Preparing for future growth in downtown Guelph

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By 2031, several thousand people will live in downtown Guelph joining the thousands who work there daily and visit routinely to shop, dine, and enjoy downtown culture. Today, we’re preparing for this growth by:

  • Revitalizing our aging water and sewer pipes, roads and sidewalks as part of the multi-year Downtown Guelph Project;
  • Transforming a parking lot into a welcoming, civic-hub known as Baker District anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library; and,
  • Engaging with our community members to learn how we can continue to build a vibrant and healthy downtown.

Completing these projects won’t happen overnight, but work has already begun to ensure our downtown is future ready.

What’s happening

Downtown Guelph Project: infrastructure upgrades and replacement

We have a great downtown and want it to stay that way for years to come. Today, we have aging water and sewer pipes, roads and sidewalks. Our goal is to improve this critical infrastructure to provide quality service and support the vitality of our downtown core. This important project will improve our downtown for all businesses, residents, users and visitors.

What to expect in 2022:

  • Over the next few weeks, pre-construction activities will begin including underground utility locates, soil investigations and other information gathering activities within the downtown core.
  • Later this year, public engagement will launch to get community feedback on two Municipal Class Environmental Assessments: Macdonell and Allan Structures and Wyndham Street.

We’ll share construction notices for planned work before it starts with information about location and timing of the work and any traffic impacts. Notices will also be posted at guelph.ca/construction.

Baker District redevelopment

This welcoming and publicly accessible civic hub will be anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library and outdoor urban square, and will feature residential units, commercial space, and public parking.

What to expect in 2022:

  • We’re working with our archaeological consultant for the required archeological clearance of the Baker District redevelopment site. The archaeological excavation work remains on schedule, however, due to unfavourable winter weather conditions, excavation activities have been paused until the spring.
  • In the coming weeks, Windmill Development Group plans to begin excavating test pits within the Baker District redevelopment site nearest to Wyndham Street.
  • In the spring, Baker Street reconstruction (including Chapel and Park Lane) will begin. We will share a summary from our most recent Baker Street reconstruction virtual open house in the coming weeks including a proposed construction timeline.

The Baker District redevelopment and Downtown Guelph Project support all priorities of the City’s strategic plan, Guelph. Future Ready.:

  • Powering Our Future through helping to grow downtown business and the local economy
  • Sustaining Our Future through net-zero carbon targets
  • Navigating Our Future through building an accessible and efficient downtown streetscape
  • Building our Future through the inclusion of affordable housing
  • Working Together for Our Future through innovation and strategic partnerships

These transformative projects also support the themes of Guelph’s Community Plan to love where we live, protect our environment, create value, play and explore and move freely.

About the Downtown Guelph Project

We have a great downtown and want it to stay that way for years to come. Replacing underground infrastructure in the downtown core doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years to research, engage with the community, plan and implement. And yes, that means construction but we’re not doing all the work at once. We’re working with the downtown community to determine a schedule that limits the impact to daily life as much as possible.

This critical construction will replace aging pipes and upgrade utility services, and before we put the roads back together, we’ll have an opportunity to modernize and beautify the streetscape.

Residents and businesses can sign up for email notices about upcoming engagement opportunities at haveyoursay.guelph.ca/downtownproject, and learn more about the project.

About the Baker District redevelopment

The City and Windmill Developments are 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.

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

For more Information

Stacey Laughlin, MCIP, RPP, Downtown Revitalization Advisor
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
City of Guelph
519- 822-1260 extension 2327
Mobile 519-321-9601
s[email protected]