Bone fragments found under Baker Street parking lot during excavation prep now being exhumed:
Parking lot asphalt removal underway:
Guelph, Ont., October 22, 2021 – Archaeological consultants working for the City will be exhuming bone fragments from a grave found during work done to prepare for archaeological clearance of the Baker and Wyndham Street parking lots.
A full excavation of the Baker and Wyndham Street lots is required by the Province for archaeological clearance before construction of the Baker District redevelopment can begin as planned in spring 2022.
The City is following an established process for managing discoveries of human remains including notification to appropriate agencies such as Guelph Police Services, partner Indigenous governments and Provincial ministries. The City will also share public updates on progress and discoveries of remains every two weeks until the work is complete.
Once the archaeological clearance work is done, all remains found during the excavation now underway will be documented and reinterred at Woodlawn Memorial Park.
Respect and dignity for remains:
To ensure that human remains are treated with respect and dignity the City does not take or share photographs of any remains found. The City requests that media and the public also follow this direction for the respectful treatment of remains.
The triangular block that is the currently Baker Street municipal parking lot was the site of an all-faith cemetery from 1827-1853.The Public Burying Ground was established by the Canada Company in 1827, the year Guelph was founded. The site was used as a cemetery for 26 years. In 1853 the Town of Guelph passed a new bylaw banning human burials within town limits. The property continued to be owned by the Canada Company for another 24 years, until it was purchased by the City for use as a public park in 1879. When plans were made to move the remains from the old Public Burying Ground to a new cemetery (Woodlawn Memorial Park), family members moved some burials, but others, especially unmarked graves, remained.
About the Baker District redevelopment:
The City and Windmill Developments are transforming the existing Baker Street municipal parking lot and adjacent properties into a vibrant 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 the Baker District—is anchored by a new central Guelph Public Library and includes outdoor urban squares, residential units, commercial space and public parking.
As a landmark city-building initiative, the Baker District redevelopment further revitalizes Guelph’s downtown and—by extension—improves the entire city’s economic and social prosperity.
The Baker District redevelopment project supports multiple priorities of the City’s strategic plan, Guelph. Future Ready.:
- Sustaining Our Future through net-zero carbon targets
- Powering Our Future through helping to grow downtown business and the local economy
- Building our Future through the inclusion of affordable housing
- Working Together for Our Future through innovation and strategic partnerships
The redevelopment also supports the themes of Guelph’s Community Plan to love where we live, protect our environment, create value, and play and explore.
Guelph’s first mass-vaccination clinic is opening this week at Skyjack / Linamar on Woodlawn Rd! Watch this walk-thru VIDEO to better understand what to expect. Stay strong Guelph! We got this! More info through Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health!
This info is good to have as a quick snapshot as we wait until Feb 16th to see what the Province and the local Public Health Unit decide for us!
Today the Government of Ontario announced the extension of the Stay-at-Home Order and the enhanced provincewide restrictions (under O. Reg 82/20) in most areas of the province, including the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) area, until Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The province has indicated the intension to “gradually transition each region from the current shutdown measures, to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open. The province will assess our local COVID-19 data trends and will decide which zone of restriction (Grey, Red, Orange, Yellow, or Green) our area will be moved back into on Feb 16, 2021. Please note there is the potential for areas to remain in the current Grey – Lockdown/Shutdown Zone, past Feb 16, 2021, depending on the local data trends.
When can I re-open?
Under the extension of the current Grey – Lockdown/Shutdown measures (under O. Reg 82/20), Personal Service Settings (PSSs) are to remain closed until at least Tues, Feb 16, 2021. We do not yet know which zone of restrictionWDGPH will move back into on Feb 16, 2021. The province will make this decision. Once this decision is made, we will update you as soon as possible.
If you choose to do so, PSSs are permitted to operate as a general retail business only, subject to conditions. If open for retail business, personal care services continue to not be permitted at this time.
For questions relating to COVID-19 in general, including face coverings, business or workplace concerns, physical distancing questions or non-emergency reporting, please call our Public Health COVID-19 Call Centre for non-health related questions at:
For information on COVID-19 testing or symptomatic employees, please call our Public Health COVID-19 Call Centre for health related questions at:
If you have additional questions related to the operation of an inspected premise/facility, please contact a public health inspector at:
Please also be aware, our WDGPH Community Stakeholder COVID-10 Bulletins are posted on our website for your reference. These community bulletins contain a summary of current information and updates related to COVID-19.
Note: A flyer by a local resident has apparently recently been handed out to many homes in the South end and so this info below is provided to address that flyer and other concerns. In no way is this reflective of my own position on all or any development applications that may come forward but I thought it good for you to have this information so you can consider it in context of the growth happening in that area and how City policies are already in place to consider these applications and impacts to the area.
Development proposals are reviewed to ensure the proposed development and/or change in land use is consistent with the applicable provisions of the Provincial Policy Statement, conforms to the Official Plan, conforms to any Provincial Plans that are in effect, and provides an integrated approach to land use planning.
(In regards to flyer being handed out in the south end recently)… The City’s Official Plan identifies the Natural Heritage System and provides policies which protect natural features and areas for the long term. Development is not permitted within the Natural Heritage System, including minimum or established buffers. The two specific development applications referenced (1242-1260 Gordon Street and 220 Arkell Road) are not proposing development within the Natural Heritage System.
Development is being proposed adjacent to the Natural Heritage System and an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) has been submitted for both development applications. A Terms of Reference for the EIS was reviewed and approved by City staff and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). The purpose of the Environmental Impact Study is to assess potential impacts of the proposed activities, and recommend appropriate setbacks (i.e., established buffers) from the natural heritage feature or areas within the adjacent lands, to ensure no negative impacts. Minimum buffers are identified to prevent damage and degradation to the natural heritage features and areas that are part of the Natural Heritage System. These documents are currently under review and no decisions have been made on either application.
All supporting documents submitted with development applications are available online here: