Welcome to our second round of our Strongest Town Competition. We invite you to view the photographs that representatives from these two towns have submitted to showcase their strength and resilience, and judge them based on Strong Towns principles. Please scroll down to the bottom to vote for the strongest!

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Entry submitted by Michael Watt

Downtown Guelph

Guelph's downtown resembles a European city center, complete with squares, broad main streets, and narrow side streets. It is bustling during daytime with business, cafes and shopping and has a vibrant nightlife with many excellent restaurants, pubs and patios. We have a strong, active downtown board that advocates for local businesses and promotes the downtown.  Each year we host an Art Festival, Jazzfest, a Film Festival and many other events.  Market Square, in front of City Hall has a unique water feature that is used as a skating rink in the winter and a splash pad in the summer.  Downtown Guelph boasts the Sleeman Center Arena, The River Run Performing Arts Centre, Guelph Youth Music Centre, The Guelph Farmer’s Market, the Civic Museum and the beautiful Church of Our Lady Immaculate.  Downtown Guelph is the transportation hub for the city where the municipal buses meet as well as theregional buses and trains.

Hillside Festival

The Hillside Summer Festival and Hillside Inside are three-day, multi-stage events with a broad artistic vision that emphasizes diversity:  of culture, of musical heritage and style, of age, geography and influence.  Set in a beautiful, accessible conservation area with campgrounds on Guelph Lake, our summer festival is world-renowned as one of Canada’s most progressive, environmentally conscious, completely non-commercial community celebrations.  We create a village on Guelph Lake Island that we fill with music, dance, drumming, food, crafts, and more.  It has been running every July since it was founded in 1984


Based in Guelph, Ontario, Linamar Corporation is Canada’s second largest automobile parts manufacturer.  Linamar manufactures and supplies automotive and industrial markets across the globe. With 23 plants locally, Linamar is Guelph’s largest employer. Guelph has a broad economic base and in recent years has attracted many more high tech jobs and businesses to our community.  Guelph is ranked in the top 2 in agricultural biotechnology clusters in Canada.  It is strategically located in the heart of Southern Ontario and brings together all the advantages of location, resources and quality of life, fostering the growth of life science, agri-food and biotech companies.  Guelph was ranked as the best place to find a job; it had the 2nd lowest unemployment rate nationally as well as one of the lowest crime rates in the country.  We are known as the volunteer capital and have also welcomed a large number of Syrian refugees.

Guelph Neighborhood Groups

Guelph has over a dozen organized neighborhood groups recognized by the city that are busy building strong, healthy, positive, vibrant communities.  The City works closely with these groups through support and funding and has developed a framework of four guiding principles: inclusiveness, engaging, responsive and building a sense of belonging.  The City of Guelph recognizes the valuable contribution that neighborhood groups and their volunteers make to the quality of life in Guelph and what can be achieved by supporting this work.

University of Guelph

The University of Guelph has over 20,000 full time students and 2,700 faculty and staff.  Known for its beautiful, safe campuses and welcoming, supportive culture, U of G blends historical and modern architecture with cutting-edge technology.  The University of Guelph is among Canada's most research‑intensive universities.  As reported in the 2015 edition of RE$EARCH Infosource, Guelph faculty are among the most published within comprehensive universities in Canada. In the most recent survey of Association of University Technology Managers, Guelph ranked first in Canada for number of invention disclosures per $M of research expenditures. The U of G has a partnership agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) which attracts research expertise to the University.  This collaboration helped make the University a globally recognized agri-food centre of excellence, and has supported a globally competitive multibillion-dollar food industry in Ontario. According to a study by Deloitte, the U of G-OMAFRA partnership agreement returns $1.15 billion to Ontario each year. The agreement improves the competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food industry through innovation and through development of a talented labour force.

Wausau, WI

Entry submitted by Andrew Plath

With the help of Wisconsin’s Complete Streets Law bike lanes were added to Stewart Avenue (Highway 52) on Wausau’s West Side. (Photo by Andrew Plath)

This is a view of Stewart Avenue and the near west side. (Photo courtesy Dave Kalloway)

A panoramic view of a 400 Block Concert by Concerts Obrien.

A view of the newest segment of the River Edge Trail from the Scott Street bridge looking north.  Image includes a pedestrian bridge to Barker-Stewart Island.   (Photo by Andrew Plath)

A view of the newest River Edge Trail segment looking north on a warm day in February 2017.  (Photo by Andrew Plath)

Voting is closed.