December 1, 2018 - Newsletter

CBN Newsletter: December 2018



Hello Fellow CBNers,

Another exciting year is almost in the books. It has been a busy and productive one for CBN, and for those of us on the Communications and Membership Committee. We are changing the frequency of our newsletters to semi-annual (July and December) to allow them to focus more on what is important to all of us in the brownfields community, and will shortly be launching a major overhaul of our website's content, including several new sections to provide legislative updates, career information for those in university who are thinking about a career in brownfields, and other features to improve your CBN experience.

This is the time of year when it's customary to reflect on successes. With that in mind, we are highlighting the 2018 Brownie Award winners in this issue. I hope that reading about their success will encourage you to recognize your own successes, and will inspire you to continue raising the bar for brownfield projects in Canada.

Finally, with the holidays almost upon us, I wish you and your family's Season's Greetings, a very happy New Year, and all the best that 2019 can offer you.

Warm regards,

Berend Jan Velderman,

Communications and Membership Committee Chair


Membership Renewal Reminder

In just a couple of months, CBN's 2019-2020 renewals will be going out - be sure to watch your email and renew your membership! Do you want to join CBN this year, or renew your 2018-19 membership? If so, please renew online or contact the CBN office. Thank you for keeping CBN strong and for supporting the network!


Be a part of the future!

Do you share CBN's enthusiasm to promote brownfield property reuse as the preferred solution for developers, but aren't yet a CBN member? Join us today! Our large and committed membership offers more opportunities for networking, increasing your chances to learn about best practices, gain business, hear about new projects and be exposed to the latest processes and techniques in remediation.

For information on how you can benefit from CBN membership, or to join CBN, please see our Membership Info page or contact the office by e-mail at More details are also available in this newsletter - click on Join CBN. Thank you for being part of the future


CBN's Twitter Feed - Please Follow Us!

Always looking for ways of connecting with the brownfields community, CBN is now on Twitter. We livetweet from our events and those in which we participate, and post relevant information. Be sure to stay current - sign up to follow us @CdnBrownfields!


Contents this issue:

  • Welcome
  • CBN Twitter
  • CBN HUB Awards 2019
  • CBN Partner Events
  • CBN Conference 2019 - Plan Ahead!
  • CBN Updates
  • Committee Updates
  • 2018 Brownie Winners
  • Membership Renewal Reminder
  • Join CBN
  • CBN LinkedIn
  • CBN Twitter
  • CBN Facebook
  • Interested in Volunteering for CBN?
  • Send Us Your Comments
  • Corporate Members


CBN HUB Awards 2019

Do you know someone who has made, or is making, an important contribution to Canada's brownfield industry? Nominate them for a CBN HUB (Heroes Underpinning Brownfields) Award! The HUB Awards recognize members of the brownfield community who make the exceptional projects we see every day a possibility.

The HUB Awards are given in three categories, relating to the three stages of brownfielders' careers:

  • Foundation: Presented to a contributor to the brownfield industry in Canada who has had a profound impact on how things are done today. Their work has provided a Foundation upon which the current practices and policies have been based. This is a "career achievement" award
  • Pillar: Presented to a recipient who has proven to be a Pillar of Strength in a significant aspect of the brownfield industry in Canada. They continue to provide valuable expertise and influence into the policies and practices that we are employing. The Pillar award is a mid-career award
  • Vision: Presented to someone who is at an early stage in their career in the brownfield industry in Canada and who is already providing valuable insight into programs, policies or practices that will be improving how brownfield redevelopment in Canada is completed

To submit a nomination, visit our HUB Awards page.

What makes a HUB Award winner? Take a look at the 2018 winners to see.


CBN Partner Events

Americana 2019

Americana — the leading multi-sector event in North America — is a prime meeting place for environmental professionals to discuss technical, scientific and business topics regarding key issues in the environmental sector. Americana is a biennial event organized since 1995 by Réseau Environnement, the largest network of environmental experts in the province of Quebec. The 2019 edition will be held in Montreal March 26-28, and registration is now open at


CANECT 2019 is coming May 7-9 to the Venetian Banquet & Hospitality Centre in Vaughan, ON. Always on the cutting edge of new regulations and policies, CANECT’s courses are consistently being updated and renewed with fresh content every six months to ensure that only the most up-to-date information is delivered. Watch the CANECT website for more information and to register.
BC Environmental Industry Association's Bettering Environmental Stewardship and Technology (BEST) 2019
BCEIA's BEST Conference attracts Environmental Professionals every May for two days of technical sessions, networking opportunities, and a sponsor exhibition. Conference registration includes a welcome reception, technical sessions, panel discussions, an off-site networking reception, and all meals and coffee breaks. The 2019 edition of BEST is being held May 8-10 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. For further information, please visit

CBN 2019 Conference - Save the Date!

CBN Conference 2019 - Revitalizing Brownfields: Enriching Communities

CBN's 2019 Conference is being held June 12, 2019 at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University and our theme will allow us to explore some of the many ways brownfields can enrich communities across Canada.

Brownfields are a fact of life. How can they make communities better? That's what we'll be looking at, at this year's conference. Whether it's converting a brownfield to a brightfield and connecting it to the local grid (like BC's SunMine), adding amenities to the public realm (like Toronto's The Bentway), creating a seasonal retail space from contaminated land (as Calgary did with their East Village Junction) or imagining a complete community on abandoned industrial land (see what they're doing in Ottawa/Gatineau with Zibi), brownfields can improve community life. They can even support First Nations' truth and reconciliation, as has been happening with the Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation's Stewardship Program. Our 2019 conference will be a dive into the important social implications of brownfield redevelopment/reuse. Of course, we'll also have old favourites, such as the Cross-Country Check-up and Legal Update. Plan to attend and be engaged, informed and inspired.


CBN Updates President's Message

The holiday season is here, and 2019 is just around the corner - what better time to think about what has been accomplished in 2018?

  • Our conference included the first-ever Brownfield Summit. There were a lot of moving pieces to this conference:
    • Organizing the sessions you've come to know and anticipate - the Crosscountry Check-up, Legal Update and Emerging Technology.
    • Partnering with Mitacs and Ryerson to conduct a survey on the progress made on the recommendations of the 2003 National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment (NRTEE) report.
    • Partnering with Ryerson to develop a federal/provincial "state of brownfields regulations" report.
    • Working with conference attendees in a series of breakout sessions to identify actions we can take to address any shortfalls indicated in the reports (for reports from the survey and "state of brownfields", along with the recommendations from the breakout groups, please see
    • Based on the recommendations, your Board and committees are in the process of developing action plans - stay tuned to the website, Member Updates and Newsflashes for more information on these.
  • Planning for our 2019 conference has started. At this event, we'll be focusing on the social aspect - and impact - of brownfield redevelopment/reuse. This promises to be another exciting and informative event, and I encourage you to save the date - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at Ryerson University in Toronto.
  • Together with our partners Actual Media (publishers of ReNew Canada and Water Canada magazines), we presented our third Brownie Awards (and the 19th overall; more information is on the website at
    • Response to the call for nominations was tremendous - we received 54 nominations for 44 projects (some projects were nominated in more than one category), and, because of the general high quality of the submissions, our judges had some extremely tough decisions.
    • We had our first nomination from the north: the Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation Stewardship Program (Yukon), which won in the REACH OUT category.
    • The Brownie Awards Gala (November 21) attracted 160 engaged brownfielders from across the country - this is the largest Gala we've had in our three years.
  • We presented the third edition of CBN's own HUB (Heroes Underpinning Brownfields) Awards to Angus Ross (Foundation), Meggen Janes (Pillar) and Reanne Ridsdale (Vision). You can read more about the awards and the winners here:
  • We've maintained our efforts on behalf of brownfield redevelopment:
    • Our Government Relations Committee, in addition to responding to several requests for comments, continued its outreach to provincial regulators across the country.
    • Our Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) also responded to a number of requests for comments from provincial regulators.
  • We continue to attract new blood to the CBN Board, and I'm confident they will continue our strong tradition of significant contributions to the advancement of the brownfields agenda in Canada; please welcome:
    • Krista Barfoot, Jacobs.
    • Rob Hoffman, Canadian Fuels Association.
    • Monisha Nandi, Kilmer Brownfield Management.

I'd like to extend my personal thanks to all the volunteers who have made these achievements possible - my fellow Directors, the chairs of CBN's Committees, our CBN Operations team, and the Ryerson students (especially Reanne Ridsdale and the members of School of Urban and Regional Planning PLG 620 Team). Most importantly, thanks to all of you for your support in the past year - you've helped make all of this possible.

On behalf of all of us at CBN, I wish you Season's Greetings and all the best for the New Year!

D. Grant Walsom - President, CBN


CBN Committee Updates

CBN Government Relations Committee Report:

The Government Relations Committee continues its outreach to provincial ministries, and met with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategies on June 29. At this meeting, they learned:

  • The Land Remediation Section (LRS) is still working on finalizing changes from the Omnibus Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) updates.
  • Work Priorities:
    • Advancement on key high risk sites
    • Technical projects because of Stage 10/11
    • Leachate Verification – test approved method
    • Background metals concentrations in groundwater
  • Legislative Projects:
    • Related specifically to Site Identification – Advancing request for Legislative Amendment in 2018
    • Soil Relocation – expected 2018 of working document as a result of 2014 Discussion paper and 2016 Intentions paper
  • Regulatory Projects:
    • Changes to CSR as a result of proposed changes to the Environmental Management Act
    • Stage 12 amendment – consultation planned for summer 2018
  • Operational Projects:
    • Response to Professional Reliance Review – report expected end of June. It will impact 30 government departments
    • Business Improvement Project – how can MOE work better and more efficiently? Client survey via cse link by end of June
  • Enhancement to Information Management - involves internal opportunities including invoicing and invoice tracking; and the Site Registry
  • MOE Professional Development

The committee also continues to monitor legislative/regulatory developments across the country. Members have a meeting planned with Manitoba Ministry of Sustainable Development in December 2018, and hope to meet with Alberta Environment and Parks in early 2019.

2018 - 19 Membership:

  • Rob Hoffman, Canadian Fuels Association (Chair)
  • Chris De Sousa, Ryerson University
  • Ellen Greenwood, Greenwood & Associates
  • John Georgakopoulos, Willms & Shier
  • Rob Hoffman, Canadian Fuels Association
  • Bonnie Prior, Royal LePage

Rob Hoffman - Chair, CBN Government Relations Committee


CBN Finance & Insurance Committee Report:

The finance and insurance committee is focused on identifying new issues of concern for Lenders and Insurers, and changes to insurance and lending that impact brownfield proponents. The committee identifies and tracks new issues or developments. The committee is continuing to follow up on projects identified earlier this year.

The committee is reviewing an increase in claims arising from infill development and is watching for potential changes to policies that should be brought to the attention of brownfield proponents. The committee has discussed claims against consultants, and will be posting an FAQ sheet for consultants to identify when coverage is triggered, how to report, and other key items to ensure that coverage is not compromised.

The committee is tracking emerging areas of potential concern to brownfield proponents, insurers and prospective brownfield lenders.

The committee has been following Ontario's proposed Excess Soil Regulatory Regime, which is of interest to many Brownfield Stakeholders including Lenders and Insurers. As this issue is also of interest to other CBN committees, we are focusing on the potential direct and indirect impacts on both Lenders and Insurers.

The committee will be looking into any new developments in municipal programs for funding brownfields.

2018 - 19 Membership

  • George Boire, Former Chair (Marsh Canada)
  • James Evans (RBC)
  • Andrew Himel
  • Joanna Vince, Current Chair (Willms & Shier)
  • Carl Spensieri (Berkley Canada)
  • Angus Ross (L and A Concepts)
  • James Cullen (Golder)

CBN members interested in joining the Finance and Insurance Committee should reach out to Joanna Vince (

Joanna Vince - Chair, CBN Finance & Insurance Committee


CBN Technical Advisory Committee Report:

The CBN Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) last met November 20. TAC discussed recent and upcoming regulatory changes:

  • Ontario: the status of the proposed changes to the excess soil regime were discussed; TAC continues to monitor this. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks held a seminar for QPs to describe expectations of Record of Site Condition (RSC) submissions. TAC is preparing a response to the Ministry's concern that the CCME document on RSC submissions is overly prescriptive
  • BC: the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy held a recent symposium at which they explained their priorities post-omnibus update. The relationship between it and the BC Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals Society is changing as a result of the recent Professional Reliance Review report
  • Alberta: the committee is considering a response to Alberta Environment and Parks' recent guidance documents

TAC 2018-19 Membership:

  • Monisha Nandi (ON) - Chair
  • Chris Brown (AB) - Vice Chair and Secretary
  • Al Durand (ON) - Past TAC Chairman
  • Members at large: Peter Reid (BC), Alan McCammon (BC), Vijay Kallur (BC), David Flynn (ON), Rene DeVries (ON), Mike Grinnell (ON), Monique Punt (ON), John Georgakopoulos (ON), Martin Beaudoin (QC), John Henderson (NS).

Chris Brown - Vice Chair and Secretary, CBN Technical Advisory Committee


CBN Communications & Membership Committee Report:

CBN's membership is strong and healthy - with your help, we're increasing our reach into the brownfield community and our membership numbers are at an all-time high. Thank you for supporting CBN, and especially for your support for the work we've undertaken in the past year. If you share our hopes for the outcomes of this work, please let others in your network know and encourage them to join CBN!

At the recent meeting, the committee presented its plan for a restructuring of the website. We revamped the look and feel in 2016 and are now preparing to add some new sections and content. This is an ambitious job and will take place over the next year. Keep watching the website for changes as they're implemented and feel free to let us know how we're doing.

We're re-focusing our communications efforts through social media and the newsletter. As part of this initiative, we're now issuing two newsletters annually - mid-July, recapping the conference, and mid-December, highlighting the Brownie Awards. We're still looking for industry news, so share it with us - please contact the office with your updates.

