September 15, 2008
Representatives from the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation, the Ontario government (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry of Energy and Public Infrastructure Renewal), the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph met to discuss the future of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) at its current location.

At the meeting, future research directions arising from the GTI Vision 2027 document were presented. There was significant discussion regarding the future land needs of the GTI and possible locations for the facility. All parties involved say they remain committed to the GTI, but that it is clear there will be future development near the facility. At this stage, the City of Guelph is engaged in a land planning exercise that includes the GTI property. In the current city planning proposal, the GTI property has been given a “residential mixed use” designation, which at first glance would appear to be incompatible with current research and educational uses of the site.

What is not clear is whether the GTI could continue to exist on either its current footprint or perhaps a slightly larger area. The facility would include public use areas (research sport fields and trails), integrated with the protected green space designation that has been given to the Eramosa River valley which runs along the north and east sides of the currently used area. This would involve approximately 70 acres of the current 280 acre Guelph Research Station site, of which the GTI is only a component. A second meeting of this same group, along with City of Guelph planning staff, is being organized to explore a concept of the GTI as an urban research facility that would be integrated with the city’s planning and development needs for the area.