As the heart of the city, downtown Guelph is a beautiful and welcoming public space. By 2031, several thousand people will live downtown, joining the thousands who work there daily and visit routinely to shop, dine, and enjoy downtown culture.
The City of Guelph is preparing for this future growth from the ground up. Some of Guelph’s downtown sewers and water pipes are over 100 years old; the Downtown Guelph Project focuses on revitalizing the city’s aging water and sewer pipes, roads and sidewalks. This multi-year project will improve what’s both below and above the roads to provide quality service and support the vitality of the downtown core for years to come. This important project will also help the City to continue to build a strong, vibrant, safe and healthy community.
The City is also transforming a parking lot into a welcoming, civic-hub known as Baker District anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library, and engaging with community members to learn how it can continue to build a vibrant and healthy downtown.
Completing these projects won’t happen overnight, but work has already started to ensure downtown Guelph is future ready.
In 2021, the City issued the notice of study commencement for two Municipal Class Environment Assessments (EAs), one focusing on Wyndham Street and the other on the Macdonell Street Bridge and Allan Dam Structures. Environmental assessments involve collaborating with the community to support planning and decision making for large projects.
Both EAs play a key role in the overall Downtown Guelph Project to examine and replace what’s below and above the road. The Wyndham Street EA will examine the function of the road for all users including the number of traffic lanes and available active transportation infrastructure. The other EA will examine the Macdonell Street Bridge and Allan Dam structures across the Speed River. These projects will revitalize Guelph’s important underground infrastructure while building an efficient and accessible transportation network.
Once the EAs are complete, an implementation plan will go to Council for review and approval. From there, the City will focus on design and eventual construction with community engagement ongoing throughout the process.
For Baker District, the City is working with an archaeological consultant to excavate the Baker and Wyndham Street parking lots for the required archeological clearance of the redevelopment site.
As with any major construction, there will be some disruptions with these projects. The City will work closely with the downtown community to reduce disruptions as much as possible and create unique and innovative solutions to keep downtown Guelph thriving.
This transformative project will ensure downtown Guelph is future ready while building beautiful, functional public spaces for all businesses, residents and visitors.
For project updates and to learn more, visit guelph.ca/downtownproject.