CBN's social media continues to increase its reach. Our following on Twitter and membership in our LinkedIn group have both increased. Once again this year, we live-tweeted the Brownies, and we also, for the first time, live-tweeted from the conference. Thanks for supporting us in these efforts.

2018 - 19 Membership

  • Berend Jan Velderman, Golder Associates Ltd., Chair
  • Brennah McKirdy, Golder Associates Ltd.
  • Grant Walsom, XCG Consulting (ex-officio)
  • David Petrie, CBN Staf

If you'd like to join the Communications & Membership Committee, we'd love to have you participate! Please contact the office and let us know.

Finally, if you know someone who might be interested in receiving CBN communications but may not yet be ready for membership, please send them to our "Contact" page, where they can sign up to our mailing list.

Berend Jan Velderman - Chairperson, Communications Committee


2018 Brownie Winners

The 2018 Actual Media/CBN Brownie Awards were presented at the Brownie Awards Gala November 21, at the Delta Toronto Hotel. We had a very large number of nominations - all of them very high-quality - and the judges had their work cut out for them to choose the winners. Without further ado, here are the winning projects/programs and the Brownfielder of the Year:

Category 1 - REPROGRAM: Online Excess Soils Bylaw Tool, ON

In March 2016, the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) was retained by the provincial government to develop an online resource tool for Ontario municipalities to use in updating their local bylaws to align with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks' (MOECP) "Management of Excess Soil - A Guide for Best Management Practices" (BMPs). To understand the state of municipal fill and site alteration bylaws, CUI reviewed over 50 existing bylaws for best practices, how the BMPs had been incorporated (if at all), and the dates of revisions and issuance. The majority of bylaws reviewed had not been updated since the 2014 release of the BMPs. To determine the most pressing excess soil issues facing municipalities and how bylaws can help address these, CUI consulted with municipal, Provincial, professional and industry contacts as well as the members of the MOECP's Excess Soil Working Group. Based on CUI's research and engagement, 19 key issues were identified for the online bylaw tool to address through guidance, links to guidance documents and resources, and example bylaw language. In September 2016, CUI launched the Tool at Based on positive feedback on the necessity and usability of the tool, CUI hosted a well-attended webinar and symposium in 2017 and plans an additional symposium in December 2018.

Category 2 - REMEDIATE: Cates Landing Development, District of North Vancouver, BC

The foreshore location at the northeast end of Burrard Inlet had hosted a shipyard and a barge builder on adjacent sites on either side of Roche Creek since the 1930s. The shipyards were derelict and underutilized by the early 2000s and decommissioned in 2015.

Contaminated fill and surface soils were present across the site, and sediments showed PAH and metals contamination. PGL Environmental Consultants Ltd. (PGL) was retained by the shipyard owners in 2010, to assess the site in the hopes of selling it to a developer. PGL worked with the site owners to develop a conceptual remediation plan and habitat restoration plan for the foreshore that could be used to market the property and show the regulators what would be possible for remediation. We saw opportunity to restore the foreshore and provide valuable habitat extent and complexity above capped and inert contaminated fill where removal was prohibitive, and to add habitat clusters in the intertidal zone, native near-tidal vegetation, and prospective surf smelt and shellfish habitat through the use of special gravels and imported shell hash.

Polygon Cates Landing Ltd. engaged PGL to do additional investigation and habitat design work on the sites in 2013. Based on this work, Polygon purchased the sites in 2015 for redevelopment into a residential neighbourhood with 100 units and foreshore habitat area. The site hosted protected archaeological resources, which were preserved in place during re-development. By judicious recontouring and reconfiguration of the site, PGL created a natural amenity area in front of the development site, and provided habitat that Port of Vancouver could bank for use elsewhere in their jurisdiction. This derelict contaminated site in a prime waterfront location has now been upgraded into a vibrant residential and foreshore habitat community that was occupied in Phases in 2017 and 2018.

Category 3 - REFINANCE: The Bentway, Toronto, ON

The Bentway is a new public space in Toronto that offers year-round artistic, cultural, and recreational activities and events. It is premised on the rediscovery of the public realm in the most unlikely of places (the underside of a downtown expressway), contributing new ways of thinking about the next generation of public space and its role in redressing the traditional park space deficit within our rapidly intensifying downtown cores. The project takes a low impact development approach to stormwater management, redirecting drains from the overpass to these plants and soil that absorb the pollutants and keep them out of the municipal stormwater system.

The Bentway sets a new precedent for philanthropy, public-private collaboration and stewardship for public space. A requisite for the project was the establishment of The Bentway Conservancy, an independent not-for-profit corporation that manages, operates and programs the space. It is a new model for public space stewardship in the City, Canada, and for future public space initiatives. Wil and Judy Matthews’ $25-million donation to spark the project demonstrated a new kind of philanthropy: to enhance public space; free of naming rights; with a public-private collaborative model; and with an engaged donor who played an active role in the realization of the project. Additional funding to make the project a reality came from the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada. The initial philanthropic donation has inspired other donors to support other public projects.

