Reformatory district

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Project overview

The City of Guelph is developing a Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study and Plan for the Ontario Reformatory area.

The Ontario Reformatory opened in 1911 and served as a correctional facility for the first half of the 20th century. From 1970 through to its decommissioning in 2001, parts of the Reformatory site were repurposed and operated as the provincially run Guelph Correctional Centre. In 2016, Infrastructure Ontario indicated its intention to sell the property and completed the required environmental remediation at that time. The lands are now used by the public for passive recreation and environmental education.

The Ontario Reformatory lands, also known as the Guelph Correctional Centre, are at 785 York Road in Guelph’s east end, south of York Road and west of Watson Parkway South.

This project is divided into two phases. Each will include a mix of technical and engagement tasks:

Phase 1: Heritage Conservation District Study

We will assess the historical, design, and contextual value of the study area; identify contributing and non-contributing properties and resources; review the existing policy framework in the area, and define boundaries for the cultural heritage landscape. Phase 1 also includes community engagement to help the project team further understand the community’s experience of the area and to inform the proposed HCD boundaries.

Phase 2: Heritage Conservation District Plan

Based on the outcomes of Phase 1 and the Council’s approval, we will build on the recommendations of the study. The plan will provide guidelines for managing change in ways that highlight the distinctive character of the area.

Community and Landowner Group

Become a member of our Community and Landowner Group (CLG).

We are accepting applications in the following three categories from residents at large for membership to the Ontario Reformatory Heritage Conservation District Study Community and Land Owner Group.

  • (two) Former employees or residents of the Guelph Correctional Centre
  • (one) Resident of east Guelph
  • (one) Resident at large

Read the terms of reference to understand the purpose and responsibilities of this group and if you are interested apply by completing the application. The deadline for applications is August 30, 2022.

Public Open House #1

The first Open House for the Reformatory District was held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform on June 8th from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. If you were not able to attend, you can view the recording of the session below. A transcript of the session is available here.


Project overview

The City of Guelph is developing a Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study and Plan for the Ontario Reformatory area.

The Ontario Reformatory opened in 1911 and served as a correctional facility for the first half of the 20th century. From 1970 through to its decommissioning in 2001, parts of the Reformatory site were repurposed and operated as the provincially run Guelph Correctional Centre. In 2016, Infrastructure Ontario indicated its intention to sell the property and completed the required environmental remediation at that time. The lands are now used by the public for passive recreation and environmental education.

The Ontario Reformatory lands, also known as the Guelph Correctional Centre, are at 785 York Road in Guelph’s east end, south of York Road and west of Watson Parkway South.

This project is divided into two phases. Each will include a mix of technical and engagement tasks:

Phase 1: Heritage Conservation District Study

We will assess the historical, design, and contextual value of the study area; identify contributing and non-contributing properties and resources; review the existing policy framework in the area, and define boundaries for the cultural heritage landscape. Phase 1 also includes community engagement to help the project team further understand the community’s experience of the area and to inform the proposed HCD boundaries.

Phase 2: Heritage Conservation District Plan

Based on the outcomes of Phase 1 and the Council’s approval, we will build on the recommendations of the study. The plan will provide guidelines for managing change in ways that highlight the distinctive character of the area.

Community and Landowner Group

Become a member of our Community and Landowner Group (CLG).

We are accepting applications in the following three categories from residents at large for membership to the Ontario Reformatory Heritage Conservation District Study Community and Land Owner Group.

  • (two) Former employees or residents of the Guelph Correctional Centre
  • (one) Resident of east Guelph
  • (one) Resident at large

Read the terms of reference to understand the purpose and responsibilities of this group and if you are interested apply by completing the application. The deadline for applications is August 30, 2022.

Public Open House #1

The first Open House for the Reformatory District was held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform on June 8th from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. If you were not able to attend, you can view the recording of the session below. A transcript of the session is available here.


Tell us about your connection to the Reformatory Lands

The history of the Reformatory Lands is complicated. From its beginnings as a space where imprisoned individuals could learn new skills to a place where a more traditional form of incarceration was practiced to its present where it supports recreation, education and access to nature, these lands are filled with stories. As part of this project, we want to gain a stronger understanding of the stories associated with the Reformatory Lands - both the good and the bad. If you have a connection to these lands, we invite you to share it here. Anonymous responses are welcome, and if you would like to share your story privately, please contact a member of the project team to share your story via email or set up a phone call where you can share your story with one of our staff members in confidence. These stories are integral to the historical significance of these lands, and will form a significant part of our HCD Study. 

Thank you for sharing your story with us. We look forward to including it in our Heritage Conservation District Study.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Lynn

    by Lynn Roodbol, 3 months ago

    I walk at the Old Reformatory (OR) regularly and have heard many stories from people who attach a great deal of meaning to the land at 785 York Road. There is a unanimous feeling that people do not want the land to be developed into housing for a limited number of people; they want to see the land remain accessible to the public.

    During the pandemic, many people have visited the lands and say that the Old Reformatory has saved their mental health. It's a good thing for Guelph to have more people who enjoy a higher level of mental... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    from Sunday services to hiking with our grandchildren

    by PatVDK, 3 months ago
    My husband and I visited the Reformatory or Correctional Centre in the 80's, as part of worship services offered on Sundays. Recently, we have been coming back to the Reformatory Lands to hike with our grandchildren who are under 5 yrs and quite happy to walk more than 5 km, for 1-2 hrs (snack stops change the speed of our distance covered!). We have followed the work of the Yorklands Green Hub with much interest and support their work and proposals for acquiring public access to the historical parcels and walking trails. Recently, I presented to the City Council about... Continue reading
Page last updated: 29 Jul 2022, 12:20 PM