You’ve definitely heard how important neighbourhoods are in real estate — and that’s because it’s true! Although “best Guelph neighbourhoods” is subjective, its important to consider a number factors. Especially if you’re from out of town and relying on neighbourhood realtor maps to guide you.
Realtor maps are ones that were designed by the local real estate board and provide neighbourhood names and boundaries. These maps are what most people use to identify neighbourhood names. Sometimes you’ll see other neighbourhood names given, but for simplicity and consistency we’ll use the names from the realtor maps.
Neighbourhood specifics are a crucial factor when it comes to the value of your home. Not only does what part of town you are in matter, but what is physically near you can actually help or hinder your property value. We put together a list of the most important proximity factors that will increase as well as decrease your home value.
Best Guelph neighbourhoods: schools, shopping, entertainment and outdoors
Best Guelph neighbourhood schools
Homebuyers who have children are willing to pay more to live in a home that is closer to schools, especially ones that have a good reputation and high academic scores. The reality is that most schools in Guelph would be considered “good schools”. Certain classes and/or teachers could gain a reputation, but this is isolated.
If you are considering a specific area of town, you can line up the area from our Guelph neighbourhoods map with our Brokerage list to find out what the public (Upper Grand District School Board) and catholic (Wellington County Separate School Board) schools are in that area.
Alternatively if you’re looking for the schools related to a specific house, the FindMySchool website is always helpful. Just put in your address and school grade and it tells you your local school.
In Guelph, there are a total of six high schools (3 catholic and 3 public), including those that participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, GCVI and Bishop MacDonell.
If your child is in french immersion, there are a number of FI elementary schools in Guelph (all part of the public board). The main FI high school is John F Ross.
The Old University area in Guelph also has a higher than average pricepoint. It’s home to both students as well as staff. On Realtor Maps, The location of Old University is situated between downtown and the University which makes it ideal for a wide variety of factors.
Best Guelph Neighbourhoods for Entertainment
In most cases, homes that are within walking distance or a short drive from entertainment opportunities like a movie theatre, golf courses, and parks usually sell for more money than homes farther away.
Guelph has a number of areas that are hubs of entertainment, mainly located in three areas identified by their realtor maps name: Downtown, Kortright West (area around Stone Road Mall) and Clairfields (Clair/ Gordon). If you were to ask most Guelphites where they get their entertainment, it’s likely in one of these 3 areas!
Of course, Guelph isn’t that big. So if you don’t live in the area, you can easily drive there within 15 minutes in most cases.
As in most cities, many of the independent cafes in Guelph and Guelph restaurants are downtown. Make sure to check out some of our favourites including The Bookshelf (book store and cinema), The Wooly Pub, Blooms and Flora, Rug n Weave and the Red Brick Cafe to name just a few. Parking in downtown Guelph can be a challenge at times. If you can’t find free parking, a last resort is parking in the lot next to City Hall (for a fee).
In the downtown core you’re likely to find many of the older homes in Guelph.
Surrounding the downtown core are neighbourhoods such as Exhibition Park (to the north), St Georges Park (to the east), The Ward (South East), Old University (south) and SunnyAcres/ Junction (West).
Stone Rd Mall
Built in the late 1970’s in what then considered “South Guelph”, Stone Rd Mall is still referred to today as “the mall”. Over times there have been other malls (Willow West, the Eaton Centre downtown), but Stone Rd Mall has remained a constant.
You’ll find most of the typical mall stores here, with anchor stores being Marks Work Warehouse or SportChek. Grocery stores, chain restaurants, coffee shops and big box stores are all here. Most of the day to day amenities you need are located within a 0.5km radius of Stone Rd Mall.
The area that the Mall is located in is considered to be Kortright West. Because the University of Guelph and Stone Rd Mall are so close to each other, there is a lot of student housing in the area. Kortright West is very popular and you can find semis, townhomes and many detached homes in the area.
What was once “the Pergola” (a classic restaurant, driving range, batting cages, mini golf and arcade), is now “Pergola Commons”. The intersection of Clair/ Gordon used to be on city limits just 20 years ago.
If you envision a suburban big box development, this is what you’re going to find at Clair/ Gordon. Movie theatres, chain restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, LCBO and much more. This area has exploded in the past 20 years and Guelph did a great job of building up Pergola Commons.
The neighbourhoods here are especially good for those who wish to commute. With Clair/ Gordon being at the southern tip of Guelph, there’s no closer highway access. This area is Clairfields. Adjacent areas to Clairfields would be Kortright East or Pineridge/ Westminster Woods. Buyers consider these the best Guelph neighbourhoods for a wide variety of reasons.
Homes with a close proximity to grocery and shopping stores usually sell for more. Being close to a popular grocery store or a shopping mall has shown to have 5% premium according to this article.
