Market Square


City of Guelph


Guelph, Ontario

Design Team

Janet Rosenberg & Studio (Lead Landscape Architect and Consultant)
RDH Architects (Pavilion Architect)


Completed 2012


2015 Americas Property Award, Commercial Landscape Cateogry
2014 RAIC National Urban Design Awards, Certificate of Merit, Civic Design
2014 The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Provincial Award, Margaret and Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award
2013 CSLA Award of Excellence, Regional Honour

Photography Credit: Jeff McNeill, Kim Lawrence (City of Guelph)

As part of the revitalization of the city’s historical downtown core, Guelph Market Square was designed to adapt to a variety of uses throughout the year, rejuvenating the downtown core and establishing a vibrant new street life.

The design centers on a large, 8,500 square foot oval water feature that reflects the historic wall of the City Hall and the sky above. Seven programmable sculptural water jets along with a theatre quality LED lighting and sound system animate the pool, making it a unique and fun experience both day and night. The surface can be drained easily to accommodate large events such as markets and concerts, while a subsurface reservoir holds and recycles the water for the next day. During colder months, the water feature becomes an ice rink for skating and a focal point for winter festivities. The square exerts an influence beyond its own visual boundaries, stretching across the street, from the building face of City Hall to the face of the adjacent shops and businesses, allowing both entities to benefit from a dynamic public plaza.

The new civic square at Guelph’s City Hall is an important gathering space for the community and host to many events such as music festivals, the Summer Disco Party, Summer Street Party, Canada Day celebrations, Jazz Fest, and ice skating in winter. The transformation has helped to revitalize the surrounding downtown business area, encouraging residents to rediscover their city and return to shop, play, and enjoy.

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