As reclaimed land and subsequent years accepting drainage from the overpass above led to soil and groundwater contamination with metals and inorganics, sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) in soil, electrical conductivity (EC) in soil, chloride in groundwater petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). To address the contamination, a due diligence risk assessment and risk management plan was prepared. Risk management measures are seamlessly integrated into the parkscape surfacing and appear as planted areas, concrete skateboard surfaces, and playground soft surfacing so that a continuous barrier to native soils is maintained throughout. Soil remediation was completed on several areas and extensive air modeling was completed to confirm the air quality beneath the Gardiner.

Category 4 - REBUILD: The Pier Development by Pinnacle International, North Vancouver, BC

The Burrard Drydocks/Versatile Shipyards began operating circa 1906 at the waterfront in North Vancouver, BC and quickly expanded to become the largest shipyard in BC. During its operation, the company expanded by infilling the foreshore with contaminated waste fill. In 1992, the shipyard became bankrupt. The property was heavily contaminated, in part because the company had infilled the foreshore with contaminated waste fill.

In 2001, Pinnacle International Ltd. obtained the development rights for the western half of the property. Their plan was to transform the area into a new master-planned waterfront mixed residential/commercial community. Pinnacle's remedial work resulted in the issuance of 11 Certificates of Compliance under the BC Environmental Management Act. The company excavated and securely disposed of almost 110,000 tonnes of contaminated soil, including 1,000 tonnes of hazardous waste, at a permitted facility. It also remediated two intertidal areas at the foreshore to risk-based standards; this resulted in the first Certificate of Compliance for an intertidal area in BC. Total remediation costs, initially estimated at $1.3 million, came to some $10 million.

Construction on Phase 1 of the project began in 2005, with the building of several residential highrises. Phase 1, which included construction of the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier, was completed in 2010 with the creation of a historical precinct including the restoration of heritage buildings and historical artifacts (including two heritage buildings and a vintage crane). Work on Phase 2 began in 2014, and included restoration of a former intertidal building berth, construction of three residential towers, and a pedestrian bridge across the building berth. The Pier development was completed in 2018.

Category 5 - RENEW: Greystone Village, Ottawa, ON

Old Ottawa East is a mixed residential/commercial/industrial/institutional neighbourhood which became part of the City of Ottawa in 1907, but traces its roots back nearly 200 years. Institutionally, it includes the largely undeveloped Oblates property centering on the Edifice Deschâtelets. This tract of land within the urban core of Ottawa provided an opportunity for revitalizing an old neighbourhood in the city, restoring and improving community interaction and connectivity.

Centered around the Edifice Deschâtelets and its central tree-lined entranceway (both of which have heritage designations), Greystone Village is a 10.5 hectare mixed-use, master-planned community that brings modern architectural design inspired by the area's history. The development brings together some of the cherished attractions of Old Ottawa East, including the Rideau River shoreline, plus local parkland and pathway systems. Once completed, over 900 superbly designed homes -singles, towns and condos - will be carefully located to integrate with the existing historical buildings along with proposed retail space, pedestrian-friendly boulevards, a central event plaza, beautiful green spaces connected to the city's multi-use pathway network, and a scenic waterfront along the Rideau. A seniors' residence is also part of the project, allowing for ageing-in-place.

Investigations determined 100-year old fill (elevated metals and PAHs exceeding applicable provincial standards for residential/parkland redevelopment) were used on the eastern riverside. A three-phase remediation program (2015-2017) achieved generic soil quality standards by excavation and off-site landfill disposal, and processed bedrock from a city tunnel project was beneficially reused to backfill/construct engineered fill pads for the support of low-rise residential foundations. Screening-level risk assessment and required mitigation measures (clean soil cap) was used and allowed leaving impacted fill in place below the riverfront park corridor area; this will permit future community parkland uses. The project has received LEED ND v4 silver certification for the neighbourhood development plan.

Category 6 - REACH OUT: Carcross-Tagish Management Corporation Stewardship Program, Carcross, YT

From 1911 to 1969, Carcross was the site of the Chooutla Indian Residential School. Though the building was demolished in 1993, it left both a painful social legacy and legacy environmental impacts (anything from large amounts of waste from diesel fuel to old bed frames), resulting in contaminated soil and groundwater. In addition to the Chooutla School contamination, the community is affected by contamination associated with historic gold mines, mills and the associated tailings affecting soil, water and sediment. By the end of 1998, these tailing facilities were capped. Today, metal contamination (including arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc) remain - at concentrations up to 1,000 greater than the applicable standards - and have a strongly negative effect on the community's confidence in claiming their rightful ancestral access to these lands, precluding their ability to drink the water or harvest berries, fish and game.

