Brownie Awards 2023

The winners of the 2023 Brownie Awards were revealed on November 24th during our event hosted by the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) and Actual Media Inc. Winners were selected from projects across Canada that were nominated in eleven categories of recognition. This year a historic number of nominations were received, including a remarkable variety of projects and programs, from smaller-scale community initiatives to once-in-a-generation infrastructure developments.

Read the awards gala summary here

For detailed descriptions of all the winning projects and project champions, click here.

For a complete collection of gala photos, click here.

REPROGRAM: Legislation, Policy and Program Initiatives
Kingston Municipal Excess Soil Management Program – Kingston, Ontario

The program and infrastructure that Kingston has implemented provides contractors and engineers with an example of how to manage soils from their projects so that brownfield remediation costs can be reduced and so that projects don’t create additional soil quality issues elsewhere.

Project Team: Environment Department, Public Works Department, Engineering Department, Utilities Kingston, Real Estate and Employment Land Sales.

REMEDIATE: Sustainable Remediation and Technological Innovation (It was a tie!)

Bronte Creek Valley Remediation – Oakville, Ontario

This project shifted the paradigm of conventional thinking surrounding environmental clean-up. Rather than swiftly adopting a costly solution that could harm the local ecosystem and require decades for recovery, the project team embraced a multifaceted, innovative, and cost-effective remediation strategy. This included: conducting surgical excavations to minimize excavation impact; deploying sustainable technologies like phytoremediation, enhanced bioremediation, and monitored natural attenuation; and, completing a Community Based Risk Assessment which considered the ecological, residential, and recreational users.

Project Team: Stantec Consulting Ltd; Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc.; and, Stamnik Industrial Inc.

Design and Implementation of PFAS Source Control Remediation Project – Lazo (Comox), British Columbia

SLR Consulting (Canada) developed an innovative remediation program on behalf of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) to address risks from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination related to the use of aqueous film forming foam at the firefighting training area at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox. The project is the largest full-scale implementation of PFAS amendment in Canada and applied novel PFAS soil remediation methods.

Project Team: SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd; Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC); Department of National Defence (DND); QM Environmental; and, SNC Lavalin.

REINVEST: Financing, Risk Management and Partnerships
Grimsby Wetlands – Grimsby, Ontario

The former Biggar Sewage Lagoons were constructed in the early 1960s and operated by Niagara Region until the year 2000. The 29-acre property had four small aeriation ponds, one of which belong to the Department of National Defence (DND), and the other 20 acres belong to the Region. A series of negotiations and proposals transformed the site, which is available for public use. Today the property is known as the Grimsby Wetlands, a project of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC).

Project Team: Hamilton Naturalists’ Club; Niagara Region; Town of Grimsby; Friends of the Grimsby Wetlands; and, Grimsby & District Lions Club.

REFOCUS: Vision of Alternative Benefits to Brownfields Remediation

RenuWell Project – Taber, Alberta

The RenuWell Project represents a successful collaboration between a municipality, irrigation co-operative and the private and non-profit sectors to transform orphan oil & gas brownfield liabilities into community solar generation assets, supporting grid decarbonization, conserving high value land and generating cost savings through re-use of infrastructure.

Project Team: Municipal District of Taber; Irrigation Canal Power Co-operative Ltd. (IRRICAN); Elemental Energy (Alberta 2003) Inc./RenuWell Energy Solutions Inc.; SkyFire Energy Inc.; and, Iron & Earth.

REBUILD: Redevelopment at the Local, Site Scale
152 Shanley Street Redevelopment – Kitchener, Ontario

The project team strategically accessed policy initiatives, including Waterloo Development Charge exemption for brownfield sites, Kitchener brownfield council approved tax increment grant, and MECP tools for separating liabilities associated with on- and off-site impacts. They collaborated with the City on the concept developed for the site via community engagement, and further engaging in public consultation, as well as secured options to facilitate sustainable beneficial reuse options and promote education associated with contaminated site redevelopment.

Project Team: Shannondale Developments; City of Kitchener; Region of Waterloo; Stantec Consulting Ltd.; and, QM Environmental.

