Baker District redevelopment

Baker District Redevelopment


The Baker District redevelopment is a City of Guelph development project aimed at transforming the existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use development, including a new central library.

The Downtown Secondary Plan envisions the Baker District redevelopment 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 spaces.The City has explored concepts for the site, formally endorsing the 2009 concept and 2014 concept, which would achieve:

  • Increases to downtown visitation
  • Increases to the downtown residential population
  • Improvements to connectivity for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles
  • Establishment of new architectural landmarks
  • Adding additional public parking
  • Incorporation of best practices in environmental design
  • Availability of affordable housing

The redevelopment will include:

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

Baker District journey

Visioning (2007–2010)

2007 – New central library location approved
2008/2009 – Baker District engagement
2009 – Preferred redevelopment concept approved

Policy (2010–2013)

2012 – Downtown Secondary Plan approved
2012 – Central library engagement
2012 – Library Functional Plan approved

Exploring and prioritizing (2013–2018)

2017 – Central library engagement
2017 – Library Functional Plan updated/Library Business Case approved
2017 – Baker District redevelopment becomes City priority

Forecasted timeline
Partnering and programming (2018–2019)

Baker District and central library engagement

Design and budgeting (2019–2021)
Planning and construction approvals 
Construction (2021–2025)

The team

Windmill Development Group is leading the planning, design and development for the Baker District project.The development team, led by Windmill, includes Diamond Schmidt Architects, DTAH, and Urban Equation Corporation. The companies, who have successfully worked together before, are working closely with the City and Guelph Public Library to arrive at a final plan for the development.Windmill will own and develop the residential and commercial components, and partner with the City in developing the public components (e.g. library, parking and urban square).

The City will support the development of the site by completing technical studies, environmental site preparation and upgrades to off-site infrastructure. The City will also consider whether support for the development project is available through Downtown Guelph Community Improvement Plan grant and loan programs.

One Planet Living

One Planet Living

The Baker District redevelopment project is being developed as a One Planet Living community. One Planet Living is a planning and sustainability framework based on a desire to reduce the impact of the way we live, build, and consume. Research has shown that if everyone lived like North Americans, we would need five planets’ worth of resources to support ourselves. We only have one planet and need to act accordingly. One Planet Living provides a sustainability framework comprising ten principles to reach this end. The ten principles include:

  • Health and happiness
  • Equity and local economy
  • Culture and community
  • Land use and wildlife
  • Sustainable water
  • Local and sustainable food
  • Sustainable materials
  • Sustainable transport
  • Zero waste
  • Zero carbon

Have your say

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To date, we’ve engaged the public on Baker District (2008–2009) and the new central library (2012 and 2017). As this multi-year project progresses, there will be more opportunities for the community to participate in the development of the Baker District, both through the Guelph Public Library as it develops the new library space and programming, and the City as the Baker District design concepts are developed and refined.

Opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community via our social media channels (Twitter and Facebook), online, and in the City News pages of the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

For more information

Stephanie Guy, Project Manager, Special Projects
Business Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 3622