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Economic Impact Report

President's Message

At the University of Guelph, we define success as our ability to Improve Life—for our students and for the world around us.

Whether through skilled graduates ready to lead the workforce, inventions developed from cutting-edge research discoveries or transformative international partnerships, U of G is improving life every day. Our three campuses span urban hubs and rural communities, and we are one of Canada’s leading comprehensive and learner-centred universities.

Our community makes strategic and significant contributions to local, provincial and national economies, and we welcome and pursue opportunities to support others.

We recently commissioned Ernst & Young to measure our economic impact across Canada and Ontario and in the regions our campuses call home. This Economic Impact Report explains how the University’s teaching, research and community-building endeavours contribute to stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive economies. I encourage you to read this report to learn how U of G is making a difference locally, nationally and globally.

Dr. Charlotte A. B. Yates (she/her)
President and Vice-Chancellor | University of Guelph


National Impact

Big numbers. Big impact.

At the University of Guelph, we foster learning and development and catalyze change to Improve Life.

This commitment starts at home on our three campuses but extends across Canada and around the globe.

$8.6 Billion. That is the University of Guelph’s total impact to Canada’s economy.

Through investments in our teaching and research and in people and organizations that embody our capacity for excellence, U of G is making a difference—by improving life.

We improve life by stimulating economic development.

We improve life by creating and sustaining jobs.

We improve life by developing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Circuit board

AI has the potential to do harm and the potential to improve life. At CARE-AI, we harness the power of artificial intelligence to address critical issues and make a difference in people's lives.

Graham Taylor (he/him)

Blue overlay


The University of Guelph wants to ensure AI technologies—now being rapidly deployed in numerous fields—benefit people and minimize harm.

A unique teaching and research initiative, the University’s Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI) integrates ethics, governance and social responsibility with technical leadership.

This network of more than 90 researchers and scholars and an advisory panel of academic and industry leaders is looking at the human and social aspects of AI.

Researchers investigate methodologies, including learning algorithms, human-computer interfaces, data analytics, sensors and robots. They apply machine learning and AI to U of G’s strengths, including human and animal health and environmental sciences. They aim to influence public policy and regulations.

$8.6 B
Total Impact to Canada's GDP
Jobs Sustained in Canada
$1.1 B
Labour Income Contributed
$2 B
GDP from Research Productivity

Provincial Impact

Knowledge Translation

A skilled and talented workforce is necessary to meet the changing needs of both the economy and society; U of G is providing its students with the education and hands-on learning experiences they need to become our future leaders. With a strong connection to industry, U of G’s students are equipped to take on in-demand jobs that support critical employment sectors across Ontario and Canada.

U of G’s research enterprise is also intimately connected to industry.

Through the power of partnership, the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between U of G and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, contributes to provincial industries by supporting research, commercialization and innovation, creating products and jobs, and increasing business productivity. Through state-of-the-art facilities, scientific innovations are brought to the farm and to the dinner table, bridging the gaps between government, academia, producers and consumers.

One Health

From heading off the next global pandemic to addressing climate change to improving food security, the University of Guelph is tackling some of the world’s most complex issues through One Health.

Through a research institute, a degree program and a strategic focus at U of G, One Health involves a holistic approach. Multiple disciplines work together to find lasting solutions to global challenges, solutions that consider the interactions among humans, animals and ecosystems, and the role of social and cultural influences.

Scientists at work
Map of south-western Ontario with research stations and campus locations

Research Centre Locations

  • Alma
  • Arkell
  • Bradford
  • Cedar Springs
  • Elora
  • Emo (not pictured)
  • Huron
  • New Liskeard (not pictured)
  • Ponsonby
  • Ridgetown
  • Simcoe
  • Vineland
  • Winchester
  • Woodstock

Research centres are owned by the Government of Ontario through its agency, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, and managed by the University of Guelph through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.

Campus Locations

  •  Guelph-Humber
  •  University of Guelph
  •  Ridgetown
Total Impact to Ontario's GDP
Jobs Sustained in Ontario
Plants growing in test tubes
Students are very thoughtful and conscious of the impact humans are having on the health of individuals, populations and ecosystems, and they want to make positive change.

