Developer Downsizes Proposed West Guelph Apartment Project

  • 06/28/19
  • |          Guelph

Revised proposal contains up to 700 apartment and townhouse units; original proposal saw 800 units

A proposal to build hundreds of new apartment and townhouse units in the west end of the city will be returning to council next month, and it will be a bit smaller.

At council’s planning meeting on July 8, council chambers will play host to a public meeting for the development of 361 Whitelaw Rd., just west of Elmira Road, near Paisley.

According to the application from Armel Corp., the developer is looking to build as many as 700 townhouse and apartment units on the property, down from the 800 originally pitched last year.

Under the revised proposal, there would be four apartment buildings, each eight to nine storeys tall, on the north end of the property, with 492 residential units.

Those taller buildings are now “oriented to the streets with stepping and terracing as the buildings rise,” said a revised application letter sent to the city late last month by the GSP Group, the planners representing Armel for this project.

“The corner of the site has been opened to create an entry plaza. Building mass has also been redeployed at the north end of the site so that it now opens to the west of the woods while still framing the courtyard on three sides.”

The middle of the property would be two six-storey apartment buildings of 80 units, as well as 128 stacked, back-to-back townhouses.

The south end of the site would be home to a 1.4-hectare neighbourhood park, up from the originally proposed 1.15 hectares.

The increased park size hits one of the requests that came from council during the previous public meeting for this project, in December.

“This is a greenfield development in a large area. I see no reason why we would not expect the full complement within our parkland dedication bylaw,” Coun. Mike Salisbury said at the time.

“I just don’t understand why we would consider anything else.”

In its letter to the city, GSP adds that “Armel is investigating providing a further park connection to Shoemaker Crescent and Whitelaw Gardens Park on adjacent land it owns in the Township of Guelph Eramosa.”

When the proposal first came to council last year, much of the discussion revolved around the size of the project and the potential for thousands of new residents coming to the neighbourhood.

One of those concerns is where everyone would park, with the original proposal calling for 802 parking spaces — 620 for the apartments and 182 for the townhouses.

The downsizing of the residential space has also come with a slight decrease in the number of parking spots, dropping to 775, with 581 underground.

As was the case in the December meeting, council will not be voting to approve or deny this development application. Instead, they will send it back to staff, who will then bring forward a report to council recommending whether to approve.

There is no timetable for when such a report would come forward.

The July 8 council planning meeting gets started at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.

Anyone wishing to speak to council at the meeting is asked to register as a delegation no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, July 5. To register, go online to, or get in touch with the city clerk’s office at 519-837-5603, or email

Written comments can also be submitted to the city clerk’s office, also no later than 10 a.m. on July 5.

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