Event to Highlight Student Ideas for Downtown

October 27, 2009 - News Release

St. George’s Square, the hub of downtown Guelph, is slated for redevelopment in a couple of years, and a group of University of Guelph students are getting a head start envisioning what it should look like in the future.

About 50 fourth-year landscape architecture students have come up with conceptual redesigns for the city’s square. They will be presented to the public Oct. 29 during a public open house at City Hall.

“There has already been a lot of interest in the project,” said Prof. Lise Burcher of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, whose class spearheaded the initiative.

Some downtown business owners, city staff members and councillors and members of the Guelph Civic League got a sneak peek at the plans during a special design workshop earlier this month, and the feedback was positive, she said.

The student designs, which include visuals, three-dimensional models, digital modelling and hand graphics, will be on display from 3 to 5 p.m. in the new City Hall Galleria. The students will formally present the ideas from 5 to 7 p.m.

Working in teams of five, the students came up with various plans for the popular downtown square. They also researched the history of the square, created delineation maps and figures and even conducted on-site interviews to gain a public perspective. Although their plans focus on St. George’s Square, the study did take into consideration the entire downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods. “We wanted to ensure that all connectivity issues are addressed in the designs,” Burcher said.

One group of students has created a web site, which includes background on the square and project as well as blogs about their progress.

“Because the square is such an integral part of the city, we believe this project should be open to the entire community for discussion and interpretation,” Burcher said. “We welcome any and all comments, concerns or thoughts that will contribute to the success of this initiative.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338 or lhunt@uguelph.ca, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982 or bagunn@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1