University's Impact on City: $750 Million-Plus

October 26, 2010 - News Release

The University of Guelph has a tremendous economic impact on the city of Guelph, returning more than $750 million to the community each year in direct and indirect spending, according to new figures released by the University.

U of G's faculty, staff, students and visitors spent an estimated $400 million in Guelph, according to an internal review by the University’s Office of Resource Planning and Analysis. Students alone spent $105 million.

“We’ve always known that the University of Guelph contributes to the quality of life of our community, but these figures show just how significant an impact we have on the economic vitality of the city of Guelph,” said president Alastair Summerlee.

In addition, U of G expenditures increase the demand for goods and services in the Guelph area. “In this way, the University gives rise to a ‘multiplier’ process that further increases the level of employment and income generation throughout the region,” Summerlee said.

Specifically, U of G generated an additional $350 million in the form of increased business volume, with student “business traffic” accounting for about $85 million of that amount.

The University also contributes in ways that cannot be easily fiscally quantified through arts and cultural experiences, volunteerism and community services, and by attracting government, businesses and other organizations to locate nearby.

Other highlights are:

- The local economic impact from direct operations of the University makes up about 10 to 12 per cent of the gross domestic product of the Guelph area.

- The University brings more than 11,600 part- and full-time jobs (including student employees) to the Guelph community, making it the city’s second-largest employer.

- Including operations, business spinoffs, and research and commercialization activities, the total local economic impact of the University is estimated at more than $1 billion.

“This sends a strong signal that investing in the University is also investing in the economic well-being of this entire region,” Summerlee said. “It also shows that the Ontario government’s investment in higher education pays dividends for the people of this province.”

Among the significant contributors to the University’s overall local economic impact is its partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Under the agreement, the University manages research and education programs and related facilities, including three regional campuses and 13 off-campus research facilities, supported through an annual allocation from the Ontario government. The majority of the annual allocation stays in the local community in the form of support for laboratories and facilities located in Guelph, faculty and staff salaries, and research grants.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338 or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1