is perhaps Guelph's best known symbol outside of the City.  Established as a university proper in 1964, the U of G has a much longer history, dating back to the inception of the Ontario Agricultural College in 1874. Today, the University consists of six colleges and boasts almost 17,000 full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. The University has a national profile and consistently rates high in several categories of the annual review of Canadian colleges and universities published by MacLean's magazine.

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