Potential new site layout for Baker District redevelopment

Guelph, Ont., September 9, 2020 – City staff is bringing an additional option for the Baker District redevelopment to Council and the community on Monday, October 5 during Committee of the Whole. The meeting starts at 2 p.m. and there are items on the agenda that Committee will work though before debating and deliberating on the Baker District report.

The new central library is a key feature of the project. In the alternative option, City staff examine the impact of re-locating the library from the north tower residential complex into a free standing building on the south end of the site. This new alignment provides a simpler, overall site layout while allowing for the same amenities and programs planned for the original library space. There’s also the opportunity to move the institutional space to the north tower.

As well, City staff anticipates an increase in property tax revenue, and improvements to the overall financial viability of the project, all while still meeting the original development objectives.

Both the original and alternative site layouts will be shared with Council for consideration at the October 5 meeting. If the new site layout is approved, the Urban Design Master Plan for Baker District and library design would be updated to reflect the proposed changes.

Next steps

We’ll share more details about the alternative site layout once the staff report is released on September 24 and available at guelph.ca/council.

About the project

We’re transforming the existing Baker Street municipal parking lot and adjacent properties into a vibrant district nestled in Guelph’s historic core that will create a renewed area of activity, commerce and civic space for the local community and city.

This welcoming and publicly-accessible integrated civic hub—known as Baker District—is anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library and outdoor urban square, and features residential units, commercial and institutional space, and public parking.

As a landmark city-building initiative, the Baker District redevelopment further revitalizes our downtown and—by extension—improves our entire city’s economic and social prosperity.

This means:

  • more people living downtown and contributing to the City’s tax base to fund municipal programs and service
  • more jobs due to an increase in demand for retail and commercial services
  • an increase in retail spending for current and new businesses
  • more people visiting and learning downtown; contributing to a vibrant and healthy downtown

The project also contributes to Guelph’s growth target: a population of 203,000 people and an employment base of 116,000 jobs by 2051. Specifically, the City’s Official Plan has Guelph’s downtown being planned to achieve a density target of 150 people and jobs combined per hectare by 2031 and to be a focus for high density employment, residential development, public infrastructure and services, and multimodal transportation.

To learn more about the Baker District redevelopment project, visit guelph.ca/bakerdistrict.

For more information

Stephanie Guy
Project Manager, Special Projects
Business Development and Enterprise Service
519-822-1260 extension 3622
[email protected]