Guelph-Wellington awarded Smart Cities Challenge prize

Guelph and Wellington County have been named winners of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

They will receive $10 million from Infrastructure Canada to implement Canada’s first circular food economy.

The joint proposal from City of Guelph and Wellington County was submitted in early March after nine months of planning involving more than 150 community partners.

Their ‘Our Food Future’ programme will tackle three goals — a 50 per cent increase in access to affordable, nutritious food, 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities, and a 50 per cent increase in economic revenues by reducing or transforming food waste.

City and county project coordinators will spend the summer building the leadership and governance structure, creating a detailed project plan and establishing a Smart Cities Office.  A progress update will be provided to stakeholders and the community in the fall.

“Guelph-Wellington is rich in agriculture,” said Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton in a news release. “This win provides both the city and the county the opportunity to strengthen our urban-rural partnership and lean into our strengths in food innovation.  We look forward to working with our community to move this important work forward.”