Supported by funding from Crown Indigenous Relations, Northern Affairs Canada, the Carcross-Tagish Management Corporation (C/TMC) has spearheaded the C/TMC Stewardship program since 2016. This program develops training "case studies" using these contaminated sites to educate at-risk community members in various components of assessment, remediation and reclamation of contaminated sites - all with the aim of supporting truth and reconciliation. This work is being completed in alignment with the truth and reconciliation process and provides a forum by which the Stewards are finding their way back to their communities, the land and their own heritage, learning once again that there is power and strength in their First Nations heritage.

An active form of reconciliation, the C/TMC Stewardship Program is a model to bring training, education and engagement to other First Nations Communities that have been negatively affected by environmental contamination as an active form of reconciliation. The education and training components of the Program can be applied not only to promote skill development and capacity building opportunities and restoring contaminated sites, but can also serve as a method of healing the trauma associated with Residential schools and increasing community members' engagement with their own history and culture.

Category 7 - Best Small-scale Project: East Village Junction, Calgary, AB

What was once a former gas station site located in Calgary's East Village neighbourhood was reimagined in 2017 as a vibrant public programming space. Following a two-phase environmental report process that identified and located potential contaminants on the site, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) managed the remediation process and conducted ongoing soil samples throughout the demolition and excavation processes. This work included a decommissioning of one underground fuel tank and an adjacent fuel line in addition to an above ground fuel tank. Once the contamination was identified, the building was removed, the site was excavated and the contaminants were appropriately disposed of, and the site was backfilled with clean fill.

Following the remediation and cleanup of the site, CMLC leveled and paved it in order to deliver a community-based pop-up retail container park. Named East Village Junction, the CMLC team worked with C-Can Store Inc. to customize 12 retail shops using shipping containers for local retailers. Working in collaboration with Springboard Performance, four more shipping containers were fashioned into a performance stage and art piece. A 40-foot span arch and a 40-foot upright sentinel branded with the East Village Junction logo were constructed. CMLC designed a "container in the round" footprint which afforded a central courtyard envisioned as a "hipster's backyard". The courtyard was then appointed with astroturf, hedges, tables and a mixture of hard and soft seating, including a hammock.

Over the four-month summer activation, East Village Junction successfully contributed to the vitality of the East Village neighbourhood. Serving local residents for their basic retail needs, the Junction became a destination for Calgarians looking for a unique shopping experience and attracted over 50,000 visitors in 2017. The market acted as a platform to launch new businesses and an incubator for the arts.

Category 8 - Best Large-scale Project: Zibi, Ottawa, ON and Gatineau, QC

Zibi is an urban renewal project on a 16 hectare former industrial site along the waterfront in the heart of Ottawa and Gatineau. The site and surrounding area were significant to the Algonquin Anishnabe and other First Nations communities. It had been at one point been owned by the Wright family, lumber tycoon J.R. Booth, and pulp and paper entrepreneur E.B. Eddy. Domtar, final owner of the site, closed it in 2007. In 2015, leaders in sustainable development, Windmill Development Group, purchased the abandoned and derelict lands with a vision of turning them into a world-class sustainable community with a unique character and sense of place.

The site has widespread contamination, including metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, PAHs, PCBs and dioxins/furans, and must undergo extensive remediation. There is an estimated 450,000 tonnes of soil. Excavation and landfill disposal is the preferred remediation method due to the large footprint of the buildings and associated infrastructure.

Under the partnership of Windmill, Dream Unlimited and Theia Partners, the multi-phased construction project commenced in 2018 and is estimated to extend for up to 15 years. Demolition of the old mill buildings began in 2017 and should be largely complete by mid-2019. As of 2018, approximately 120,000 tonnes of soil has been removed from the Zibi site. The first new-build residential buildings will be occupied in Gatineau in 2018 and in Ontario in 2019.

The Zibi project will transform this contaminated, derelict and vacant site into an active, vibrant sustainable community with over 40 building blocks; several of the existing heritage buildings being are being re-adapted for a diversity of uses. The architecture of the building blocks will reflect this industrial heritage. The Zibi project will also comprise a large public realm component, including several plazas and three waterfront parks which will provide public access to spectacular views of the downtown core. The public realm is being designed in collaboration with Zibi's Algonquin partners to restore indigenous culture and flora and fauna to the area. The project is being designed, built and utilized under the One Planet Living framework, and is the first such community in Canada and only the tenth one in the world.

