Founded in 2001 by the Canadian Urban Institute, the Brownie Awards recognize the innovative efforts of professionals who rehabilitate sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized, and undeveloped by remaking them into productive residential and commercial projects that contribute to the growth of healthy communities across Canada.

As an annual celebration recognizing excellence in the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites across Canada, the Brownie Awards are presented proudly in partnership by the Canadian Brownfields Network and Actual Media.

See the list of Brownie Awards winners from previous years:

2017  •  2016  •  2015  •  2014  •  2013  •  2012  •  2011  •  2010  •  2009  •  2008  •  2007  •  2006  •  2005  •  2004  •  2003  •  2002  •  2001

Six project categories of distinction:

Legislation, Policy & Program Initiatives

Projects or programs that:

  • Remove barriers and/or facilitate brownfield redevelopment, reinvestment and regeneration
  • Provide models of excellence that can be applied or replicated by provincial, regional or municipal governments
  • Stimulate new investment or facilitate collaborative partnerships to implement vision for intensification and improved ROI for public funds

Sustainable Remediation & Technological Innovation

Projects or programs that:

  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in environmental soil remediation
  • Promote economic in-situ solutions that avoid broader environmental impacts
  • Incorporate ecological principles through pilots designed to go mainstream
  • Encourage use of innovative, cost-effective technologies that shift perceptions in the marketplace

Financing, Risk Management & Partnerships

Projects or programs that:

  • Rely on innovative approaches to obtain capital financing for the purposes of economic and ecological regeneration (i.e. use of public/private partnerships), public incentives to leverage investment
  • Facilitate innovative solutions to mitigating process risk

Project Development: Building Scale

Projects or programs that:

  • Demonstrate excellence in site specific responses to public policy initiatives that accelerate the pace of regeneration resulting from development
  • Promote an enhanced public realm; successfully leverage opportunities for collaboration and policy integration across different sectors
  • Combine imaginative adaptive reuse of heritage structures that promote health and well-being

Project Development: Neighbourhood Scale

Projects or programs that:

  • Stimulate neighbourhood-scale reinvestment
  • Use adaptive reuse of heritage and other structures to encourage integrated multi-phased redevelopment
  • Demonstrate high levels of collaboration; inspire many land owners and investors to engage with community support of a shared vision
  • Promote comprehensive neighbourhood transformation by re-envisioning the public realm, and improving functionality, liveability and character

Communications, Marketing & Public Engagement

Projects or programs that:

  • Successfully package municipal reinvestment plans and programs for regeneration and/or brownfields redevelopment in support of a community’s competitiveness and long-term sustainability
  • Demonstrate innovative approaches to build support for public/private investment and development designed to achieve intensification through redevelopment, regeneration and other reinvestment strategies
  • Introduce a brand that enhances acceptance and understanding of brownfield redevelopment, regeneration and reinvestment

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can submit a Brownie nomination?

Any organization involved in brownfield redevelopment in Canada can submit a nomination – municipalities, utilities, developers, consultants, property owners, non-governmental organizations, regulators, etc. – either on behalf of someone else or for its own work.

Does the project/program I nominate have to meet all of the detailed criteria?
Nominated projects/programs should meet the majority of the criteria for the category in which they’re nominated, and we recognize that outstanding performance for one of the criteria can outweigh criteria that do not apply to a project/program and that it is rare for a nominated project to score ten out of ten on each of the relevant criteria. We encourage you to nominate a project, even if it doesn’t, in your opinion, address all the criteria in its category.

Does the project/program have to involve a CBN member, either as manager/leader or part of the team?
Nominations are open to everyone involved in Canadian brownfield redevelopment, and there is no requirement an individual involved in the project/program to be a member of CBN.

What recognition is given to nominated projects?
The list and a description of short-listed projects/programs will be published on this website (, the CBN website ( Additionally, they will be posted to and distributed through its ReNewsletter digital media eBlast.

Winners will have the opportunity to give a short overview of their projects at the Brownie Awards Gala, and will receive an original piece of art, handcrafted by Floyd Elzinga. They will also be able to include “2019 Brownie Award winner” and CBN/Brownie Awards branding in their marketing and communications.

How can I nominate a project/program?
CBN is now accepting nominations for the Brownies in the above categories. If you or someone you know has a noteworthy project or program you feel should be recognized by us, please complete the nomination. Download the nomination form in PDF, complete the form and save it to your computer, then email it as an attachment to David Petrie of CBN at . If you have any questions, please call David Petrie 416-491-2886 ext. 249. Please note you do not need to be a CBN member to be nominated.

What are the criteria for the Brownfielder of the Year?
The Brownfielder of the Year award is given to recognize an outstanding individual in the industry who has a reputation as a champion for brownfield redevelopment; promotes a better understanding of brownfields as strategic assets; and, invests exceptional personal effort to further the cause of brownfield redevelopment.

Do you have more questions about the Award process?
If you have any questions about the process or criteria, please contact David Petrie of CBN; you can also call us at 416-491-2886 ext. 249.