2002 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie Awards

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Category: Sustainability in Community Building

Recipient:
Canada Lands Company for the Moncton Properties Project

The Sustainability in Community Building category recognizes outstanding efforts in promoting sustainability through the use or communication of innovative benchmarking techniques, community participation, stakeholder collaboration or public-private partnerships.

Canada Lands acquired this 300-acre former railway yard from CN Rail in 1996. From the outset, the company has demonstrated a remarkable openness with the Moncton public and through its active outreach program has worked closely with the community to win support for planned improvements to the site. The committee was especially impressed with the innovative use of GIS to communicate complex data regarding the cleanup of contaminants and the use of community representatives to develop potential ideas for redevelopment. The committee was also impressed with the company’s partnerships with several local universities to provide students with hands-on experience with issues of sustainability.

 

Category: Technological Solutions/Green Design

Recipient:
Haven Group for their project: Estimating Residential Development Potential for Sustainable Communities

The Technological Solutions/Green Design category recognizes the innovative use of technological solutions to site remediation that are cost-effective, environmentally sound and ecologically intelligent.

The Haven Group is an Ottawa-based consultancy involved in planning and project management. The company has designed an easy-to-use computer model that can help establish a sound planning basis for development proposals for brownfields sites.

Working with Minto Developments Inc. and the City of Ottawa, the Haven Group used the model to monitor the potential for infill and to establish the optimum development capacity for a 19-acre site in the Hunt Club neighbourhood of Ottawa. By creating an acceptable profile for residential development that reflected the character and heritage of the surrounding community but which was consistent with development trends in the Ottawa market, the company won support for a more sustainable solution to the site, tipping the balance in favour of brownfields redevelopment versus greenfield expansion.

 

Category: Policy and Program Development

Recipient:
The City of Guelph for its Brownfields Strategy

The Policy and Program Development category acknowledges the public sector’s leadership role in developing policy, legislation and redevelopment programs that facilitate or foster brownfields redevelopment activity.

The City of Guelph takes the view that its more than 175 brownfields sites represent an underutilized resource, and 18 months ago committed staff and other resources to develop this comprehensive strategy in partnership with local stakeholders as its contribution to Smart Growth. As a result of the program, Guelph staff have created a database, addressed financial issues, embarked on a strategy for marketing and promotion, established standards and continue to monitor the results. The committee felt that Guelph has not only demonstrated effective leadership but sound judgement in creating a “made in Guelph” strategy that benefits from the latest thinking and best practices in other jurisdictions.

 

Category: Capital Financing & Risk Management

Recipient:
Aon Reed Stenhouse for the Risk Management Solutions and Environmental Liabilities Resources for Brownfield Redevelopment Project.

The Capital Financing & Risk Management category acknowledges the achievement of private sector firms in overcoming financial obstacles, sourcing capital or resolving risk management issues so that brownfields redevelopment projects can proceed.

The committee acknowledges that environmental liability represents one of the toughest challenges facing the private sector in terms of brownfields development. As a world leader in the industry, Aon Reed Stenhouse plays a key role in providing risk management solutions and environmental liability
resources. By committing its significant corporate resources to risk management issues and its willingness to work with stakeholders to clarify liability issues, Aon Reed is sending an important signal to the private sector that environmental liability in brownfields redevelopment can be managed.

 

Category: Individual Achievement

Recipient:
Mr. Brian Villemaire of Royal LePage Commercial Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario

The Individual Achievement category honours the catalytic effect of a person, group or association in promoting a better understanding and appreciation of brownfields, either for a specific project or for the benefit of the brownfields redevelopment community as a whole.

The committee commends Brian Villemaire’s personal involvement in developing awareness of the challenges and benefits of redeveloping brownfields and his role in brokering successful brownfields redevelopment projects. Noting that Brian is one of a number of deserving candidates for this award, the committee indicated that Brian Villemaire’s work as a passionate advocate for brownfields development has seen him contribute his expertise to many communities beyond the immediate scope of his commercial real estate practice on a volunteer basis. The committee commends his role in promoting a better understanding and appreciation of brownfields.

 

Category: Best Large Project

Recipient:
Concord Adex Development Corp. for CityPlace.

The Best Project category honours exemplary achievement in brownfield redevelopment activity in setting the highest standards for livability, urban design and the creation of quality public space, and, where appropriate, heritage preservation, as well as promoting economic regeneration and sustainability on a broader scale. To acknowledge the diversity of nominations in the Best Project category, the committee has created four new subcategories: Best Large Project; Best Small/Medium Project; Best Heritage Project; and Best Overall Project.

CityPlace is one of the largest new neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto. Although redevelopment of the Toronto Railway Lands has been in progress for decades, the committee felt that CityPlace has made a significant breakthrough in terms of its rapid acceptance in the marketplace by establishing a critical mass of high quality new buildings and infrastructure. The project merits its award for its comprehensive approach to site remediation and its innovative commitment to urban design and digital communications. The committee also commends the attention given by Concord Adex to the quality of the public realm and to providing attractive linkages to adjacent development.

 

Category: Best Small/Medium Project

Recipient:
City of Thorold for the Thorold City Core Revitalization Project

The Revitalization Project is a public-private partnership between a private sector consortium led by Keefer Developments Ltd., the Region of Niagara and the City of Thorold. The project involves the rehabilitation of a heavily contaminated 16-acre parcel in downtown Thorold. It combines the creation of new mixed commercial, retail and residential development with the imaginative reuse of heritage buildings – notably a defunct paper mill and vacant hospital structure. The city has leveraged private funds with public investment and created a Community Improvement Plan to provide access to heritage grants and tax incentives, built around a consistent theme that echoes the community’s heritage as a “paper town.”

 

Category: Best Heritage Project

Recipient:
Equifund Corporation for their Yonge-Summerhill project

The 18-acre Summerhill site is a classic brownfields site, combining the challenge of turning a well-located but heavily constrained industrial site into a modern, mixed-use neighbourhood. In addition to overcoming contamination issues, working with well-established local community groups and negotiating complex agreements with all three levels of government and CP Rail, the new owners followed through on commitments to painstakingly restore a major community heritage icon – the North Toronto Station. With the help of its long-time principal tenant, the LCBO, Equifund Corporation has successfully rejuvenated an important part of mid-town Toronto, stimulating investment in adjacent properties and demonstrating that a willingness to create high quality public space can give new life to tired brownfields sites.

 

Category: Best Overall Project

Recipient:
Canada Lands Company for the Moncton Properties Project

In awarding Canada Lands with a second Brownie, the committee wishes to commend the individuals responsible for their role in helping to establish and then follow through on implementing a vision for rejuvenating this key site in Moncton. The committee also acknowledges that this is a true community achievement, involving the full participation and commitment of the local citizens. The project is particularly noteworthy because the Canada Lands team was able to work constructively to overcome long-term negative opinions among neighbouring residents about the feasibility of bringing this large site back into productive use.

This is a text book example of how to marry extensive multi-disciplinary professional expertise with human ingenuity to create a mixed-use development that promises to make a major contribution to the future of Moncton.

On behalf of our partner organizations, our sponsor CMHC and the conference delegates, the Canadian Urban Institute congratulates the winners for their success and gratefully acknowledges the many fine submissions for this year’s awards program.

 

 

Minister Hodgson Presented With Brownie Award for Brownfields Redevelopment

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) officially presented Minister Chris Hodgson with the Brownie Award for MAH’s ground-breaking work on brownfields promotion and legislation at the CUI’s third annual Brownfields conference in October.