St Patricks Ward (known by locals simply as “the Ward”) has a very rich history in Guelph. Just east of Guelph’s downtown the Ward has a storied history. It has two rivers running through it, which is why sometimes you’ll find it re-branded as “Two Rivers”.
Perhaps its most unique feature is one dating back to its earliest days. When neighbourhoods were designed for manufacturing facilities that were surrounded by modest, working class homes. The Ward’s manufacturing sector is nearly gone now, but factories and homes still coexist, making for a one-of-a-kind neighbourhood in Guelph.
Many years ago companies used to parcel out free land near their factories to give to potential management as an incentive to work for them. This could explain some of the bizarrely shaped lots in the Ward.
The Ward was the immigrant settlement neighbourhood in the city, with newcomers from Europe finding homes and jobs there. Peasant farmers and labourers from Italy made up a large part of that demographic.
These days some gentrification is happening in the area with massive developments such as the MetalWorks, upscale townhomes build on the old Biltmore lands and other infill developments to maximize land value. Although it’s already started, we expect this area to outpace city growth in the coming years.