Council endorses construction of new library in Baker District

Guelph, Ont., September 17, 2019 – At a special meeting last night, Council endorsed the public components of the Baker District Redevelopment project which include parking, an urban square and streetscape, and a new central library.

Council’s endorsement of construction of the library brings with it a maximum construction cost of $67.1 million which would be funded from a variety of sources including development charges, proceeds from the sale of assets, property taxes, and parking revenues.

The City will also coordinate with the Guelph Public Library and other partners to apply for up to $36.6 million in funding from the Investment in Canada Infrastructure Program—Community, Culture and Recreation Stream. A successful grant application would help to reduce the property tax and debt impacts of the project.

Council also approved $15 million for site remediation, servicing and archaeological work; $21 million for parking; and $2.6 million for an urban square.

The decision was significant because it allows the project to proceed to the next phase which includes detailed design. All of the costs Council approved last night will now be incorporated into the capital budget and forecast which will come before Council for approval later this fall.

The Baker District redevelopment represents a significant investment from both the public and the private sector partners involved: $350+ million of which the public investment is ~$125 million.

Staff will provide Council with a project update by early December 2019 when the site conditions are better known and the Urban Design Master Plan and final designs on the library and urban square are submitted for approval.

About the project

The Baker District redevelopment is a City of Guelph project aimed at transforming the existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use development, which includes:

  • New central library (Guelph Public Library)
  • Residential
  • Commercial/institutional
  • Public parking
  • Urban square

The Downtown Secondary Plan envisions the district becoming a model of urban intensification that drives visitors to the downtown and encourages business to thrive within its boundaries by combining residential and commercial/institutional spaces.

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Media contact

Helen Loftin, General Manager
Business Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 3567
[email protected]