Category: Policy Development

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Ministry of the Environment
Brownfields Policy Review Panel & Brownfields Statute Amendment Act, 2001 (Bill 56)

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a joint Brownie award to Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of the Environment. The award recognizes leadership in developing Canada’s first-ever draft legislation to specifically address brownfields redevelopment.

This Brownie is for two elements of the Province’s initiative:

  • The appointment in September 2000 of the Brownfields Policy Review Panel composed of brownfields experts from all sectors, and the co-ordination of the panel’s work in addressing the key challenges to brownfields cleanup and redevelopment: environmental liability; financing; and the planning/approvals process
  • Development of the Brownfields Statute Amendment Act, 2001 (Bill 56) to encourage the cleanup and revitalization of abandoned or contaminated brownfields sites in Ontario communities. A part of the government’s Smart Growth strategy, Bill 56 encourages more efficient patterns of growth and development by focusing on the reuse of abandoned or contaminated brownfields. This makes more effective use of existing infrastructure (such as schools, roads, sewers) and provides a smarter alternative to developing on greenfields and farmland.

Category:  Program  Development/Implementation

Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton
Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) Community Improvement Plan

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a Brownie Award to the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Department. This award recognizes leadership excellence in developing and implementing an outstanding brownfields redevelopment program.

Specifically, this Brownie is for the new local initiative known as the Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) Community Improvement Plan. Developed by Hamilton and approved by the Province in August 2001, this plan promotes the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields in the city’s older industrial area.

ERASE will provide financial incentives to eligible brownfields properties, which can receive a grant equivalent to an 80-percent rebate on municipal tax increases resulting from redevelopment, for a period of up to 10 years. These grants cover the cost of environmental cleanup, demolition and site preparation. Hamilton also offers grants under ERASE to cover 50 percent of the cost of certain environmental studies, up to a maximum of $10,000 per study. Rebates of various planning and development fees are another feature of this precedent-setting program.

Hamilton is the first Canadian municipality to develop a brownfields redevelopment plan as comprehensive as ERASE. It will set the stage for numerous site-specific, community-rebuilding initiatives to revive abandoned brownfields sites and also boost the local economy while cleaning up the natural environment.

Category: Individual Achievement

Chuck Charlebois
Renaissance Group, Cornwall

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a Brownie Award to Chuck Charlebois. This award recognizes his outstanding efforts in leading the Renaissance Group Community Association’s efforts to redevelop parts of Cornwall’s historic industrial waterfront.

The Renaissance Group comprises over 40 public, private and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in the City of Cornwall through community-building initiatives. It is a key element in sparking much of  the revitalization that is transforming downtown Cornwall into a once-again vibrant and healthy Eastern Ontario centre.

Since the Renaissance Group was formed as a grassroots organization of concerned citizens, Chuck has been the “sparkplug” who has helped kick-start much-needed redevelopment in the former industrial Cotton Mill district along the waterfront, as well as in Le Village, a formerly derelict area next to downtown. He is currently spearheading the community-led initiative to revitalize a strategic part of the Cotton Mill site. Chuck leads the Renaissance Liaison Committee that oversees the entire project and is made up of representatives of the Renaissance Group and the City of Cornwall.

With the City’s support, Chuck and the Renaissance Group have mobilized key players, such as the Caisse Populaire, the local Homebuilders’ Association, the clergy and other community groups into action. Chuck is truly the main catalyst for helping transform areas of the waterfront with a brownfields  past into a productive and vibrant part of  the community for the benefit of the whole city.


Category: Partnership

REON Development Corp.
Former Stelco Steel Plant in the South Swansea, Toronto’s Western Waterfront

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a Brownie Award to the REON Development Corporation. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in building and maintaining effective working partnerships with professionals, the local community and others involved in brownfields redevelopment.

REON is a Canadian company involved in redeveloping contaminated sites using proven risk-management and remediation technologies.

One of REON’s current brownfields redevelopment initiatives involves the 4.9-hectare site of the old Stelco steel  plant south of the Queensway in the South Swansea area of Toronto’s western waterfront. It is the largest single development in the area and is proposed as the home for about 2,000 new condo and townhouse dwellers. This project is expected to have significant effects on the existing community in terms of traffic, lakeshore  access, schools, transit and other impacts.

The Brownie recognizes REON’s approach in building an effective partnership with the local community to come to terms, at an early stage in the redevelopment process, with issues of general concern. REON is using the TeleCommons Development Group to engage the Swansea community directly in finding ideas that work for all concerned. In addition, information on all aspects of the project, including minutes of all meetings held with community representatives, are posted by REON online at www.world19.com, the web site of a local west-end Toronto community group.

Since spring of 2001, a number of meetings have been held involving REON, TeleCommons and members of several working groups that have been set up to focus on built form, traffic, aesthetics, environment, landscaping and other key aspects of the proposed redevelopment project.

Category: Communication


The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a Brownie Award to aboutREMEDIATION.com. This award recognizes outstanding efforts in conveying information and sharing ideas, techniques, concepts and approaches in relation to brownfields redevelopment.

This new web site is the result of a partnership involving OCETA, Royal LePage Commercial Inc., the Southam Environment Group, Environment Canada and the Province of Ontario. Launched in March 2001, this unique web portal houses Canada’s largest online database on site remediation techniques and case studies. It provides a one- stop reference source on site remediation, brownfields redevelopment and property cleanup information, technologies and solutions for municipalities, developers, realtors, environmental consultants, academic and research institutions, property owners and others in Canada and worldwide.

The Brownie Award for aboutREMEDIATION.com recognizes it as a unique and innovative access point for: disseminating information; finding solutions to site remediation issues; showcasing technology that works in specific situations; promoting new technology applications and providing news on new technologies and case studies on brownfields/contaminated site remediation.

A valuable new communications tool, the site provides free access to property cleanup evaluation and assessments tools; legislation, regulations and policies; insurance, legal and financing options; technology and company profiles; and links to other valuable brownfields redevelopment resources.

Category: Community-Building


The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is pleased to present a Brownie Award to the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). This award recognizes outstanding commitment to community-building that involves brownfields redevelopment.

LIUNA is a labour organization representing 800,000 members in Canada and the US. They have helped build highways, bridges, tunnels, subways, factories, dams, power plants, schools, churches, hospitals and houses. Formed in 1903, LIUNA has proven to be one of the most innovative, forward-thinking unions in the labour movement.

The LIUNA Ontario local purchased the former CN railway station (in which Brownfields 2 is now being held) in the mid-1990s. In the past several years, the group has spent several million dollars on redeveloping the former brownfields site into the magnificent conference and meeting facility you see today. This involved remediation of contaminated soils, removal of most of the old railway tracks, extensive renovations and reconstruction of the  original station structure, as well as the restoration of interior surfaces and fixtures.

The Brownie recognizes LIUNA for its decision to take an abandoned, derelict property and turn it into a remarkable new facility. The union’s efforts to restore an old Hamilton landmark, not only to match and exceed its former glory but also to again knit it into the working fabric of the downtown Hamilton neighbourhood are commendable.

Also, this Brownie honours LIUNA for its redevelopment of another, nearby old industrial brownfields site into a full- service nursing home – another example of outstanding community-building that helps knit together this part of Hamilton.