Downtown Infrastructure Renewal Program

About this project

The Downtown Infrastructure Renewal Program (DTIRP) aims to improve and upgrade roads, sewers, watermains, sidewalks, cycling facilities, and the streetscape in parts of the Downtown Secondary Plan area. The study area for this work is limited to the portion north of the Metrolinx railway tracks, plus Wyndham Street South to Wellington Street, and Wellington Street from Gordon Street to Neeve Street.

We have a great Downtown and we want to make it even more resilient, attractive, and welcoming for everyone of all abilities and ages using all modes of travel. It’s going to be somewhere all Guelphites can love, and where they’re excited to live, work and play.

Lovable. Coming soon: Even more reasons to love your Downtown. We have a vision for a vibrant, inclusive future Downtown Guelph.

 

However, work like this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years to study, engage with the community, plan for, and implement a generational renewal of municipal downtown infrastructure. While that means construction and related disruptions, we’re committed to phasing and carrying out this work to minimize the impacts to people living in, working in, and visiting Downtown Guelph.

As we rebuild roads, we’ll also be modernizing the streetscape. With intentional and responsible planning, the infrastructure we build today will create the foundation for a vibrant Downtown Guelph for half a century or longer.

We’re committed to working with the Downtown community to plan and schedule this work in a way that limits the impact to daily life as much as possible. Together, we’ll create innovative solutions to keep our historic core thriving during construction. Here’s how we’ve been engaging with the community.

This project is part of the overall Downtown Renewal Program to revitalize and transform Downtown Guelph for even more prosperity and well-being.

Downtown Infrastructure Renewal projects

The Downtown Infrastructure Renewal Program includes a number of projects that are integrated and coordinated to complete the overall program of work.
Phase 1: Wyndham Street North Reconstruction
Wyndham Street Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
Macdonell and Allan Structures Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
Wyndham-Wellington Sanitary Sewer Relief

Latest updates

Implementation plan

The project team has developed a preliminary implementation plan that separates construction into nine phases.

Proposed implementation plan phases and location map
Proposed implementation plan
Construction priority Street(s)
Phase 1 Wyndham Street North
Phase 2 Wyndham Street South
Wellington Street East
Phase 3 Macdonell Street East
Macdonell Bridge
Phase 4 Macdonell Street West
Quebec Street
Phase 5 Woolwich Street
Yarmouth Street
Thorp Street
Phase 6 Cork Street East
Douglas Street
Phase 7 Cardigan Street
Norwich Street East
Phase 8 Norfolk Street
Suffolk Street
Commercial Lane
Church Lane
Phase 9 Dublin Street North
Northumberland Street
Kent Street

Consideration could be given to combining phases to reduce duration of construction. 

This sequence of construction was determined with the following factors and considerations:

  • Economic development and capacity for growth: Does the street provide for additional housing and room for growth? Does it support planned density increase in Downtown?
  • Watermain, sanitary, and stormwater needs: What is the age and condition of infrastructure? Are there capacity deficiencies?
  • Utility needs: Are there third-party utility upgrades planned for the street?
  • Transportation and traffic management: How will construction impact traffic flow? How many transit routes are on the street?
  • Construction costs: How do construction costs affect the City’s capital budget?
  • Construction constraints: Are there special needs that may affect construction (e.g., additional time to acquire permits)?
  • Road needs: What is the current condition of the pavement? How urgently does traffic capacity need to be addressed?

More details on the individual phases can be found in the spring 2024 open house displays.

As part of the preliminary implementation plan, staff are now evaluating different options for the pace of construction.

Faster paced:

Completing construction quickly could potentially involve working on multiple sections at a time, and closing roads to give contractors full room to work. This will require extra construction crews to meet expedited completion dates.

Slower paced:

A slower approach could consider options like closing shorter sections of the road at any one time, or having shorter work hours. This would provide contractors less room to work with, which would increase the length of overall construction.

Construction impacts and mitigation:

The impact of construction and potential mitigations have also been considered as part of the implementation plan. Things essential for consideration in the implementation plan include:

  • Maintaining access to businesses,
  • Accommodating deliveries and emergency services,
  • Pedestrian safety, and
  • Traffic detours.

