The 13-acre (5.2-hectare) property is located east of downtown in the St. Patrick’s Ward neighbourhood; close to the University of Guelph, Guelph General Hospital, the future Guelph Innovation District, and public transit.
Challenging, but not impossible
Once the City chooses a quality proponent, explores potential uses and negotiates the land sale, the City will consider community input, review and approve site plans and issue building permits.
The City is not approving a specific plan for the site…yet.
Potential investors are invited to share their ideas for residential, commercial, and community uses like parks, arenas, community centres, education facility.
The City is encouraging proponents to include parkland, affordable housing, water and energy conservation measures, sustainable building and site design.
Proposals demonstrating an understanding of Guelph’s values will carry weight, and the criteria being used to evaluate each proposal reflects community input. More opportunities for input will take place as the City considers specific development plans for the property.
Very suitable developments
Medium density residential – could include townhomes and/or stacked townhomes with an emphasis on affordability. This is appropriate considering the nature of the surrounding neighbourhood, the existing market demand and the limited amount of infill development in Guelph.
Mixed residential commercial – could include one or two small live/work townhouse developments of between 10 and 15 units. This would reflect the character of the neighbourhood and its existing mix of uses while being unique in the Guelph market.
Community use – could include a park, community centre, arena, art centre, or a public/private education-training facility. Such uses are suitable due to the size of the site, the limited development risk and could further spur the revitalization of the neighbourhood.
Low-rise apartment – may include three-storey or four-storey apartment buildings marketed or subsidized as affordable housing. This is reasonable considering the strong rental market in Guelph and a need to ensure affordability.
Low density residential – may include one land use or a mix of single detached, semi-detached and townhouse units priced at the low end of the market or subsidized as affordable housing. This is reasonable given the strength of the City’s new home market and the lack of infill developments, but single family homes may not be entirely compatible with land uses surrounding the site.
Social housing – may include townhouses, stacked townhouses or a low-rise apartment building for at-risk individuals, couples and/or families to be managed by Wellington County Housing Association (WCHA) or a not-for-profit organization. This is reasonable given the number of households on the WCHA waiting list, long wait times, and availability of government funding. Potential for community opposition and a lack of nearby services and amenities are of concern.
Other light intensity business uses – may include smaller industrial/commercial buildings, a small office complex, workshops and/or studios. These are reasonable given the mix of surrounding uses and the potential uniqueness of this product in the Guelph market.