Things to Do in Guelph
Looking for things to do in Guelph? You’re in luck! The humming city of Guelph, located just 100 kilometres west of Toronto, is the perfect destination for a day trip or a long weekend with the family. History and architecture buffs flock to the area to experience the antique limestone buildings, while art lovers explore the vast selection of museums.
Situated around the beautiful Eramosa River, Guelph is a thriving town with attractions for all ages, including a stunning university campus, nearby nature walks and hikes, an arboretum for tree huggers, countless historical sites, and most importantly, some excellent restaurants to try.
Some travellers mosey toward Guelph on the way from Niagara Falls to Toronto or vice versa, but the city is a travel destination in its own right, and the ideal place to spend a few days walking around and exploring without an itinerary. For those who do like to plan, here are some of Guelph’s must-see locations.
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Food & Drink
It’s nearly impossible to pick the best places to eat in Guelph, because the city’s downtown is chock full of enticing restaurants, bars, and eateries. For those who fancy a drink before a long day touring a new city, go for a midday meal at Buon Gusto in St. George Square, where a wide selection of wines and an upscale Italian menu make it a great pick for brunch or dinner.
Craft beer lovers can take a walk to Baker Street Station for a slew of local craft beers paired with finger-licking bar eats. These places are all delicious, but don’t forget to take a stroll and pop into one of Guelph’s many Thai, Vietnamese, and Italian restaurants peppered throughout the city.
Despite its rich historical status, Guelph is also a destination for lovers of the outdoors. For those who want to learn about nature, the University of Guelph Arboretum offers extensive education on the region’s trees and plantlife.
Notice that the city centers around the Eramosa River, which splits the town north-to-south.
The city has provided outdoor spaces along the river so no matter where you’re exploring, you can take a jaunt to visit the flowing water.
Follow the Royal Recreation Trail for a low-key walk, or drive to the nearby Guelph Lake Conservation Area for more intensive hikes.
Rent a kayak, canoe, or sailboat to explore Guelph Lake on the water or stick to land and enjoy one of the area’s beaches. Those visitors up for a drive around the area should travel to the nearby Rockwood Conservation Area for a stunning view of the Eramosa River, which reflects the limestone cliffs above beautifully on a still day.
Arts & Cultural Experiences
There is so much to see in the historic, robust town of Guelph. Start with taking the little ones on a ride on the Riverside Park Carousel and the accompanying miniature train. Riverside Park proudly provides accessible attractions for children using wheelchairs, making it a space for everyone to use. Walking tours can continue at Downtown’s Basilica of our Lady Immaculate, the stunning limestone structure that overlooks the city, admire one of Guelph’s many antique limestone cottages, and visit the McCrae House, the birthplace of the legendary doctor, veteran, and poet John McCrae. On a rainy day, visit any of Guelph’s many museums. Start by learning about the history of the area at the Guelph Civic Museum, then see it visually at the Art Gallery of Guelph. Both museums traverse the long, fascinating Indigenous and contemporary histories of the city. Fans of music can always find live tunes in Guelph, or can plan to visit the city during one of its several annual music festivals, like the three-day summer Hillside Music Festival.
Last updated: August 4, 2022