Best Guelph neighbourhoods for Outdoor Recreation
Having great scenery and access to outdoor recreation like the lakes, rivers, and parks usually increase a home’s value. Things like cityscapes or golf courses tend to increase value, evening help sell your home faster.
In Guelph neighbourhoods, we see valuable views across the city’s many parks and green spaces. and also the ever-popular city views from new Downtown Guelph condos, such as the MetalWorks. Guelph is lucky to have many trails that run through a variety of neighbourhoods.
Our favourites for dog walks or family walks are the trails that lead through Riverside Park and eventually cross over to the GORBA trails north of Victoria Rd. In the other directions, these same trails go right through downtown Guelph. They’re mostly paved for use by pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers.
Preservation Park in the realtor maps neighbourhood of Pineridge/ Westminster area of Guelph offers a huge forested area that is very popular for outdoor dog walks and forest trails.
Tennis courts are in a number of areas including Exhibition Park and St Georges Park.
There is an outdoor skate park near the intersection of Edinburgh and Wellington.
In the summer, you can rent canoes and kayaks at the Boathouse on the southern part of downtown by Royal City Park. Don’t forget to buy an ice cream!
There are two outdoor off leash dog parks in Guelph, along with another group of designated outdoor off leash areas.
For more information, visit the City of Guelph website
Best Guelph neighbourhoods for industry, lower crime and families
Neighbourhoods that are typically next to industrial areas are less desirable due to noise and pollution. However, Guelph also relies on these same industries as major employers. Companies such as Linamar, Hitachi, Cargill and more help keep Guelph unemployment levels as some of the lowest in Canada.
The northwest corner of Guelph (realtor maps identify as West Acres/ Willow West) has a large industrial park with many factories and warehouses. If you are considering employment in this sector, it’s worth considering moving to the Willow West/ West Acres or Onward Willow neighbourhoods for this reason.
There are also parts of west Guelph, along the Hanlon Expressway that are higher density industrial. The Hanlon Expressway is Guelph’s largest (and only) expressway. Some would argue it’s not really an expressway because it has traffic lights at numerous intersections. Some good areas to consider off the Hanlon would be Dovercliffe and Kortright Hills. Kortright Hills is expensive though- often ranking as the most expensive area of Guelph on average price.
Best Guelph Neighbourhoods for Quieter and Busier Areas
Proximity to railroad tracks, highways, and busy intersections is convenient for when you need to leave. However, it can be pretty noisy when you are at home, which could drop the value of your home.
Those who live in the downtown area of the Junction know what this is all about. In fact, the area known as the Junction (much like Toronto’s Junction) because of all the rail lines. For many though, this hustle and bustle is the charm of living in the “old town” part of Guelph.
A note here: “The Junction” is a sub area of Onward Willow on realtor maps. However, when you tell people you live in the Junction, most people consider it to be downtown. The same goes with The Junctions adjacent area of Sunny Acres. Sunny Acres is the neighbourhood around Sunny Acres Park, but on realtor maps it’s identified as Downtown.
Quieter neighbourhoods are basically most areas of Guelph outside of the downtown core and not on a major road. If you are considering a house on a major road, consider the resale value when you sell. It will always be a consideration for some buyers.
Within Guelph, crime data shows that realtor maps areas such as Onward Willow and Brant Ave tend to have higher crime rates. But you should take this with a grain of salt: this doesn’t mean they’re not safe. In fact, areas like Onward Willow offer diversity that no other areas offer. Did you know Onward Willow has residents that speak over 41 different languages?
Areas and neighbourhoods with higher crime rates tend to decrease home values. This article explores some of the reasons and consequences. However, it’s less likely that this is applicable in Guelph. Instead, in areas that are lower income and traditionally have higher crime offer a wider variety of home styles. These could includes apartments, condos, townhouses and detached homes for sale at varying price points.
Cemeteries & Guelph Funeral Homes
Believe in ghosts? The thought of living near a cemetery or Guelph funeral home is a bit eerie. According to Realtor.ca, homes with a cemetery close by could be priced 12% less than homes in other nearby areas.
Thankfully, Guelph doesn’t have funeral homes and cemeteries that impact neighbourhoods in a negative way. The major Woodlawn cemetery is mostly surrounded by commercial land, and most funeral homes are the same.
You may think that your noisy neighbour is just an annoyance, but bad neighbouring properties could be driving your home’s value down. In fact, it could be as much as 5-10% according to this article.
Although you can get an idea of neighbouring properties that you are considering purchasing, it’s impossible to know your neighbours during the process. It’s also impossible to know future use. It’s out of your control if the family home next door to you is going to be sold to an investor who rents to students.
We’re here to help!
Considering Guelph houses for sale and can’t decide on a neighbourhood that would be right for you? Just get in touch with us and we’ll help you out! Beth and Ryan Waller are Guelph Real estate agents who know the city well.