The Ward Project: Three Years Later

Alice Street sign, formerly featured on a storefront.

Alice Street sign, formerly on a storefront. "For the good of the hood."

Huron Street graffiti Arthur Street South and Oliver Street intersection mural The Metalworks

Since this website was last updated, the Ward has undergone some changes, physically. As the sign above suggests, the neighbourhood retains much of the character that sets it apart in the city of Guelph. That being said, some of the projects identified three years ago as part of the process of gentrification in the Ward have advanced. Fusion Homes has christened the W.C. Wood freezer manufacturing facility into "the Metalworks." Fusion Homes describes "the Metalworks" as an "urban village" which will provide environmentally friendly, centrally located living spaces while respecting the historical significance of the site it occupies. Emblazoned upon the side of the building in bold lettering one can read "The Metalworks, Est. 1827." Units cost from $207,900 to $363,900 according to Buzz Buzz Home. The Metalworks will be constructed in five stages with the first stage possibly being completed in the fall of 2016, according to the Guelph Mercury. The Ward Residents' Association has largely acquiesced to the project and the graffiti of anti-gentrification activists whose slogans once covered the walls of various condo projects seems to have been reduced. Have the activists who once decried "systematic displacement" in the Ward reduced their involvement in the process or moved on altogether? Has the seal of approval given by the Ward Resident's Association to the development lessened dissent? Will the working-class and multicultural character of the Ward be altered by new developments? These are all questions which have yet to be answered. One thing, however, is certain: For better or for worse, the Ward is changing and will continue to change. The changing composition of the neighbourhood and the new developments arising within it are not unique to Guelph but part of broader societal trends occuring nationally and internationally. Ultimately, only time will tell.