Baker District redevelopment

The Baker District redevelopment is a City of Guelph development project aimed at transforming the existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use development.

The Downtown Secondary Plan envisions the Baker District redevelopment becoming a model of urban intensification that drives visitors to the downtown and encourages business to thrive within its boundaries by combining residential and commercial spaces.

The City has explored concepts for the site, formally endorsing the 2009 concept and 2014 concept.

The redevelopment will include:

  • New central library (Guelph Public Library)
  • Residential
  • Commercial/institutional
  • Public parking
  • Urban square

Windmill Development Group is leading the planning, design and development for the Baker District project. The development team, led by Windmill, includes Diamond Schmidt Architects, DTAH, and Urban Equation Corporation. The companies, who have successfully worked together before, are working closely with the City and Guelph Public Library to arrive at a final plan for the development.

The Baker District redevelopment project is being developed as a One Planet Living community.

Have your say

As we move forward, there will be more opportunities for the community to participate in the development of the Baker District, both through the Guelph Public Library as it develops the new library space and programming, and the City as the Baker District design concepts are developed and refined.

Opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community via our social media channels, online, and in the City News pages of the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

The Baker District redevelopment is a City of Guelph development project aimed at transforming the existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use development.

The Downtown Secondary Plan envisions the Baker District redevelopment becoming a model of urban intensification that drives visitors to the downtown and encourages business to thrive within its boundaries by combining residential and commercial spaces.

The City has explored concepts for the site, formally endorsing the 2009 concept and 2014 concept.

The redevelopment will include:

  • New central library (Guelph Public Library)
  • Residential
  • Commercial/institutional
  • Public parking
  • Urban square

Windmill Development Group is leading the planning, design and development for the Baker District project. The development team, led by Windmill, includes Diamond Schmidt Architects, DTAH, and Urban Equation Corporation. The companies, who have successfully worked together before, are working closely with the City and Guelph Public Library to arrive at a final plan for the development.

The Baker District redevelopment project is being developed as a One Planet Living community.

Have your say

As we move forward, there will be more opportunities for the community to participate in the development of the Baker District, both through the Guelph Public Library as it develops the new library space and programming, and the City as the Baker District design concepts are developed and refined.

Opportunities for engagement will be shared with the community via our social media channels, online, and in the City News pages of the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

We would like to hear from you. 

View the November 29, 2018 Baker District Open House presentation. Also have a look at the FAQ section on the right side of your screen. 

What do you want to know more about the Baker District redevelopment including the new central library, residential, commercial and institutional spaces, parking and an urban square? 

Ask us a question

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  • Something I've always disliked about some condos is that they have no balcony which means no place to grow vegetable in my portable raised bed garden and no place to sit outside privately for a cup of coffee in the morning. Please tell me that balconies are part of the plan. I volunteer at the SEED at the Guelph Community Health Centre and very much believe that community gardens should be part of all builders' plans. Is this something you're considering?

    janet asked 2 months ago

    Thank you very much for your question.

    Windmill Development Group is working with two world class architectural firms to create a desirable, sustainable residential community in the Baker District. 

    While the design process is in the early stages, several considerations from the One Planet Living framework such as Health and Happiness and Land Use and Nature that will influence the design, including the potential for balconies and community gardens. Feedback from the community on priorities with respect to the One Planet Living framework will help to inform these decisions along with extensive surveys of the local residential market demands. 

  • When you say that 12% of the housing will be "affordable", how is this defined? Do you mean as the CMHC defines it - costing less than 30% of an average household’s before-tax income - or do you mean social housing, which is subsidized so low-income people can afford a home? I'm very concerned about the unaffordability of the housing market as it currently is - there has been a rapid (and tax-break supported) influx of wealth into the downtown core while hundreds of households spend years on a waiting list for social housing. If 88% of the housing will be 'left up to the market' then this appears to be continuing this trend of gentrification.

    MattS asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for the follow-up question.

    At this time we have not determined the specific nature and allocation of the affordable housing units being targeted for the development (i.e. 30% of average household’s before-tax income versus social housing). Windmill understands the community’s need for affordable housing and is committed to working with the City, province and other service providers to achieve an appropriate affordability mix for this development.

    As a private developer, Windmill must also balance the social needs of the community against having sufficient market housing in the development to make the overall project financially viable in order to achieve other City and community objectives for the development including the new central library, urban square, and public parking.  

    Windmill, together with our partner at the City, will continue to engage with the community in order to understand the priorities from each of the One Planet Living principles (the sustainability framework that will underpin the development) and how they relate to the development objectives, including affordable housing.

