Downtown Infrastructure Renewal program

About this project

The purpose of the Downtown Infrastructure Renewal Program is to improve and upgrade roads, sewers, watermains, sidewalks, cycling facilities, and the streetscape within the areas designated within the Downtown Secondary Plan. The work is limited to the portion north of the Metrolinx railway tracks.

Delivery of this scope will be enhanced through additional activities to ensure alignment with the Downtown Coordination Plan and Communication Framework.

We have a great downtown and want to make it even more resilient, attractive, and welcoming.

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. That means construction and related disruptions, and we’re committed to phasing and carrying out this work in a way that minimizes the impacts to people living in, working in, and visiting downtown Guelph.

Construction will begin in 2026 and is expected to take up to 10 years to complete. As we rebuild roads we’ll also be modernizing and beautifying the streetscape. With intentional and responsible planning, the infrastructure we build today will create the foundation for prosperity, sustainability, and well-being 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.

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

Study area

The primary study area is north of the railway tracks that cross Gordon Street at Waterloo Avenue. 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


  • 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 2023
  • Develop study recommendations: Q2 to Q4 2023
  • Prepare project documentation: Q1 to Q4 2024

Project status and last quarter update

Within scope

On revised schedule

Within revised budget

  • In Q2 2023, staff worked on the two environmental assessments and prepared the Capital Implementation Plan.
  • The shortlist of options was presented to Council at the Committee of the Whole on June 6, 2023.
  • Staff will engage the community on the shortlist of options over the summer.
  • In the fall, staff will present the preferred preliminary option to the community for feedback.
  • At the same time, consultation will continue for the overall Capital Implementation Plan. Discussions are underway to decide if the scope of the program should be expanded to include areas south of the Metrolinx railway tracks to address sanitary sewer capacity restraints identified during the Water and Wastewater Servicing Master Plan. The various deliverables will be finalized in 2024.

Latest updates

Community engagement

Community engagement has and will continue to be an important part of this project. Since launching in 2021, we’ve held many online and in-person events to:

  • introduce the work,
  • set the context for the Environmental Assessments,
  • present and validate problem and opportunity statements, and
  • answer questions and address concerns about the project and impacts.

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

Capital Implementation Plan and environmental assessments

As part of this program of work the City is undertaking two Class Environmental Assessments (EAs) and developing an overall implementation plan.

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 EA will review 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 expects to present the preferred options for the two EAs to Council in 2024. Once the EAs are completed and have been approved by the Province, phasing and staging will be determined through the development of the Capital Implementation Plan in 2024.


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: $2,541,518 (planning phase only)
  • Funding sources: 61 per cent grants and subsidies, 22 per cent tax reserves, 17 per cent rate reserves
  • Target completion: 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]