Project history

Welcome to the Online Engagement for the Baker District Redevelopment!

The Urban Design Master Plan shows how all the elements of the Baker District—residential, commercial, parking and open space—fit together and connect.

Land Acknowledgement

In planning for the redevelopment of this area of Guelph,

let us take time to reflect on our privilege to live and work in Guelph; a city built over rich Indigenous histories. We are guests here, and we should reflect upon the responsibility to care for this land, the people who live here today, and the generations to come. If our actions today can move us towards reconciliation, we should take pause and make those decisions with intention and gratitude.

This place we call Guelph has served as traditional lands and a place of refuge for many peoples over time, but more specifically the Attiwonderonk, and the Haudenosaunee. This land is held as the treaty lands and territory with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Guelph lies directly adjacent to the Haldimand Tract and is part of a long-established traditional hunting ground for the Six Nations of the Grand River. Many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples who have come from across Turtle Island call Guelph home today.

Designs for new library unveiled

The Guelph Public Library Board of Directors has approved the schematic design for the new Central Library recently presented by Diamond Schmitt Architects, including interior and exterior renderings.

New central Guelph Public Library design images

The approved schematic design for the new library was informed by input gathered over two years of community engagement and addresses the broad range of needs identified by people in Guelph including naturally lit open and private meeting spaces with connections for audio and video sharing, a cutting-edge makerspace with technology available to all, catering amenities, space for the Library’s significant archives collection and a place for people to gather, celebrate, listen, read and learn.

Building a Better Food Future:

Windmill Developments is thrilled to present the video series, “Sowing Change,” which explores the question: What does it take to build a better food future?

In partnership with the City of Guelph, Windmill is developing a model sustainable community in the heart of downtown Guelph, called the Baker District. Unique to this project is a focus on making the Baker District a community that promotes and celebrates local and sustainable food.

Guelph has a thriving food community that the Baker District aims to strengthen and support. Through the Sowing Change video series, Windmill intends to shine a spotlight on leaders within Guelph’s food community who are helping to create a more sustainable, accessible and resilient food system. Together, we will explore how we can build a better food system in Guelph and across Canada.

Imagine a food system where there’s no such thing as waste and where every resident has access to the healthy, nutritious food they need. Sound too good to be true? Not for the City of Guelph. In this interview with Barb Swartzentruber of Our Food Future, learn more about how the City of Guelph is actively building Canada’s first circular food economy.

Baker District Redevelopment Overview

We’re transforming the existing Baker Street municipal parking lot and adjacent properties into a compact district nestled in Guelph’s historic core that will create a renewed area of activity, commerce and civic space for the local community and city.

This welcoming and publicly-accessible integrated civic hub—known as Baker District—is anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library and outdoor urban square, and features residential units, commercial and potential institutional space, and public parking.

As a landmark city-building initiative, the Baker District redevelopment further revitalizes our downtown and—by extension—improves our entire city’s economic and social prosperity.

This means:

  • more people living downtown and contributing to the City’s tax base to fund municipal programs and service
  • more jobs due to an increase in demand for retail and commercial services
  • an increase in retail spending for current and new businesses
  • more people visiting and learning downtown; contributing to a vibrant and healthy downtown

The project also contributes to Guelph’s growth target: a population of 208,000 people and an employment base of 116,000 jobs by 2051. Specifically, the City’s Official Plan has Guelph’s downtown being planned to achieve a density target of 150 people and jobs combined per hectare by 2031 and to be a focus for high density employment, residential development, public infrastructure and services, and multimodal transportation.

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