Concerned about Homewood development

The Homewood grounds in Guelph are in danger of losing their heritage, environmental and cultural value due to development plansHomewood Health Centre in Guelph, Ontario is a world-renowned mental healthcare facility founded in 1883.  In 2010, the Homewood and its grounds were bought by Schlegel Holdings Inc, a private parent company for healthcare, retirement home, and urban development corporations.

The new Homewood owners have announced a $50-million development plan, which includes splitting up the Homewood property, demolishing historic buildings, and major loss of greenspace, trees, and natural habitat.  We are working to make these plans public and engage community input before they are permitted to move ahead.

The development plans

The proposed development at the Homewood, Guelph will demolish heritage buildingsSchlegel Holdings Inc. has applied to the City of Guelph to sever about a third of the site – 14.3 acres – from the south end of the property.  If approved, this will divide off a lot that may then be sold and/or developed.  A large part of the Homewood’s woodlot is in the proposed severance area.

There is also an application for site plan approval for some major new construction, and demolition of existing buildings.

The proposed development at the Homewood, Guelph will remove 183 trees and disturb essential habitat for species at risk.Homewood’s entire stock of buildings on the North side of Delhi Street across from its main entrance, including the historic Second Nurse’s Residence and two Edwardian residences, have been slated for demolition in order to expand a parking lot.  The charming gatehouse at the end of Arthur Street North is already in the process of being demolished by neglect.  And a huge new wing has been proposed that will replace the greenspace at the south end of the Homewood buildings on Delhi Street.

Already a significant area of forest has been clear-cut in the area across from the Guelph General Hospital, and we have eyewitness reports of many large trees and understory that have been removed throughout the property.  The reasons for these tree removals are not clear, but may be intended to gradually reduce the environmental and habitat value of the grounds.

Affected areas

The map below shows some of our concerns.  Zoom in for more detailed information.  Tap or click Homewood development concern and Homewood development question symbols for pop-up descriptions, and you can click the image in any pop-up to read more about that concern.

 

 

You can help!

Overhead view of clearing in Homewood groundsThe Homewood’s grounds are one of the largest managed green spaces remaining within the City of Guelph, and include the largest tree canopy in Downtown Guelph.  We believe that they are a vital part of the City’s landscape and heritage, as well as an important natural habitat corridor in the Speed River watershed. 

If you share our concerns, you can help — join us and add your voice to our community input!

 

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