May 21, 2024

About this project

We’re transforming a former municipal parking lot 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.

The Baker District redevelopment project is a multi-year, multi-faceted project that will include a new library, parking garage and public squares in the Downtown core along Baker Street, Chapel and Park Lanes. The project phasing includes developing the site from the current status of a surface parking lot, through site preparation activities which include archaeological clearance, then construction of private development towers including commercial and residential spaces, along with the new parking garage, library and public squares.

Guelph Public Library entrance, artist rendering. Subject to change.

Guelph Public Library entrance, artist rendering. Subject to change.

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 services
  • 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 203,000 people and an employment base of 116,000 jobs by 2051. The City’s Official Plan earmarks Guelph’s downtown 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.

The Baker District redevelopment project is being developed as a One Planet Living community. One Planet Living is a planning and sustainability framework based on a desire to reduce the impact of the way we live, build, and consume. The Central Library and parking garage will also support the City’s Race To Zero goals, and becoming net carbon neutral by 2050, by meeting the Canadian Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Design standard.

The new central library is the first stand-alone library in Canada to achieve Canada Green Building Council®’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard ™ certification.

Timelines

  • Project Design and Tender Documents Q2 2021 to Q4 2022
  • Tender and Award Q1 to Q2 2024
  • Construction and building commissioning Q3 2023 to 2026
  • Operational startup and library and parkade opening 2026.
  • Project status and last quarter update

Project status and last quarter update

Central Library project status

Baker Parkade project status

Public squares project status

  • The Library has received Zero Carbon Building -Design Certification
  • The library has received Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program funding of $13.5 million from the Federal Government
  • Excavation and rock breaking was completed in Q1 2024
  • Building foundation and waterproofing will commence in Q2 2024.
  • Erection of the tower crane will be in Q2 2024.
  • Construction is expected to take three years with the library and parkade opening in 2026.

Community engagement

Get involved! Stay informed! Have your say! Sign up at haveyoursay.guelph.ca to receive information about engagement opportunities. You can also review information about engagement we’ve done in the past.

Resources

Additional project details

  • Executive sponsor: Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Project manager: Stephen Gazzola, Project Manager, Facility Design and Construction
  • Approved budget: Central Library: $62,000,000; Baker Parkade: $15,900,000; public squares: $2,600,000
  • Funding sources: Central Library: 33 per cent development charges, 67 per cent tax; Baker Parkade: 100 per cent rate; public squares: 100 per cent tax
  • Target completion: Q4 2026

For more information

Stephen Gazzola, Project Manager
Facilities and Energy Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3886
[email protected]


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