The New Face of Guelph

December 1, 2012 4:05 pm Published by

In mid 2012 Katherine Mclaughlin of Thomasfield Homes presented to the the Guelph Developers Association a startling report on land availability.  We presented the report to our office and it’s entirety is available to CBN members in our online library, but I will summarize it for you as follows: The subdivisions of a decade ago are a thing of the past – there will be no more predominantly single family home subdivisions created in the City of Guelph. Whether that conclusion is accurate or not, is up for debate. To decide for yourself, ask your broker for a copy of the report – it’s a compelling read.  To be clear, the purpose of the report, prepared by a developer of single family home subdivisions, is intended to curb civic policy.  A quick look around our city however, might suggest that our environment is indeed changing.

 Two builders of high density multi family buildings (high rise condo’s) are pre-selling in Guelph.  Tricar downtown on former cooperators land sold roughly 70 percent of their product within the first few weeks. Serene, building in the south end backing onto conservation land has deposits on 40 of 160 planned units, with prices in the neighbourhood of $350/square foot.  Ten years ago, my parents purchased their current home – 2200 square feet or so, on 100 acres on Silvercreek parkway – for $425,000 (including the tractor). Today, $425,000 will buy you 1200 square foot of luxurious condo on Gordon Street! The rubber boots (or hip waders) you’ll need to enjoy the conservation land are extra.  Ironically, financial planners would have cautioned my folks that they shouldn’t be so heavily weighted in one asset class – particularly one that inconveniently fails to pay financial planners a commission.
Four storey multi unit buildings such as the ones Reids built on Gosling Gardens- an unproven product in the City of Guelph when the Westminster Woods plan of subdivision was originally approved – not only sell, but seem to sell rather quickly.  Coletara sold 91 units beside the old Brock Road public school in a matter of days, and have more than 1000 units worth of land secured in the City of Guelph. How many vacant lots do you suppose are available for single family homes? What do you suppose this might do to property values?
Yes Guelph, and particularly the downtown are changing rapidly.  Downtown is getting people. Soon folks that prefer to use actual bathrooms will outnumber the impatient lot that spill out onto the streets at 2 am on weekends. An infusion of residents, will force transformation, and I for one am excited about the prospects. Accolades to Tricar for getting the ball rolling.  The same for Skyline, for pushing forward on the completion of the Gummer building, and providing much needed rental units over looking downtown. Eighteen of them to be precise, built on top of a commercial base which will include a new Italian restaurant named Gusto’s, opening soon.  They are by the way, beautiful and rent out of upwards of $2000 a month.  As of this writing, only 3 are left. Yes, Guelph is changing. It’s exciting to see.
Thanks for reading,


Jeff Neumann


P.S.  I went to see the rental units at the Gummer, they are really beautiful, with great views, and patios overlooking the downtown.  If you have clients that may be interested – Jason Ashdown 519-826-0439.  

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