Category 9 - Best Overall Project: ERASE CIP 2018, Hamilton, ON and Kingston Failed Tax Sales, Kingston, ON (Tie)


The City of Hamilton has a historic need for brownfield redevelopment, which the Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement Community Improvement Plan (ERASE CIP) has evolved since 2001 to address. The older industrial area of Hamilton has been the location of numerous past uses that could have potentially caused soil and groundwater contamination. This includes asphalt plants, petroleum storage, automobile wrecking yards, blacksmiths, textile mills, paint manufacturers, printers, dry cleaners and electroplaters. Some of these uses still exist in downtown Hamilton. It has long been difficult for communities to bring brownfield sites back into productive use because of the high costs of remediation, uncertainty about the level of contamination at many sites, and environmental liability issues.

The formal approval of the ERASE CIP in April 2001, followed by the expansion of the program in 2005, contributed to Hamilton's reputation as being a municipal leader in terms of brownfield redevelopment in Canada. Subsequent revisions to the ERASE CIP in 2010 and 2014 further expanded the ability of its programs to support brownfield redevelopment through the introduction of the Downtown Hamilton/West Harbourfront Remediation Loan Program and TAP programs.

The 2018 comprehensive review and subsequent revisions to ERASE CIP help to build on 16 years of program success, allowing the City of Hamilton to streamline the program and help to provide the financial tools needed to allow the City to continue to promote the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites. The revisions include an increase in the City's maximum contribution as part of the ERASE Study Grant (ESG) program for two studies from $25,000 to $35,000; inclusion of additional eligible costs to the ESG and ERASE Redevelopment Grant (ERG) program to include the study, removal and abatement of designated substances and hazardous material from the older industrial area, institutional buildings and designated heritage buildings; and an increase to the development charge demolition credit for older industrial area sites with approved ERG applications from five to ten years.

Kingston Failed Tax Sales

In 2010, fourteen properties were identified by the City of Kingston to be failed tax sale properties with probable contamination as assessed by the city. Following environmental site assessment, four were vested by the City for City purposes. The remaining ten properties were contaminated, abandoned sites and continued to be in multiple tax sales followed by failed tax sales processes. In 2010 the revitalization of these failed tax sale properties became a strategic priority of City Council.

In 2011, the city utilized Municipal Act and Fire Protection Act provisions to demolish physical hazards and acquire additional environmental information used to support a Request for Proposals to Purchase, Remediate and Redevelop nine of the ten remaining properties; two proposals for seven properties was received, resulting in one successful transaction in 2012. The City issued a second similar RFP in the fall of 2012 and received two proposals for two properties resulting in one successful transaction in 2014, which has received approval for City Brownfield Financial Assistance.

In late 2013, the city issued a third failed tax sale RFP for six contiguous properties and received two proposals that incorporated redevelopment plans for all six of the properties along with incorporation of two unopened city right of ways. The parcel was transferred to a private developer in June 2016. The new owner has received approval for a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund and a brownfield initial study grant from the City of Kingston’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the initial planning stages of the remediation.

One property was acquired by the City with the intent to undertake remediation and market it to a private developer as part of strategic neighborhood revitalization.

As of November 2016, nine former failed tax sale properties either have been, or are in the process of being, remediated and redeveloped. Only one property from the original fourteen remains abandoned.

The nine former failed tax sale properties successfully acquired by private redevelopers represent a commitment of $2 million in environmental remediation effort, $17 million in planned redevelopment construction, and will return an estimated $650,000 per year to municipal property tax revenues.

The procedures followed by the City of Kingston could be replicated by other municipalities throughout Ontario for properties that have been unsuccessful in a tax sale and have probable contamination issues from past uses.

Brownfielder of the Year: Chris De Sousa

Chris De Sousa has been a vigorous advocate for brownfield redevelopment throughout his academic career, dating back to at least 2000, and this continues to be a major focus of his research activity, along with the allied fields of urban environmental management, parks planning and sustainability. After earning his BA, MSc. and PhD. from the University of Toronto, Chris moved to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) where, among other activities, he was founding Co-director of the Brownfields Research Consortium from 2002 to 2011. The Consortium is a partnership among UWM faculty, government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations involved in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties. He worked on a project to reclaim the Menomonee Valley, a large Milwaukee brownfield. He returned to Canada in 2011 to join the faculty of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University, and became Director of the School in 2015.

His research work has addressed the economics of brownfield redevelopment, the role of government in brownfield redevelopment, renewable energy development on brownfields, and brownfield best practices, among other topics. He is currently working on a three-year research project examining brownfields redevelopment in Ontario, and presented some of his research on this at the Canadian Brownfields Network’s (CBN) 2017 Conference session “Research You Can Use”. The research Chris does is often focused on solutions to problems and generally practical approaches to them, rather than being restricted to issue identification and analysis. This gives his research work a practical value to the brownfields community. In addition, through his teaching, he has promoted brownfields to his students. His most recent success in this area has been igniting a passion for brownfields in Reanne Ridsdale, who has presented at the 2017 and 2018 CBN Conferences.