Heather Pollock
Manager Academic Programs | CBS

Community Impact

Economic Driver.

The University of Guelph is an economic engine for communities across Ontario.

Through expenditures from the University, our students and the visitors we attract, U of G supports and promotes sustainable and inclusive economies in Guelph-Wellington, Chatham-Kent and the Toronto CMA.

We create jobs and opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship. We promote civic engagement and community development. We support people and improve lives.

Jobs Sustained in Campus Regions
$523 M
Annual Student Spending
$2.77 B
Total Impact of Campuses to Regional GDPs

Impact of campuses to regional GDP:

$2.01 B
Learn More: U of G's Impact to Guelph-Wellington's Economy
Johnston Hall
$678.5 M
U of G's Impact to Toronto CMA's Economy
Guelph-Humber building
$83.3 M
U of G's Impact to Chatham-Kent's Economy
DJ Pestell Student Service and Alumni Centre
Students in a line beside a brick wall


At the University of Guelph, students like Kiana Gibson and David Sahai are committed to reducing food waste. They co-founded MealCare Guelph, which collects leftovers from U of G’s award-winning food outlets for donation to charitable organizations around Guelph.

During the past three years, MealCare Guelph diverted more than 17,000 pounds of healthy, campus-prepared food that would have otherwise ended up in compost or landfill.

MealCare Guelph is run by more than 20 student volunteers who are committed to bettering society and improving lives within and beyond their communities.

Kiana Gibson and David Sahai, co-founders of MealCare Guelph

Change happens at a community level. Small people put in small efforts and those efforts add up to something big.

~ Kiana Gibson, Co-Founder | MealCare Guelph

Human Impact

People. Power. Prosperity.

The University of Guelph community is nearly 220,000 people strong, and we are growing every year. With campuses, alumni, research centres and laboratories across Ontario, U of G’s community is expansive, and it is through our community that we have the most impact.

From volunteering to participating in our record-setting United Way campaign to building homes locally and globally to fighting food insecurity and social injustice, our people make a difference. We live out our shared commitment to use our time and talents to make our communities, and our world, a better place.



Impact of students, alumni and visitors to Ontario's GDP
Volunteer hours annually from students at main campus
Jobs sustained from student and visitor spending in Ontario
Navy blue background with red rectangles


Bankole (Banky) Alade struggled in his first year at the University of Guelph, both in the classroom and on the basketball court. But through the support of his coaches and teachers, he discovered a love of marketing and new-found confidence in his abilities.

Banky tapped into U of G resources such as the senior athlete mentorship program, the Library Learning Commons, athletics coaches and faculty in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. The results played out in athletics and academics.

He went from sitting on the bench to leading the varsity basketball team as captain. He went from disliking school to making the dean’s list. And he started the Guelph Black Professionals, now with 15 members and four campus chapters that provide networking and mentorship for Black students.

Bankole Alade, athlete, marking student, founder of the Guelph Black Professionals

I never thought of schooling as a way to get a better life for me. I thought if I didn’t make it in basketball, I wouldn’t make it at all.

~ Banky Alade


Sustainability underpins much of the work occurring at U of G. The University makes a concentrated effort to incorporate sustainable approaches into its daily operations as well as its interdisciplinary teaching and research. Over 550 sustainability related courses are provided to U of G students, and approximately 250 faculty members are engaged in sustainability-related research projects.


In the News

U of G Earns Gold Rating for Sustainability

U of G has a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Research, Training and Innovation

U of G is a top comprehensive research-intensive institution. Through interdisciplinary training, critical research and innovation, U of G is leading the way to addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.


Volunteering is a key part of U of G’s student experience. With over 34 per cent of students engaged in community service, the University reported over 1.5 million community service hours contributed by students on an annual basis, amounting to an average of 66.1 hours per student per year.

As part of its suite of volunteering activities, U of G’s Project Serve offers students the opportunity to contribute to various programs, with focus on First Nations Communities, race and poverty, and health, among others.

In the News

Project Serve Returns to Give Back to Community

For more than 20 years, University of Guelph students have given back to their home-away-from-home community by volunteering with Project Serve, and that tradition continues each year.

Project Serve 2019

Project Serve 2019