  • In the development I hope there is opportunity to show some of what was under the area-if you go to Waterloo museum-part of their floor is clear (with parts of the old road and rails from the streets' early days) as part of the floor you walk on-how terrific to have the entrance to the library with such a floor which triggers the history of that Baker Street's days as the original cemetery.

    A Holman asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your thoughtful question. 

    Both the City and Windmill Development understand the significance of the site’s history and will strive to create a development that acknowledges this history in a respectful and meaningful way. 

  • Hello, I am excited about this development, having attended the November 29th open house . I too am asking that you plan as much low cost affordable housing as humanly possible. You know better than I that there is such a need !! Thank you for all your work on this project.

    none asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and for your continued support. We look forward to hearing from you again! 

  • I live at 55 Yarmouth St. And my view overlooks Baker St parking lot. My concern is that when I look out of my window I’ll be staring at another building instead of my lovely view. I hope this will be considered in your planning.

    Fiona asked 2 months ago

    Windmill Developments has retained Diamond Schmitt Architects (DSAI) and DTAH as its architects of record for this exciting development at Baker Street. Both firms are universally recognized for their award winning architectural solutions to complex urban design projects and have a successful track record of delivering compelling design solutions that are both contextually responsible and architecturally pleasing.  

    As part of the development process, DSAI and DTAH will follow a strict process of municipal approvals and compliance requirements developed to ensure that the proposed development is in keeping with policy developed by the City of Guelph designed to ensure positive development standards are maintained. Some of these requirements place limits on building heights, floor plate sizes and set back requirements, these have been established in order to minimize the impact on adjacent properties, pedestrians and the larger public realm.

    In addition to this, both firms will undertake rigorous studies to ensure building shadows and their impacts are appropriately addressed, building massing will be carefully analyzed through the use of wind-tunnel testing to address any potential impact to pedestrians at street level in an effort to eliminate negative micro-climates that can arise as a result of developments of this scale.

    Windmill are excited to develop our design proposal with greater detail and share our results with the Guelph community. 

  • Given that: - vacancy rates are very low and demand for affordable smaller units is high - lack of primary rental supply makes finding affordable rental units difficult - secondary rental market is not as secure as primary - the CMHC National Housing Strategy provides access to $40 billion over the next 10 years and some of those funds are specifically aimed at new construction of affordable rental capacity I would strongly urge the residential component of the Baker District Development to make all possible efforts to secure as much funding from the National Housing Strategy as possible.

    kevinbowman asked 4 months ago

    Windmill is committed to providing homes for a range of incomes with a goal of providing 12% of the suites as affordable. 

    Windmill will work with the City and other service providers in the affordable housing community to determine the final affordability component within the development. 

    The City and Windmill will work collectively to explore, and apply for, any financial assistance that will support the viability of the affordable housing component of the development, including those provided by CHMC.

  • I went to the open house at the River Run the other evening, and a couple of questions have come to me since: What about wind tunnels? Has this issue been taken into consideration in the developers plan? And will the walkways that are planned receive sunshine? Or will they be permanently shaded by the buildings around them?

    Kris asked 3 months ago

    The Baker District will be designed to maximize comfort both in and outside of buildings. In early 2019, the consulting team will perform climate analysis (including wind, sunlight and shading studies) to optimize building and site design.


  • Will the development include a bikeable/ walkable pathway throughtout? And will the pathway be connected safely to the streets so that users will bike or walk to this destination?

    mike asked 4 months ago

    While the specific pathways have yet to be designed, the Baker District will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists. More to come as the design evolves!


  • Hello, I was unavailable to attend the full presentation of the Baker St redevelopment on Nov 29th, but was able to look at several panels and talk to one of the architects at the end of the session. So far I am very impressed - it would be great to see similar efforts made for the Clair Maltby Secondary Plan. Just curious - is there a video or audio of the presentation from Nov 29? Or will a slide show from the presentation be made available to the public?

    BryanM asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for attending the Open House on November 29th and for your affirming comments. 

    While we do not have a video of the presentation, we have posted a copy of the presentation in the "Document Library" section. 

    For your convenience, you can download the presentation by visiting the following link: 

    https://www.haveyoursay.guelph.ca/6882/documents/12862

  • Is there any consideration of either University of Guelph or Conestoga college using the institutional space?

    BrianO asked 4 months ago

    Windmill is in the process of formalizing its partnerships on the institutional space and we have given serious consideration to both University of Guelph and Conestoga College.

    Windmill understands the strong synergies a post secondary institution would bring to both the project and the broader Guelph community. 

    Windmill is committed to invigorating Downtown Guelph by finding a complimentary user(s) for the space.