RENEW: Development at the Community Scale
Thorold Multimodal Hub – Thorold, Ontario

The project brings together a range of stakeholders behind an objective of making better use of Niagara’s valuable multimodal-industrial assets: HOPA Ports, private sector owners BMI Group, and civic economic development stakeholders who have championed the project. The shared vision has enabled the Hub to grow in phases over time, allowing new lands and industrial capabilities to be added to the ‘industrial ecosystem’ over time. The project has been highly successful, exceeding goals for new tenancies in the three years since launch.

Project Team: HOPA Ports; BMI Group (formerly Bioveld); City of Thorold; and, GIO Rail.

REACH OUT: Communications, Marketing and Public Engagement
Port Lands Flood Protection – Toronto, Ontario

Meet the Port Lands - Waterfront TorontoThis project involves excavating and treating approximately 1.4 million cubic metres of contaminated soil and treating and reusing much of it on site. Waterfront Toronto’s communications department executes a comprehensive outreach strategy to build support for the Port Lands Flood Protection project and keep the public informed by:

  • Creating a fun and engaging video campaign to explain the scope and impact of the project
  • Holding unique and innovative live events that promote understanding of the science and engineering behind the brownfield redevelopment underway
  • Sharing progress updates using innovative channels to keep project advocates engaged
  • Commissioning photographers to document and interpret the site’s transformation, including public engagements like CONTACT Photography Festival installations and artist talks.

Project Team: Waterfront Toronto; Bespoke Collective; Toronto and Region Conservation Authority; and, Agency Partners (Ports Toronto and CreateTO).

BEST SMALL PROJECT

Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (TKC) Settlement Land – Whitehorse, Yukon

Lands | Government of the Ta'an Kwäch'än CouncilThis project aimed to restore an area of Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (TKC) Settlement Land impacted by historic mining so that environmental impact was minimized, and the site could be used, as it was historically, by First Nation Citizens. Several expired placer claims were located on TKC Settlement Land, around 35 km north of Whitehorse. The land around the site had traditionally been used for harvesting food and medicinal plants for generations; however, in the 1980s, five placer mine claims were staked.

Project Team: SLR Consulting; Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (TKC); Government of Yukon; and, Federal Government (CIRNAC).

BEST LARGE PROJECT
Gordie Howe International Bridge – Windsor, Ontario

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is a once-in-a-generation $5.7 billion public- private partnership (P3) which embodies the very essence of brownfield redevelopment by transforming multiple Canadian brownfield sites into a symbol of progress, sustainability, and cross-border cooperation. The project is an engineering marvel that will be the longest cable stay bridge in North America, at 853 metres in length, with a tower height of 220 metres. The project leveraged a P3 model, bringing together strengths and resources of both public and private sectors.

Project Team: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and consultants (Parsons, WSP, GHD and Jacobs); Clayton Sereres (WDBA Senior Director, Environmental); Bridging North America (BNA); and, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and consultant (Mannik & Smith Group).

BEST OVERALL PROJECT
Birchley Park – Toronto, Ontario

Birchley Park is a vibrant mixed-use community with new public streets, over 5.8 acres of public park, a range of housing options, retail space, and a potential elementary school. The site will deliver over 1,050 residential units in multiple development blocks with a variety of housing types and tenures, including a block of land to be conveyed to an affordable housing provider. The first phase will implement a geoexchange system (resulting in reduced carbon emissions) and is planned to achieve LEED certification.

Project Team: DiamondKilmer; EQ Building Performance; Enwave, CreateTO; Habitat for Humanity; and, Evergreen.

BROWNFIELDER OF THE YEAR
David Kusturin Chief Project Officer for Waterfront Toronto

As Chief Project Officer for Waterfront Toronto, David Kusturin is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction in the delivery of project management, environmental remediation, project controls and procurement functions for the organization. The $25 billion revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is one of the largest urban renewal initiatives in the world. He brings 35 years of real estate development and global project management experience to this role, having previously held senior management positions at international consulting and real estate firms. He has been at the forefront of brownfield redevelopment, skillfully galvanizing teams to collaborate and innovate, and the projects he has led have been instrumental in transforming Toronto’s Waterfront and setting a high standard for urban renewal.