This is St. Patrick’s Ward
Arguably Guelph’s original neighbourhood, 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, a co-mingling of eras and people and traces of a bygone time blended with the contemporary. 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 to hold large manufacturing facilities that were surrounded by modest, working class homes. The Ward’s manufacturing sector is nearly gone now, but the factories and homes still coexist, making for a one-of-a-kind neighbourhood in Guelph.
It’s rumoured that 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.
In the first half of the 20th century, 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 from Biltmore and infill development to maximize land value. We expect this area to outpace city growth in the coming years.