About the Brownie Awards

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.


Brownie Award Categories

The Brownies are awarded annually in seven categories:
Category 1:  REPROGRAM - Legislation, Policy and 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
Category 2:  REMEDIATE - Sustainable Remediation and 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
Category 3:  REINVEST - Financing, Risk Management and 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
Category 4:  REBUILD - Redevelopment at the Local, Site 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
Category 5:  RENEW - Redevelopment at the Community 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
Category 6:  REACH OUT - Communication, Marketing and 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
Category 7:  Brownfielder of the Year

The judges also give three additional Awards - best large project, best small project and best overall project.  


Brownie Hall of Fame

Here is a list of winners from previous years: 
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