Emma Rutledge

“Working with the Yorklands Green Hub on this research project has been an extremely rewarding experience. As a third-year history major at the University of Guelph, I was able to gain useful research and communication skills that I know will aid me in my continued studies and future endeavours. I look forward to witnessing the progress of the Yorklands in readapting the site through an environmental outlook and I feel grateful that I could have even a small part in preserving its rich history.”

Images of Artwork by GCC inmates provided by Arend Nieuwland

Please see Emma’s Research essay and notes below:

University of Guelph – History Project On The Stone Wall

University of Guelph History Student: Gregory Stojanovski

University of Guelph – Landscape Architecture Thesis

Graduate Student Kevin Todd dives into the world of landscape policy.


Abstract: Formerly home of a provincial prison, “the Yorklands” in Guelph, ON, is now a popular, passive green space. Guelph is exploring adjacent intensification, which it must balance with local climate change mitigation, food security, and community goals. This study explores the potential for adaptive-reuse at the Yorklands that would implement urban agriculture to address those goals. A landscape narrative method provides the basis for this by combining archival data, public policy context and site analysis to interpret and highlight the layered past at the Yorklands. Findings highlight the Yorklands’ unique history of prison labour (and cultural heritage features), current opportunities within planning policy, and local community stakeholder goals. This research is an example of understanding a historic landscape through the creation of a narrative prior to adaptive reuse. At the Yorklands, it will provide crucial background for holistic landscape design intervention.

Report on the Superintendent’s House (Jan 2021)

Undergraduate University of Guelph student E. Vanleeuwen walks through the history and status of the Superintendent’s house.

Superintendent’s House


U of G Environmental Engineering Students Do Research Report for Yorklands Green Hub

On the job with notebooks in autumn 2019 University of Guelph Environmental Engineering students forming a plan for Yorklands Green Hub
Having completed their final report for Yorklands Green Hub, this fine group of four University of Guelph co-op students graduated in 2020 from Environmental Engineering. Elli Shanen, Jacob Martin, Alana Valle, and Ana Brankovan delivered a terrific research report on water conservation and public demonstration using the superintendents house … called One Water System….

The One Water Final Report

YGH One Water-Final Report 2020_updated

Business Students Consolidate Research for Yorklands Green Hub

Three business students from the John F Wood School of Business students consolidated research for us on future possibilities in the business community who care about building urban sustainability. Their research paper is in our files for future use.

Jaspreet Sagoo, Jessica Macdonald and Nida Nausedas

University of Guelph Students Put Together Future Land Uses Report

In 2018 autumn, we partnered with 61 University of Guelph third year students in the ASCI 3000 programme under Professor Cory Hector of the Dept of Arts and Science. The objective was to connect with us through their varied disciplines to “community engagement through experiential learning”. Below is their research and report.

UofG ASCI_3000 Future land uses Report copy

Field Study for Heritage Preservation and Landscape Research Done at the site of the proposed Yorklands Green Hub

January 2016 and 20 below zero! Prof. Cecilia Paine from University of Guelph Landscape Architecture School of Environmental Design with students conducting a field study for heritage preservation and landscape research at the proposed site of Yorklands Green Hub.

This interesting concept from these U of Guelph students is for a Community College on the proposed site for Yorklands that includes Parcels 1, 2 and 3. (map of parcels is on our front page. Click on “Latest News” from Ministry of Infrastructure Ontario for a short powerpoint of provincial plans for the whole site)

What Yorklands Green Hub Might Look Like

March 2015  University of Guelph Landscaping Architecture class, led by Professors Karen Landman and Lise Burcher, presented 8 designs of what Yorklands Green Hub might look like.

Report on Stream Daylighting Presented

November 2014  Trout Unlimited, with cooperation from Yorklands Green Hub and Ontario Streams, engaged Synergy Consulting Inc. who presented the report “Final Report of Stream Daylighting: Yorklands Green Hub“.

Evaluation of Clythe Creek

May 2014  Evaluation of Clythe Creek and wetlands on the proposed YGH site by Ontario Streams biologists Deborah Silver and Doug Forder

Yorklands Green Hub Consulting Report

April 2014  Students from the Wilfred Laurier University’s Contemporary Economic Geography class led by Professor Alison Blau-Palmer presented a consulting report for Yorklands Green Hub focusing on branding, promotional materials and identifying academic partners.

Report on Environmental Demonstration Hubs Presented

January 2014  Doran Hoge and Elizabeth Jackson of the University of Guelph Research Shop presented the report “Environmental Demonstration Hubs – Orienting Concepts and Applied Examples”.