Guelph and Wellington County have a rich and interesting history. Pride in that history can be seen in the downtown core of Guelph through buildings and the various monuments dedicated to the history makers of Guelph’s past. Wellington County keeps its historical traditions alive and welcomes all to come and celebrate their roots. You can experience the story of Guelph and Wellington County through walking tours, museums and festivals.
Guelph was founded in 1827 by John Galt of the Canada Company. The Scotsman, John Galt has been described as an adventurer, novelist, dramatist, biographer and empire-builder. Guelph officially became a town as of January 1, 1879.
The name Guelph has a special significance, it was the family name of the Dukes of Bavaria and through alliance with the Hohenstaufens came to be the surname of the British Royal family when, in 1714, George of Hanover became George I.
Tradition relates that John Galt, or one of his companions, laid his outstretched hand on a tree stump and predicted that the streets of the new town would radiate from a central point such as his fingers radiated from his palm. It is true that the main streets of downtown Guelph do follow such a pattern, but which came first, the legend or the plan, remains in doubt.