Cover image by @sshivank_29
The University of Guelph is steeped with both a rich history as well as ground-breaking innovations. In addition to its historic campus and state of the art athletics facilities, the university has developed a strong community on campus and in the surrounding neighbourhood that serves to current and potential students as well as alumni and visitors.
Immersed in History
The University of Guelph’s history dates back to 1874 when the Ontario School of Agriculture was established on a farm provided by the Ontario government. In 1880 it became the Ontario Agricultural College.
Johnston Hall is one of the university’s most recognized buildings and Johnston Green is a popular greenspace for students and alumni alike. Many buildings on the campus are featured on self-serve historic tours, cataloging the university’s vast history.
This neighbourhood also features the McCrae House, birthplace of John McCrae, author of “In Flanders Fields”, which has been transformed into a historic site with beautiful gardens. The house is across from the Eramosa River, Royal City Park and the Royal Recreation Trail.
The campus itself has many popular sculptures like the picturesque Gryphon Statue at the corner of Gordon St and Stone Road, the student-graffitied cannon in front of Raithby House, and the Begging Bear at the Art Gallery of Guelph.
The Art Gallery of Guelph is also home to the Donald Forster Sculpture Park, Canada’s largest outdoor sculpture park, with works by nearly 40 featured artists. The AGG itself is a public gallery featuring innovative and compelling exhibitions featuring artists evolving the cultural landscape.
Some of U of G’s research facilities offer public accessible areas offering unique visitor experiences. The Honey Bee Research Centre is a new facility dedicated to the future of honey bee health focusing on research, education, advocacy and outreach. You pick up your very own beeswax and honey products made by these bees!
The Arboretum acts as a ‘living laboratory’ for many undergraduate students, encompassing 400 acres featuring a wide variety of plant collections, gardens, natural habitats and trail systems. The space is immersive to walk through, as a beautiful escape to natural woodlands, wetlands and meadows.
The Physics Department’s observatory has a stunning telescope for a truly out of this world experience. Depending on the time of year, objects that can be seen include the moon, planets like Venus, Jupiter (and its moons) and Saturn (its rings and moons) in addition to Messier objects and common stars. The department is happy to offer tours for interested members of the community during the spring, supper and fall months. Please contact the department ahead to schedule a tour.
After a day of visiting the university, grab a bite on campus at one of their signature spots. Brass Taps is the popular pub for students and alumni alike for over 45 years. Creelman Hall is a marketplace that likens back to a classic 1930s warehouse with a bright, bustling ambience.
The University is one of many neighbourhoods to explore in Guelph. Enjoy outdoor activities safely, support #GuelphShops, and rediscover the heart of the Royal City as you #ExploreGuelph.
2021 Visit Guelph Guide for more local inspiration.