Market Square construction activity

An update from our staff on the project:

Market Square construction progress

 The Market Square project includes the following construction activities and milestones:

  •  Complete reconstruction of Carden Street including watermains, sewers, sidewalks and landscaping
  • Resurfacing Carden Street and the Square using paverbrick
  • Landscaping and plantings in the Square
  • Building the rink/water feature
  • Building the pavilion basement to house the electrical and mechanical controls for the rink / water feature, lighting and sound equipment.
  • Building the pavilion building to house the washrooms, changes area and zamboni storage
  • Since starting the project last year, the City has completed all underground work on Carden Street, concrete benches/planters in the Square and the basement for the pavilion.

    Current activity

    Carden Street is closed to traffic as work continues on the street surfacing (paverbrick), sidewalk and landscaping. Shops and restaurants will remain open and accessible throughout the project, and we expect to re-open the road by the end of July. 

    Plans for spring and summer

    The deadline for using Federal and Provincial Infrastructure funds was extended to October 31, so we’re able to take advantage of more suitable weather and working conditions. The rink/water feature will be constructed this spring and summer. Also, we expect the surface of the Square, and the landscaping to be substantially completed by this fall.

    Unfortunately, initial submissions to build the pavilion building exceed the approved budget. Working to manage costs for the project, the City will seek new bids on the project in May, and expect to award the contract in early June. Construction on the pavilion would begin shortly thereafter, and continue through the fall.

    What to expect in the fall

    As portions of the Square are completed, we hope to stage a series of small events as a “soft-opening” for the Square. Completion dates for the street, landscaping, rink/water feature and pavilion will be announced as work progresses. The project is very complex and construction timelines can be impacted by weather and other factors.

    The City will announce a completion date for the entire project once we have more detailed construction timelines for the square, rink/water feature and more specifically the pavilion.

    For more information

    The latest project updates, including the construction progress reported in this memo will be available on the City’s website You are also welcome to contact any member of the Market Square Project Team.

    Who is the Market Square Project Team?


    • Rick Henry, General Manager Engineering Services
    • Andrew Janes – contract management /civil construction
    • Jyoti Pathak – landscape construction


    • Mario Petricevic, General Manager, Corporate Building Maintenance
    • Scot Richardson – facility details
    • Colleen Clack – event development and donor relations


    • Operations – Transit/Traffic/Parking – road closures
    • Downtown Renewal – stakeholder relations
    • Corporate Communications – issues management, media and public relations


    About Karen Farbridge

    An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

    View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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    3 Comments on “Market Square construction activity”

    1. Deb Says:

      Tearing up one of the nicest parts of downtown for the third year in a row seems highly unfair to the local businesses – despite all the good reasons for doing it.

    2. kfarbridge Says:

      Hello Deb,

      I have been giving your comments a lot of thought since you posted it. Your post highlights the dilemma. There has been an impact on lcoal businesses yet there are good reasons for our community to be creating this new public space in front of a new City Hall and POA Court.
      Perhaps we need to have a special event for the single purpose of inviting Guelph residents to come and recognize these businesses and thank them by shopping at their stores and eating at their restaurants.

    3. Deb Says:

      Hello Karen,
      I appreciate your response.
      I think that having a special event would be a good idea, and likely quite necessary at this point.
      Perhaps we can also learn from it for the future and have more modest plans that don’t take such a toll. There are key players suffering here, as well as affecting plenty of patrons.
      No matter how many they are related to the rest of the population, it’s also possible that the toll will continue due to lack of parking for city hall and increased after-hours loitering.
      Perhaps we can look at this as the consequences of an imbalance in considering the wonderful over the practical.
      I think that Guelph may be able to use some leadership in restoring quite a bit more practicality to the city’s vision.
      It’s still a relatively small city, with more than a few quirks (and perks). Sometimes the desire to keep up the reputation as progressive seems to be at the expense of many of the current the residents – and dealing with the quirks that can impede visitors to our fine city.
      Guelph is beautiful and unique. A city, yet with small town charm and warmth.
      Keeping things down to earth is not likely to harm it’s potential.
      It will likely increase it due to a firm foundation underneath the Castles in the Sky.
      What a shame It would be see some of the city’s gems, like some of the shops on Carden St, be pushed out in the name of ‘progress’.
      No one’s perfect, and learning from mistakes is what makes many successful people, successful.
      Perhaps that can be true of a rapidly expanding and diversifying small city, as well.

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