Former Guelph jail may become ecological research centre

A group in Guelph is looking to transform two former jail buildings into an ecological research and education centre.

The Guelph Correctional Centre was shut down as a jail in 2001

The Guelph Correctional Centre is almost a century old and was used as a jail until 2001. The Yorklands Green Hub group is asking to use two of the jail's buildings and 36 acres of land. (Google )

A historic jail in Guelph may be on its way to becoming an ecological research and education centre.

The Yorklands Green Hub group has plans to transform the century-old Guelph Correctional Centre facility as part of a larger vision to build an urban village in the area.

Norah Chaloner, the group’s chair, says the intent for the new centre is to focus on water, energy and local food security.

“We’re actually only asking for 36 acres which has always been agricultural, and two of the buildings on the site,” said Chaloner"It has similar goals [as Guelph] in helping our city bring down the dependence on fossil fuel,"

Chaloner says the two buildings being requested are the superintendent’s house and gatehouse. She adds many organizations have pledged support including the University of Guelph, FarmStart, and the Transition Guelph National Farmers Union of Ontario.

However, Chaloner says although city council has approved the idea and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals has also given her support, the Green Hub group will have to wait until after the Ontario election for a result since the facility is owned by province.