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Guelph Innovation District Plans Move Forward

Guelph Innovation District Plans Move Forward

Fusion Homes has initiated the formal process for a long-discussed mixed-use development on Guelph’s east end, known as the Guelph Innovation District (GID). The company recently submitted its vision, including two of the four planned block layouts, to city officials for review.

The GID spans 328 acres, bordered by Victoria Road South, Stone Road East, and the Eramosa River. The land includes areas formerly occupied by the Ontario Turfgrass Institute, the old Wellington Detention Centre, and some conservation lands. Fusion’s plans propose a diverse mix of housing options, employment and commercial spaces, park areas, and, in a future phase, an elementary school.

Guelph Innovation District Plans Move Forward
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Key features of the submitted plans, as highlighted in the planning justification report, include:

  • Mixed-use buildings: These will be oriented towards Stone Road East, Victoria Road South, and the proposed extension of College Avenue.
  • Tallest buildings: These will be located at key intersections within the proposed mixed-use hub along College Avenue’s extension, Victoria Road South, and the proposed north-south collector road.
  • Innovation district: Located in the southwest quadrant at the intersection of Victoria Road South and Stone Road East, this area is planned for various employment uses.
  • Mixed-use neighborhoods: Surrounding the mixed-use and innovation districts, these neighborhoods will feature a variety of residential types and densities, along with commercial uses.
  • Lower density developments: These are directed towards the north and east edges of the area, adjacent to natural heritage system lands.
  • High-density uses: Concentrated around the mixed-use and innovation hubs.

The block plans submitted are for the northern part of the site, where initial construction efforts are expected to begin, with a primary focus on residential development. According to Ryan Scott, Fusion Homes’ vice-president of development and finance, the exact phasing plan is still being finalized.

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Currently, the proposed block plans are under review by city officials and are being circulated for comments to school boards, government ministries, adjacent property owners, and other stakeholders, explained Krista Walkey, the city’s general manager of planning and building services. Feedback from these entities will be reviewed, and necessary adjustments will be made in collaboration with Fusion before the block plans are submitted to city council for consideration.

Upon approval of the block plans, more detailed design efforts will begin, including the creation of subdivision plans and any required zoning or official plan amendments. These detailed plans will require various studies, such as archaeological and environmental assessments, and will also need council approval before construction can commence.

The GID project is based on a secondary plan approved by the city council in 2014, which dedicated the site for future mixed-use development. Fusion Homes acquired the property from the provincial government in late 2021.

Guelph Innovation District Plans Move Forward
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