The Baker District

Guelph, Ontario

Public Engagement and Sustainability Advisory


Program: Downtown Mixed-Use

Scale: 3 acres

Status: On-going

You can read the Baker District One Planet Action Plan here.

The Baker District redevelopment is a partnership between the City of Guelph and Windmill Development Group (Windmill) that aims to transform three acres of an existing parking lot and properties fronting the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique, mixed-use downtown development. Urban Equation is leading the public engagement and sustainability planning for this innovative project in order to deliver a One Planet Living community.

Urban Equation conducted an ecological footprinting exercise of the City of Guelph to ensure our design strategies for the site reduce the ecological footprint of future residents of the Baker District compared to the average Guelph citizen. The development is the first of its kind in Canada to use ecological footprinting to inform the strategies that will minimize the overall impact of the project. Our work laid the foundation for long-term measurement of sustainability at the Baker District. The ecological footprinting was also instrumental in the development of the project’s One Planet Action Plan, or OPAP. Bioregional, the creator of the One Planet Living framework, verified the outcomes, targets, and strategies included in the Baker District’s OPAP, a roadmap that will guide the development of the Baker District as one of the world’s most sustainable communities.

The landmark Baker District development by the City of Guelph and Windmill Developments has become only the second development in Canada and the third in North America to receive international endorsement under the One Planet Living sustainability framework. As a One Planet Living community, Baker District is instrumental in the City of Guelph’s goal of becoming a net zero carbon city by 2050.

We have delivered implementable and innovative policies for the Baker District that harmonize the goals of both the public and private sector. Our approach and work sets a new standard for development in Guelph, as well as other communities across the country.