Projects | Adaptive Reuse | The Goudies Centre 


The Goudies Centre/Threatre & Co


A Culture Making Business in a Business Making Culture 

Creating a vision for leaders to connect as Kitchener opens up to the creative economy



John MacDonald Architect undertook a significant study to showcase the industrial and technological pillars of the Region of Waterloo's economy. Our proposal of a Downtown Convention Facility, featuring a 450 seat theatre venue and Trading Floor, modelled on Toronto's Design Exchange, created the feasibility and architectural groundwork which allowed Theatre and Company and the Children’s Museum to become a reality and saving the Goudies building from demolition.


Our Role:

Feasibility study, financial plan, schematic design, stakeholder liaison.


Ground Work:

The Goudies department store had been the centre of gravity of downtown Kitchener and citizens had a warm emotional connection to it. The department store closed down in 1988 and by 1999 all that was left were great collective memories and an empty shell. The building was ripe for a fresh, new beginning.


John MacDonald went knocking on doors to meet potential stake holders.

The Goudies Centre put forward a vision to bring together industrial, hi-tech, cultural and political leaders at a time when the city of Kitchener was seeing important changes in its economy, and moving forward towards embracing the hi-tech world and the new Creative Economy.


This vision for the Goudies Centre predated Communitech and the concept of hi-tech innovation hubs by a decade. This idea came along because John MacDonald Architect is always looking over the horizon, with a passion to make spaces that connect the economy with the community.




Project Data

Adaptive Reuse




Kitchener, Ontario

4,180 m² (45,000 sq. ft.)

Study Completed 1999