• San Diego Initiative: A 'Bridge' To Mixed-Use Prosperity

  • Breaking Down Barriers: Goose Island Proposal Is In The Zone

  • How Carbon Offsets Increase Corporate Sustainability

  • Heavy Metal and Hard Rock: Are They Causing Headaches?


Presenting The 2016 Canada Brownie Awards

By The Staff of the Canadian Brownfield Network (CBN)

The Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) and Actual Media presented their annual Brownie Awards in Toronto, Canada, November 29, 2016 at a special Awards Gala. The 2016 Brownies mark the first joint venture between CBN and Actual Media, although the Awards themselves have been given since 2001 in a partnership between the Canadian Urban Institute and Actual Media.

The Awards recognize excellence in the Canadian brownfields community, and are presented in ten categories: REPROGRAM, REMEDIATE, REINVEST, REBUILD, RENEW, REACH OUT, the Brownfielder of the Year (for individual excellence), and Best Large, Small and Overall projects. All projects nominated in the REMEDIATE, REINVEST, REBUILD, RENEW and REACH OUT categories were eligible for the Best Large, Small and Overall Awards.

Best Large Project

The Best Large Project Award was given to the Region of Waterloo (Ontario) for the ION: Light Rail Transit in Waterloo Region project.Funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Region of Waterloo, ION is a two-stage transit project that will link the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo through a light rail transit system.

Stage 1 consists of a 19 km. (11.8 mile) light rail transit line between Waterloo and Kitchener and a 17 km. (10.5 mile) bus rapid transit route between Cambridge and Kitchener. In Stage 2, the bus route, which has been operating since September 2015, will be replaced by light rail transit service, creating a seamless light rail transit route between the three communities.

The route covers numerous contaminated sites which will be remediated as part of the project; the remediation is attracting exciting new employment opportunities, further contributing to the regeneration of older neighbourhoods. The entire project, by helping to takecars off the roads, will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Region.

Best Small Project

The Award for Best Small Project was presented for the Centre Suites 3rd Avenue project in Owen Sound, Ontario. The site for this project was originally used as a printing plant from 1922 until the early 1970s.

In 2007, it was purchased by a developer with the intent of turning it into a mixed commercial/residential property. The new owner's 2007 due diligence determined that part of the property was contaminated by chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and that remediation and a risk assessment were required to achieve a Record of Site Condition (RSC) for the residential occupancy on part of the property.

There was an abandoned underground storage tank that required removal and a secondary area of petroleum hydrocarbon impacted soil and groundwater that had to be addressed. To maintain project timelines and overall viability, the property was divided into two legally described parcels to allow for the completion of an RSC on the non-impacted portion while the risk assessment and following RSC was completed on the portion with the impacted groundwater. The first RSC was granted in January 2015, and the second is expected to be completed in December 2016.

This approach has allowed mitigating financial risk and permitted sales and occupancy of a portion of the condominium development to keep the project viable. The City of Owen Sound supported this project approach through a Brownfields Tax Incentives Program and by allowing construction of the condominium units during the completion of the RSCs while holding occupancy approvals until RSC completion.

Best Overall Project

The Lac-Mégantic Remediation project, carried out by Englobe Corp. on behalf of the Québec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, received the Best Overall Project Award.

On July 6, 2013, a 72-car freight train derailed, resulting in a fire and explosion and the release of approximately 5.7 million litres (1.5 million US gallons) of light crude oil, impacting approximately 31 hectares (76.6 acres). In addition, more than 30 structures, including historic buildings, were destroyed.

Photo courtesy of flickr

About 300,000 metric tonnes (almost 331,000 tons) of soil was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbon compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Englobe designed and built a biological treatment facility, making use of a series of multiple-level biopiles and has, as of September 2016, successfully treated 185,000 metric tonnes (nearly 204,000 tons) of contaminated soil.

Treated soils are being used in the reclamation of nearby open pit mines, in the backfilling/restoration of the downtown area of Lac-Mégantic where the derailment occurred, and in the restoration of other nearby properties under remediation. The remainder of the contaminated soil is planned to be treated by Englobe by July 2017.

Other Award Winners

  • REPROGRAM: Guidelines for Development of Contaminated or Potentially Contaminated Sites, City of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
  • REMEDIATE: Brantford's Sydenham Pearl Brownfield Remediation and Urban Renewal, Brantford, Ontario
  • REINVEST: Atlas Landfill Remediation, Welland, Ontario
  • REBUILD: Orillia Recreation Facility, Orillia, Ontario
  • RENEW: The Metalworks, Guelph, Ontario
  • REACH OUT: Leadership in Brownfields Renewal, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Brownfielder of the Year: Nathan Richards, Project Manager for Brownfields, City of Kingston, Kingston, Ontario


The Awards in each category were chosen from among those selected as finalists. Although there could be only one winner for each category, all the finalists were of high quality. The remaining finalists in each category were:


  • Brownfield Redevelopment Program Policy/Grant, Town of Mayerthorpe, Alberta
  • Excess Soils Model By-law, Ontario Soil Regulation Task Force, Ontario
  • Kingston Failed Tax Sale Redevelopments, City of Kingston, Ontario


  • Atlas Landfill Remediation, Welland, Ontario
  • Lac-Mégantic Remediation, Lac-Mégantic, Québec
  • Lehigh Cement Contaminated Soil Reclamation/Reuse, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Use of Phytoremediation to Rehabilitate Former Industrial Sites, Eastern Montréal, Québec


  • Centre Suites on 3rd Avenue, Owen Sound, Ontario


  • New Eva's Phoenix, Toronto, Ontario
  • St. Michael's Hospital Redevelopment, Toronto, Ontario


  • Inspiration Lakeview, Mississauga, Ontario
  • ION: Light Rail Transit in Waterloo Region, Region of Waterloo, Ontario
  • The Barrel Yards, Waterloo, Ontario
  • Zibi - Ottawa-Gatineau, Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Québec


  • Inspiration Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario
  • John Hart Generating Station Replacement, Campbell River, British Columbia

According to CBN President Eric Pringle, Awards nominations were received from entrants in many parts of Canada, from Quebec to British Columbia. "We're very excited to have received so many great nominations from across the country," said Pringle. "It's especially gratifying since this is our first year co-presenting the Brownies," he said.

Grant Walsom, Vice-President of CBN, concurred, and noted that "the judges had a tough time selecting the winners, when there were so many deserving entrants."

Related articles

Tapco Site: Be Flexible to Reach Endgame

Vacant and abandoned properties have long plagued cities across the country. Along with these blighted properties come health and safety threats, increased crime, decreased property values and higher costs for local governments. The approach to fixing distressed properties varies, but the most desired outcome is to return the property to… Read more

Building on Momentum: Setting Stage for Downtown Knoxville’s Future

Originally built to accommodate large railway hubs, Knoxville, Tenn. currently brings together three of the nation’s busiest interstate highways: North–south I-75 and I-81 and east–west I-40. These highways converge at or near downtown Knoxville, providing easy access to the city center but also forming physical barriers around the city. More… Read more

Curtains In Kentucky: Columbia Theatre A Paducah Jewel

In 1927, the Columbia Theatre opened in Paducah, Ky., with the movie "It" starring Clara Bow. The majestic theatre, which had a main ground floor theatre and a smaller one on the second floor, was modeled after the Rialto Theatre in Louisville, and presented both vaudeville acts and movies. The… Read more

Join NOW!
View more details!