City recommends cultural heritage protection for Ontario Reformatory lands and buildings

Guelph, Ont., June 3, 2021 – On June 14, City Council will discuss staff recommendations to designate the provincially-owned Ontario Reformatory lands and buildings at 785 York Road under the Ontario Heritage Act including listing the cultural heritage resources at 110 Dunlop Drive and 328 Victoria Road South.

“The City is proposing strong, long-term cultural heritage protection for the buildings, landscapes and features within the Ontario Reformatory lands to ensure conservation of this historic site before the future sale of the property,” explains Melissa Aldunate, manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design. “As we heard during our work on the Community Plan, residents place great value on Guelph’s historic assets and natural landscapes, and our recommended cultural heritage designation takes action to protect the Ontario Reformatory as a significant asset to our community.”

The City is undertaking the cultural heritage designation of the 90-hectare property under section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act at the request of the Province of Ontario prior to the sale of the land. This designation aligns with the Guelph Innovation District Secondary Plan and future plans for the property.

Features recommended for cultural heritage designation

The following features are being recommended for cultural heritage designation on the Ontario Reformatory property:

  • 12 buildings, including the administration building, the superintendent’s residence, Willowbank Hall and detention complex
  • Stone walls, fences, stairs, gates and gateposts along York Road
  • Terraced gardens, the ponds, bridges, waterways and mature trees planted along roads
  • A 58-hectare section of the property recognized as a Provincial Heritage Property of Provincial Significance (shown in yellow on the map)

The following features are being recommended for listing on the Municipal register of cultural heritage properties:

  • The Reformatory quarry area within 110 Dunlop Drive
  • The Reformatory wooden trestle railway bridge on the Eramosa River, north of Stone Road East
  • The G. M. Frost Centre located at 328 Victoria Road North

If Council approves the intention to designate, there will be a 30-day public review period before the designation bylaw for the Ontario Reformatory property is put to Council for final approval.

How to get involved

Watch the remote Council meeting on on June 14 starting at 6 p.m. Register to delegate or submit written comments to Council about the recommended cultural heritage designation online or contact the City Clerk’s office at [email protected] by 10 a.m. on Friday, June 11.

Supporting Guelph’s Strategic Plan and Community Plan

The proposed cultural heritage designation of the Ontario Reformatory lands supports the City’s Strategic Plan by helping to plan and design an increasingly sustainable city, which includes the conservation of natural and cultural heritage resources. This work also supports the Community Plan by reflecting the “We are home” theme and ensuring our neighbourhoods preserve their Guelph character and heritage.

Media contact

Melissa Aldunate, Manager, Policy Planning and Urban Design
Planning and Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2361
[email protected]