Chris joined the CBN Board of Directors in 2014 and became Vice-President in early 2017. He was one of the Directors responsible for launching CBN’s recent research initiative revisiting the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy’s (NRTEE) 2003 report and was instrumental in arranging partial project funding with Mitacs. Under his guidance, this project had a dual focus – identifying the state of federal and provincial involvement in, and support of, brownfield redevelopment, and a survey of brownfield stakeholders on progress made on NRTEE.

In addition to his work with CBN, Chris is a Steering Committee member on the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Initiative and serves on the Advisory/Executive Committees for Ryerson’s City Building Institute and Centre for Urban Research and Land Development. He is a Registered Professional Planner and member of both the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners.

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Member Profile - Actual Media

Actual Media is a creative media agency serving the marketing and communication needs of businesses and governments in the water, infrastructure and environment industries. The Toronto-based firm also produces highly engaged events (Water's Next Awards, Top100 Projects Dinner, Canadian Water Summit, CBN Brownie Awards) and publishes popular trade publications (Water Canada and ReNew Canada) which provide quality content for our readers and attendees and assist our clients reach key audiences in the niches we serve.

ReNew Canada is the voice of public sector infrastructure in Canada which inspires readers to discuss the policies, planning approaches and funding tools necessary to manage environmental impacts while growing resilient public infrastructure. Industry key players and policy makers alike turn to ReNew Canada for exclusive insightful content to help rethink, rebuild and renew public assets.

Water Canada focuses on national water resource management and protection issues that cover drinking water, wastewater, conveyance and distribution and stormwater in the context of environmental health, urban infrastructure, science and technology, law, policy and governance.

Actual Media can also help your organization with a range of custom agency services, which include:

  • Business Publications: developing, writing and editing custom publications, reports, brochures
  • Marketing & Communications: video scripting and production, media brokerage
  • Design & Editorial Support: Print and web design, writing and copyediting
  • Events & Networking: Executive roundtables, digital engagement, training and seminars

Find out more about Actual Media events, publications and services by visiting


Be a part of the future!

Be part of CBN's success in promoting brownfield property reuse as the preferred solution for developers - join us today! Our large and committed membership offers more opportunities for networking, increasing your chances to learn about best practices, gain business, hear about new projects and be exposed to the latest processes and techniques in remediation.

As a CBN member, you get access to our Members Only website, an opportunity to be heard by contributing to our submissions to various governments on issues of concern to the industry, and reduced rates at CBN and many partner events. You may also be selected to participate as a CBN speaker in brownfield streams/sessions we organize at partner events or at our Annual Brownfields Conference

If you're interested in being part of the future, download the membership application from our Membership Info page or contact Meggen Janes, Chair of our Membership Task Force by e-mail at Help shape tomorrow - join CBN today!

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CBN's LinkedIn Group - Your Invitation to Join

The Canadian Brownfields Network has started a LinkedIn group, and you're invited to join and contribute. Our group will focus on all things brownfields:

  • New trends in the brownfield industry
  • Brownfields-related events and resources
  • Brownfields news
  • Municipalities active in brownfield redevelopment

The group will have something for all brownfields stakeholders. It's only open to CBN members, and we encourage you to join, participate in discussions, and contribute postings. To join, please click here.


CBN's Twitter Feed - Please Follow Us!

Always looking for ways of connecting with the brownfields community, CBN is now on Twitter. We post current news, trends and timely items. We also live-tweet from our events and those in which we participate. Be sure to stay current - sign up follow us @CdnBrownfields!


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Interested in Volunteering for CBN?

Did you know that CBN has 4 Committees which, along with the Board of Directors, help us accomplish our goals? They are:

  • Communications and Membership
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Government Relations
  • Technical Advisory

If you would like to be a part of any of these Committees, please contact David Petrie, our Operations Manager, by e-mail at

We appreciate your interest and support!


Send Us Your Comments!

Do you have any ideas on what can be included in future newsletters, or comments on the content of this one? Please send them to us by e-mailing David Petrie. If you'd like to start a discussion on any of the items in this newsletter, we encourage you to use our LinkedIn group


CBN Corporate Members

  • Actual Media
  • ALS Laboratories
  • Arcadis Canada Inc.
  • BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy
  • Canadian Fuels Association
  • EnGlobe Corp.
  • ERIS
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Geosyntec Consultants International Inc.
  • Golder Associates
  • Imperial Oil
  • Jacobs
  • Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund
  • Milestone Environmental Contracting
  • Priestly Demolition Inc.
  • Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Terrapex Environmental Ltd.
  • Vertex Environmental
  • Walker Environmental
  • Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
  • WSP Canada Inc.
  • XCG Consulting Ltd.


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