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GUELPH (Ontario)

CITY BETWEEN TWO RIVERS

Known as The Royal City, Guelph is consistently rated as one of the country's best places to live in. It has very low crime rates as well as low unemployment rates. The city has thrived through an Economic Development Strategy, which focuses on issues such as life sciences, biotechnology and environmental management. The leading sectors that keep this city prosperous include manufacturing (mainly of fabricated metal products) and educational services. As one of the fastest growing cites in the country, Guelph has devoted its time to enhancement of technology.

HOW IT BEGAN

The City of Guelph was founded on April 23, 1827, the feast day of England's patron saint, St. George. The name Guelph originated from Guelfo (Italian) and Welf (Bavarian-Germanic) which refers to King George IV. Thus, the name and the nickname are as such to honor Britain's Royal Family, descendants of the Guelfs. Before the city was colonized by the British Empire, the settlers were indigenous groups who remained neutral, with scheduled trading via the Speed River as their only activity.

Guelph is also the home of McLean Hunter Television, the first cable system in the North America. The network's first broadcast was in 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

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╣Guelph's historic sites. The city is home to three National Historic Sites of Canada. The first one is the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, which stands above the city. This Roman Catholic Church was built in 1877 and completed in 1926. It has a Gothic Revival design that will leave you breathless. You can also visit other old churches such as St. George’s Church and Knox Presbyterian. The second historic site is the McCrae House, a small limestone home where the author, John McCrae, grew up. John McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields." The third one is the Old City Hall, which has a formal and classical design.

╣downtown Guelph. If you want to learn more about the city's history, that is the place you should go to. Just looking at the buildings, you will have an idea of what Victorian Era buildings look like because the streets are lined with them. If you wish to participate in many of Guelph’s festivities, you can visit the downtown and celebrate events such as The Guelph Jazz Festival, The Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival and The Guelph Film Festival. Downtown Guelph also offers a lot of summer recreational activities. The Royal Recreational Trail passes here so you can enjoy early morning walks and cycling. You can also practice your running skills and join the Downtown 5km Run.

╣Guelph Civic Museum. This is where you can have a glimpse of artifacts that tell the history of Guelph's development. The building itself is history; it is a three-story Guelph limestone building constructed in 1850. Your kids will love this building, too! Inside the historic museum is the Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet Growing Up in Guelph Children's Museum. Guelph’s Arts Council Historical Tours are conducted during Sunday afternoons in summer.

╣MacDonald Stewart Art Center. If you are a fan of arts and galleries, then Guelph has an amazing lineup for you. The en center is where Canadian Art is displayed. Have a look at masterpieces created by Inuit artists and outdoor sculpture park.

╣various art venues in Guelph. If you want a different kind of movie experience, watch some shows at The Bookshelf eBar Art Space. Other places to visit to view more of Guelph’s artistic side include Ed Video Media Arts Center, River Run Center and Guelph Youth Music Center. Guelph is home to vibrant artistry so you should not miss The Barber Gallery and the Kloepfer Custom Picture Framing and Gallery. Art on the Street is also a usual during summer and a Guelph Studio Tour during autumn.

╣Wyndham Art Supplies. The place offers all the supplies and lessons for everyone.

╣any of the parks along Guelph Lake. The city of Guelph is sandwiched between two rivers: the Speed River and the Eramosa River. Along Guelph Lake, you will find Hanlon Creek Park, a preservation park. There is also the Exhibition Park, the oldest park in the city.

╣Timberframe Pedestrian Covered Bridge. This bridge was put up in 1992 by 400 Timber Framers Guild volunteers. It is a 120 feet lattice over the Speed River.

╣Speed River Paddling Inc. offers hourly rentals for canoe and kayak so you can fully enjoy the river. The store is located at The Boathouse Tea Room at 116 Gordon Street and they are open during summer.

╣the Arboretum. It's a place that preserves a lot of species of trees and features about five kilometers of hiking trails. Tours will let you see several bird species and trees while biking, jogging, hiking and cross-country skiing.

╣the various restaurants available in the city. They have fine dining at Artisanale or at Babel Fish Bistro. If you are a vegetarian, try The Cornerstone. If you are on the budget side, you can visit Wimpy’s Diner, The Red Brick Café or the Planet Bean Coffee Bar. You can also tickle your senses with a taste of international flavor at Latino’s Spice, Diana Downtown or Salsateria. For an unforgettable night out at Guelph, you can try The Woolwich Arrow. The Albion Hotel is also one of the recommended places if you want to have an excellent selection of food and drinks.

╣several boutiques and gift shops in Guelph. Some fashion stores include locally owned Harmony & Duncan McPhee, Skirt, MEOW!, DLR and Wild Rose Consignment. If shopping is one of your ways to relax, then you would be extremely tranquil in Guelph.

TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW

If you were to travel along Highway 401, you can pass through the Hanlon Expressway or you can take an alternate route, which is slower. The alternate takes time but it will let you have a view of scenic places like the Village of Aberfoyle and the University of Guelph. If you want to get to the city by train, you can book a ticket at VIA Rail. The station heading to Guelph is between Sarnia and Toronto. Eastbound coming from Sarnia will take about 180 minutes (3 hours) and westbound coming from Toronto will take about 70 to 75 minutes. You can also travel by bus. Choose Greyhound if you want to get to Guelph fast, although it is more expensive compared with other transits. The Coach transit will be your better option if you are in or near Hamilton. GO Transit runs to and from Yorkdale and York Mills. This transit is cheaper but slower.

Guelph has nine bed and breakfasts, twenty hotels and inns, and five camping sites. Some of these are: the London House Bed & Breakfast where you can always have freshly baked bread and brewed coffee; the Lyon’s Den Bed & Breakfast near the University of Guelph offers home-cooked meals; the Royal Inn and Suites located at Carden Street; Super 8 at Woodlawn Road West ; Norfolk Guest House, an upscale accommodation near downtown ; and the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton at the Imperial Road North.

Guelph is a stunning city with a very sophisticated touch to both historic and modern lives. If you wish to explore a world where progress and economy thrive without leaving behind their heritage and culture, you will be thrilled to visit Guelph.