Guelph began as a settlement in the 1820s, established by Scotsman John Galt, who was in Upper Canada as the first Superintendent of the Canada Company. He based the headquarters, and his home, in the community. The area – much of which became Wellington County – had been part of the Halton Block, a Crown Reserve for the Six Nations Iroquois. Galt would later be considered as the founder of Guelph.
Downtown Guelph is situated above the confluence of the Speed River and the Eramosa River, which have numerous tributaries. The Speed River enters from the north and the Eramosa River from the east; the two rivers meet below downtown and continue southwest, where they merge with the Grand River (Ontario). There are also many creeks and smaller rivers creating large tracts of densely forested ravines, and providing ideal sites for parks and recreational trails. The city is built on several drumlins and buried waterways, the most notable being an underground creek flowing below the Albion Hotel, once the source of water used to brew beer.
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