A tree fell, and 200 years later we made an ad about it.

It’s a secret something we’ve been toiling away on for over a year now, and the cone of silence has finally officially dropped. On August 28, The Metalworks made its long-anticipated debut at a launch event in downtown Guelph.

The Metalworks is a new urban village planned on Guelph’s most historic spot. The site is just a few steps away from where John Galt founded the city – via felled tree – in April of 1827, and it also was home to over 100 years of prolific industry that grew and shaped the city from its inception. It’s a significant place, to say the least.

That this site is near and dear to Guelph’s collective heart is something that’s been both an advantage and challenge during this entire process, from inventing a name to designing the sales centre. Guelphites are passionate about protecting their history, so to go into a project like this, knowing there will be some opposition, is tricky. But the site’s rich and storied past has also provided ample advertising fodder. For once, we didn’t have to fabricate a story. It was already there, and our only job was package it up prettily, and with honesty and integrity. The story sells itself – we’re just the megaphone broadcasting it.

The branding and advertising around the development is sincere in its goal to be true to the site’s roots, while building excitement around this new chapter in Guelph’s story. Truly genuine elements that pay homage to history are at the centre of what we’re doing here. For instance, the name references Guelph’s metalworking tradition, the TSAs speak to what once stood on the same spot, we used bricks from a historic structure in onsite signage, and the website incorporates a live-feed of the original heritage building. Here, honest advertising isn’t an oxymoron.

Check out the first phase of the project, and maybe brush up on your Canadian history, too.