On August 23rd, 1857, Scottish novelist John Galt founded Guelph with the ceremonial felling of a Maple Tree. Galt, was also a superintendent of the British development firm "Canada Company". Galt decided to call the new founded town Guelph. The reason behind the name was simple, the town was called Guelph because it was a family name of the British royal family which had not been used to name a place. Guelph is considered one the first planned towns in Canada. It was planned to look like a European city where many of the streets, especially in the downtown area, meet at a focal point. The focal point in Guelph's case is called "Speed River". Guelph was a village until the Grand Turk Railroad from Toronto reached it in 1856. After the railroad reached Guelph many buildings were in the mist of being built. These buildings were going to be constructed by prominent Canadian architects. A majority of buildings were going to be built from limestone, this was due to the fact that limestone was mined near Guelph. Unlike many small cities, Guelph took over its water, gas and streetcar system early on. Guelph has always been home to many first-class education facilities. In 1847 the Ontario Agricultural College was founded on a 200 ha farm, in 1922 the Ontario Veterinary College was founded, and most recently, in 1965, the University of Guelph was established. Guelph has always had a population, which has been high in British ethnic origin however; many people with different ethnic backgrounds are now on the move to Guelph. .
Guelph is covered with sedimentary rock. Compressed clay sediments that were under severe pressure formed this rock. The sedimentary rock that covers Guelph is dated back to the Devonian period of the Paleozoic era. The Paleozoic era lasted approximately 375 000 000 000 years during which rock, shellfish, amphibians and other animal life began to form. .
The Topography of Guelph is much like the rest of Southern Ontario.