The Exhibition Park neighbourhood has a reputation. It’s a reputation for being very pretty, very green, and very desirable.
One of Guelph’s older neighbourhoods, Exhibition revolves around a long, rectangular park that is close to a kilometer long and about 250 meters across, characterized by towering, ancient maples at both ends, a unique, ecologically friendly playground structure, and softball and baseball diamonds and other recreational facilities on its grounds.
The park itself was established way back in 1871, the land purchased by the city to house the annual community exhibition – hence the name. In the early days the grounds held a horse racing track, livestock sheds, and an exhibition building. Last year the park held an exhibition of food trucks.
David E. Hastings Stadium, home of the Guelph Royals, sits on the north end, an incarnation of the original baseball diamond built back in the 20s. Exhibition Arena was built in 1965 and is still active.
While Guelph is noted nationally for its pioneering of environment protection measures, Exhibition Park residents tend to have a reputation as environmental leaders in their own right. The neighbourhood is very green and very clean, the homes on the higher end side. The neighbourhood has long been one of the most desirable in the city.
Victory School is perhaps the most prominent architectural feature. It was built back in 1919, just after World War I. An original feature – it boy’s entrance on the north wall, a girl’s entrance on the south – remains as it was in the beginning. An addition was added to the school in the 1950s. But judging by the portable classrooms on the school grounds, that addition wasn’t quite enough.
The homes are as pretty as they can be all around the park. There are several historic heritage homes, each a true jaw-dropping gem.
One home on Kathleen Street spares no property for lawn. Instead, every inch of ground is dedicated to a vegetable garden and a small gang of chickens.
From several vantage points in the neighbourhood there is a view of the brilliant, white Guelph water tower just north of quaint Division Street.
The park is bustling this time of year. Like most parks and green spaces in the city it is a popular one for dogs and their owners.