Downtown Infrastructure Renewal program

Project at a glance

  • A Tier-1 capital project (over $10 million)
  • Replacement and upgrade of aging underground infrastructure, e.g., water and sewer pipes
  • Construction starts in 2026 and will continue over 10 years
  • Part of the overall Downtown Renewal program to transform Downtown Guelph

We have a great downtown and want to make it even more resilient, attractive, and welcoming. Today, aging water and sewer pipes, roads, and sidewalks are in need of attention; we need to replace them before they break which could cause floods and other damage.

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 work is being managed as a Tier 1 capital project. Tier 1 projects are the City’s most complicated and high-value projects and are managed with the utmost rigour and accountability.

This project is part of the overarching Downtown Renewal program aimed at revitalizing and transforming downtown 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


  • 2021: project planning begins
  • August 2021: community engagement begins
  • 2021–2024: Capital Implementation Plan (CIP) and Environmental Assessments (EA) of the Macdonell Street (Allan) Bridge and Wyndham Street
  • 2025: detailed design begins
  • 2026: expected start of construction

Depending on the pace, all construction will take up to 10 years.

Current work

Community engagement

Community engagement has and will continue to be an important part of this project. From 2021 to 2022 we held several online and in-person engagement events with our community 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.

The City will offer more opportunities to engage as the project continues.

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.

Downtown Renewal

Renewing our Downtown infrastructure is part of the City’s work to transform and revitalize Guelph’s historic core.


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]