We’re considering the various ways we can support businesses and community members as much as possible during construction.

Community engagement

In March and April 2024, we engaged with businesses and the public on options for the pace of construction (fast vs. slow) that’s set to begin in 2026. We heard from the community through our online Have Your Say survey, a public open house, and door-to-door business canvassing along Wyndham Street North corridor (a.k.a. the Phase 1 area). We received over 200 survey responses, and over 60 attendees at our open house during this engagement period.

The project team is currently planning the phasing of how construction will unfold, and is now reviewing the feedback received to help us further refine the plan. We’ll continue to have opportunities for the community to share their thoughts as the project advances.

An updated Capital Implementation Plan, that incorporates what we heard from the community during this engagement period, will be released later in 2024.

Visit Have Your Say to learn more about past, current and upcoming engagement activities to share your feedback with us.

Timelines

  • Preparatory stage: Q2 2021 to Q1 2022
  • Review existing conditions and develop problems and opportunities: Q2 to Q3 2022
  • Develop alternatives to address the problems and opportunities: Q4 2022 to Q1 2024
  • Develop study recommendations: Q2 to Q4 2024
  • Prepare project documentation: Q2 to Q4 2024

Project status and last quarter update

Within revised scope

On revised schedule

Within revised budget

  • In Q1 2024, staff completed the Wyndham Street North Environment Assessment, and advanced the Macdonell and Allans Structures Environmental Assessment and the Capital Implementation Plan. Staff also initiated the final design for DTIRP Phase 1: Wyndham Street North from Farquhar Street to Wellington Street.
  • Tier 1 program budget will be expanded in Q2 reporting to include DTIRP Phase 1 construction project.
  • Staff conducted a Public Information Centre (or open house) to gain community input on the overall program construction phasing, listen to concerns regarding construction disruption, and what construction mitigations could be considered.
  • Community engagement and consultation will continue and be enhanced for the overall Capital Implementation Plan throughout 2024.
  • A Council workshop will be held in May 2024 to present streetscape options for Downtown, along with construction pacing and mitigation.
  • The various deliverables will be finalized in 2024.

Study area

The primary study area is north of the railway tracks that cross Gordon Street at Waterloo Avenue, plus Wyndham Street South to Wellington Street and Wellington Street from Gordon Street to Neeve Street.

Key streets include:

  • 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
  • Wyndham Street South to Wellington Street
  • Wellington Street from Gordon Street to Neeve Street
Map of study area

Capital Implementation Plan and environmental assessments

As part of this program of work, the City is undertaking a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Macdonell Street bridge and Allans Dams structures, and completed an EA process for Wyndham Street (initiated as an EA; now exempt). The City is now developing an overall Capital Implementation Plan for this work.

EAs include technical studies and engagement with community to support decision-making for large projects. The EAs are being completed in accordance with the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process as described in the Environmental Assessment Act. The EAs for this program of work will inform decisions about how the work gets done and what’s included.

  • Wyndham Street EA: this project was initiated as a Schedule “B” Municipal Class EA in January 2021, and is now being completed as an EA-exempt project in accordance with the Municipal Class EA (October 2000, amended in 2007, 2011, 2015). The project reviews the function of Wyndham Street North for all users to determine how the road should be redesigned including the number of traffic lanes, active transportation options, and the layout of the Wyndham Street and Quebec Street intersection (St. George’s Square).
  • Macdonell Street bridge and Allans Dam structures EA: this EA will confirm what improvements are needed to address structural deficiencies and improve road safety for the required improvements and the preferred solution for the Macdonell Street bridge, the Allans Dam bridge, the Allans Dam spillway and sluiceway.

The City presented the preferred option for the Wyndham Street EA in February 2024 to Council, which was approved, and expects to present the preferred option for the Macdonell and Allans structures EA to Council in Q2 2025.

Resources

Additional project details

  • Executive sponsors: Jayne Holmes, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
  • Program manager: Reg Russwurm, Manager, Design and Construction, Engineering and Transportation Services
  • Approved budget: 2,846,218 (planning phase only)
  • Funding sources: 53 per cent grants and subsidies, 25 per cent tax reserves, 22 per cent rate reserves
  • Target completion (planning phase only): Q4 2024

For more information

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