Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization

Downtown Guelph is filled with aging infrastructure such as water and sewer pipes, roads and sidewalks. Some of it is over 100 years old! Our goal is to improve this critical infrastructure to provide quality service and support the economic vitality of our downtown core. Work like this doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years to research, engage with the community, plan and implement.

Our goal is to improve our downtown for all businesses, residents, users and visitors. Let’s work together to make our downtown even better.

Study area

The primary study area is located north of the railway tracks. Key streets include:

  • Baker Street from Quebec Street to Woolwich Street
  • Quebec Street from Wyndham Street North to Norfolk Street
  • Wyndham Street from Carden Street to Woolwich Street
  • Macdonell Street from Norfolk Street to Carden Street
  • Woolwich Street from Macdonell Street to Norfolk Street
  • Macdonell Street and Allan’s Dam structures over the Speed River

Map of study area

Community engagement

The success of the Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization project depends on quality, ongoing community engagement during plan development and throughout construction.

We will actively engage with downtown businesses, property owners and residents starting in 2021. Although there will be no interruptions to Downtown Guelph until construction starts in 2024, we plan to work closely with our downtown community to plan construction phases with many opportunities to provide input and feedback.

Project approach and timeline

The planning phase of the Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization Program starts in 2021. Part of this initial work includes consolidating all previous downtown studies, including inventory and condition assessments of existing infrastructure. As part of the work, we will identify information gaps and steps needed to address those gaps.

At the same time in 2021, we plan to start two Municipal Class Environment Assessments (EAs). One EA will consider reducing the number of lanes on Wyndham Street from four to two as outlined in the 2014 Streetscape Manual. The other EA will examine the Macdonnell Street Bridge and Allan Dam structures (bridge and spillway) across the Speed River to determine improvements and the preferred solution for each.

By the end of 2022, we expect to complete the EAs and work with City Council to get approval on an implementation plan to make the necessary downtown infrastructure upgrades.

Final design is expected to start in late 2022 or early 2023, with construction starting in 2024.

Tier 1 project supporting Guelph’s Strategic Plan

The Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization work will be managed as a Tier 1 City project. Tier 1 projects are the City’s most complicated and high-value projects.

This project aligns with both the Building our future and the Powering our future priorities in the City’s Strategic Plan by maintain existing community infrastructure assets and developing new ones as well as fostering downtown business innovation to support a thriving downtown Guelph. This work also supports the Community Plan by ensuring our downtown continues to grow as a destination hub of historic beauty and character, with unique retail opportunities, entertainment and tourist attractions.

Quarterly updates


For more information

Reg Russwurm, Manager, Design and Construction
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2765
[email protected]