October 21, 2004; Toronto, Ontario — The Canadian Urban Institute today announced the names of winners in the 2004 CUI Brownie Awards competition. The Brownie for the Best Project Overall was awarded to TOHU, a project located in the St. Michel district of Montreal, Quebec. The best large-scale project award went to The Distillery, a mixed-use heritage adaptive reuse project in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The best small/medium scale project award was given to The Currents, a mixed-use project soon to begin construction in Ottawa, Ontario. Other award winners hailed from Alberta and British Columbia. (See below for details. See earlier media release for details on all finalists.)

The CUI Brownie Awards, sponsored by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), are given to projects and programs that reflect leadership and innovation in brownfield redevelopment, a key building block in community revitalization. For the first time this year, the awards committee, representing ten professional and industry organizations, selected finalists in each of the six categories. The coveted CUI Brownie Awards were announced at the CUI/CBN “Brownfields 2004: Turning Up the Heat” conference in Toronto on October 21 by CUI chairman, Bob Onyschuk, CMHC acting chairman, Dino Chiesa, and EcoLog Information Resources Group general manager, Todd Latham.

“We were thrilled with both the quantity and quality of the nominations for this year’s awards,” said CUI vice president, Glenn Miller. “I believe that the CUI Brownie Awards truly reflect the high level of innovation and burgeoning expertise in brownfields redevelopment across the country. We received more than double the number of nominations this year, and the awards committee was hard pressed to select winners from so many excellent projects.”

Noting that 45 projects were nominated from both large cities and smaller communities in five provinces, Miller said that the committee was particularly pleased with the increased number of nominations in the categories of Capital Financing and Risk Management and Green Design and Technological Innovation. “This suggests that the kind of intelligence shared at events like the CUI/CBN brownfields conference, where practitioners are exposed to the latest techniques, products and insights, is having the desired impact. More than half of the nominations involved heritage and adaptive re-use projects, another signal that community redevelopment and brownfields are beginning to be seen as mutually supportive ideas,” he added.

Category 1: Policy and Program Development at the National or Provincial Scale

Komex International Ltd. and Hazco Environmental Services Ltd.
Remediation and Redevelopment of Former Highway Maintenance Yard, Grand Prairie, AB

This is a model of public-private cooperation that has used the auspices of the Province of Alberta to facilitate the remediation of a strategically located site and preserve its function for employment uses.

Category 2: Programs, Communications, Education and Marketing at the Community Scale

Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) and Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
Toronto Portlands Brownfield Environmental Management Program, Toronto, ON

TEDCO’s environmental management program and brownfields redevelopment strategy – an area-wide environmental management and remediation strategy required by the province as the prerequisite to the development of individual sites.

Category 3: Green Design and Technological Innovation

La Cité des Arts du Cirque, Montréal, QC

TOHU, La Cité des Arts du Cirque, Montreal, Quebec – a model for an organic approach to community renewal that utilizes green technology and materials re-use to establish a unique new character around a former municipal landfill.

The committee also awarded a special commendation to Springbank Meadows Park Naturalization Project in recognition of the strong volunteer effect for the community, supported by Credit Valley Horticultural Society, City of Mississauga and TD Friends of the Environment.

Category 4: Capital Financing and Risk Management

Winner: Conestoga-Rovers & Associates
Wallaceburg Inudstrial Mega-Center, Wallaceburg, ON

This rehabilitation of a former glass factory relied on an innovative financial partnership to preserve the building’s market viability and help create hundreds of jobs. This exemplifies an exciting new trend for consultants to leverage their technical expertise to take on the development risk as a way to move projects forward.

Special commendation: Roynat Capital and XCG Consultants Ltd.
Northfield Drive, Waterloo, ON

This project combined an innovative approach to capitalizing cash flows from rental income, site specific risk assessment and risk management techniques to attract a purchaser in ways that added value for the owner while dealing with groundwater contamination.

Category 5: Heritage/Adaptive Re-Use

Joint winners:

London Landing Development Corporation, Richmond, B.C.

An imaginative reworking in cooperation with the municipality of former industrial properties to create mixed use and “new urbanist” residential themes that complements the historical setting and creates new public amenities.

University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge, ON

This careful transformation of a former silk mill in Galt’s downtown core to establish University of Waterloo’s relocated School of Architecture, is designed to spark revitalization and create a new focal point for the interaction of “town and gown.”

Category 6: Brownfielder of the Year (Individual Achievement)

Councillor Marguerite Ceschi-Smith, Brantford, ON

Councillor Marguerite Ceschi-Smith, Brantford, Ontario – a tireless advocate for brownfields involved in the field for more than a decade, active in committees at the national, provincial and municipal levels

Category 7A: Best Small/Medium Project

Windmill Development Group
The Currents, Ottawa, ON

A striking mixed use project that promises to remove a long-term environmental liability for an inner-city community while meeting the highest green building standards and simultaneously meeting market demands, which will include a community theatre.

Category 7B: Best Large Project

Cityscape Holdings Inc.
The Distillery District, Toronto, ON

The Distillery District, Toronto – transformation and rehabilitation of a unique collection of heritage industrial buildings to create an arts-based destination, integrated with new housing and community facilities. In a short period of time, this site has become both a key destination for visitors and an important element of a thriving inner city community.

Category 7C: Best Project Overall

La Cité des Arts du Cirque, Montréal, QC

TOHU. La Cité des Arts du Cirque, Montreal, Quebec – a model for an organic approach to community renewal that utilizes green technology and materials re-use to establish a unique new character around a former municipal landfill.