Host City

Guelph, Ontario

Guelph is located on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We uphold the significance of the Dish with One Spoon Covenant and the continuing relationship our Indigenous neighbours have with this land. We acknowledge our neighbours, the Haudenosaunee and the Indigenous peoples of many different nations that live in Guelph.

As we embark, celebrate and enjoy the art form of spoken word at CFSW we invite you to hear the festival in the context of colonialism, with consideration for the stories that are absent and the need for reconciliation with indigenous nations and people.

A vibrant community of over 120,000 people, Guelph is 100 kilometres west of Toronto, just east of Kitchener-Waterloo. Most of the festival's events will take place in the downtown core, which is a walkable neighbourhood bordered by the Speed River. The area is a hub for arts, culture and entertainment, and includes sit-down and take-out restaurants, cafes, specialty stores, and community gathering spaces.

photo of Downtown Guelph, Ontario


Here is an interactive map of our venues for the 2019 festival:

Downtown Guelph is accessible by public transit, and offers free 2-hour street parking in the downtown core. Paid lots, such as the Baker St lot, are available for longer stays, and lower rates are offered in the evenings, Saturdays, and free on Sundays. For more detailed information about parking, explore the map below and visit the City of Guelph's website.

**Note that some lots are currently closed for construction.

Flying to Guelph

If you are travelling a distance to CFSW and will be flying, there are four airports in the nearby area you can use, depending on your needs:

Kitchener/Waterloo Airport (YKF)

Also known as the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF), this is the closest airport to Guelph. Flight options are very limited, though, so it’s likely you’ll only use this terminal if you are flying from relatively nearby on a small plane.

John C. Munroe Hamilton Airport (YHM)

The second closest airport to Guelph, Air Canada, West Jet and a number of less expensive airlines fly out of Hamilton. It serves as an alternate and reliever for Pearson airport, so there are a wide range of flight options here. However, there is no direct public transit between Hamilton and Guelph (silly, right??). There are a number of airport shuttle services that are pretty pricey, or you could try to arrange a ride or take the unfortunately long transit route to Toronto and then Guelph.

Toronto Island Airport (YTZ)

Officially called the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Toronto Island is a small airport in downtown Toronto. Though it is the furthest of four airports away from Guelph, it does have the best public transportation options to CFSW and is ideal for those who want to fly in and take a bus to CFSW. The primary tenant is Porter Airlines.

Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ)

Also know as the Lester B. Pearson International Airport, this is the big one: it is the world’s 15th busiest airport by flights. If you’re flying from quite a distance, Pearson will be your best bet ... and in many instances, your only direct-flight option. Greyhound now has a couple of buses per day that stop at Pearson on the way to Guelph. If the schedule doesn't work for you, the other, more expensive, option is to take the Red Car shuttle serice for about $75 to Guelph.

Public Transit: Airports to Guelph

Depending on where you land, your will have different public transit options. Some links are below for various services:

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