Baker District redevelopment

Baker District Redevelopment

Baker Chapel Court looking north


We’re transforming a former municipal parking lot into a compact 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.

In support of the Baker District redevelopment, we’re replacing aging underground pipes and sewers on Baker Street, Chapel and Park Lanes to ensure our downtown is future-ready.

When the underground work is complete, and the roads are reconstructed, the area will be a more vibrant, accessible and welcoming space for people who walk, ride bikes, take transit and drive.

Please see the Latest updates section to follow along.

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. The City’s Official Plan earmarks Guelph’s downtown 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.

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
  • Pre-construction (2021-2023)
    • Archaeological clearance
    • Baker Street, Park Lane and Chapel Lane reconstruction
    • Utility relocations
  • Library construction (2023-2026)
    • Ground-breaking (early 2023)
    • Substantial completion (late 2025)
    • Total completion (2026)

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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Opportunities for engagement are 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

Stephen Gazzola, Project Manager
Facilities and Energy Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3886
[email protected]