2022 Brownie Award Winners
The 23rd annual Brownie Awards were presented on November 14, 2022.
Category 1: REPROGRAM: LEGISLATION, POLICY AND PROGRAM INITIATIVES
City of Guelph, Guidance for On-Site and Excess Soil Management - City of Guelph, Ontario
- The City of Guelph’s Guidance for On-Site and Excess Soil Management is a comprehensive document that explains and simplifies the language and implementation of Ontario Regulation 406/19: On-Site and Excess Soil Management.
- The project delivers a series of flow charts, checklists, and tables, serving as a template to provide a model of excellence for other regional and municipal governments.
- The project informs the city’s project managers with an explanation of the regulation and key requirements, as well as educates municipal staff responsible for delivering and supporting construction works, guiding the alignment of construction projects, and fostering the delivery of construction projects in compliance with the regulation.
- The document facilitates brownfield redevelopment through the delivery of a method in which projects can be contracted and delivered to managed soil, in accordance with both the Brownfield Regulation and the Excess Soil Regulation in a schedule and cost-effective practice.
Category 2: REMEDIATE: SUSTAINABLE REMEDIATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
Dow-Petromont Rehabilitation Project - Montreal, Quebec
- The Dow-Petromont Rehabilitation Project began in 2008 following the closure of Petromont operations. The 74-hectare site required biopile rehabilitation work on the near-surface soils of the former petrochemical manufacturing complex. To ensure the safety of endangered species as well as the neighbouring wetlands, this rehabilitation operation required certain protocols and precautions.
- This project involved treatability tests in laboratory facilities to evaluate the biodegradation potential under conventional aerobic conditions. It was found that hydrocarbons required improved techniques to accelerate the rate of biodegradation as they were difficult to degrade.
- Three pilot biopiles were constructed on the site to determine if the rate of degradation would increase with improvements to organic amendments and structuring agents, as well as the use of surfactants to mobilise molecular polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
- Upon completion of the project, 190,000 m3 of soil were treated using biopiles, and 35,000 m3 of soil were treated with an additional process of rhizodegradation.
Category 3: REINVEST: FINANCING, RISK MANAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS
Esquimalt Harbour Marine Remediation - Victoria, British Columbia
- The Esquimalt Harbour Marine Remediation Project is a multi-year, multi-phase project that targets four hotspots for remediation under the 15-year Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (2005).
- 1,127 metric tonnes of debris were removed from the sea floor, as well as 970 artifacts that were recovered, which will be held at the Royal BC Museum, and five new display cases are to be installed in a new Jetty building that will showcase the history of the harbour.
- Located on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People of the Coast Salish Nation (known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations), the $162.5 million project has created 225 jobs in the surrounding Esquimalt community, as well as the Indigenous Benefits Plan (IBP), which focuses on generating employment, training, and procurement opportunities for the Nations. The plan resulted in the creation of 16,000 hours of employment, 2497 hours of training, and $1,400,000 worth of products and services.
- The remediation project is defined as an investment beyond promoting a clean and productive ocean environment, but one that also gives the community a sense of accomplishment, engagement, and pride. It also helps potential businesses maintain interest by assisting in the removal of stigma surrounding the area.
Category 4: REFOCUS: VISION OF ALTERNATIVE BENEFITS TO BROWNFIELDS REMEDIATION
Northlands Denesuline First Nation - Northlands Denesuline First Nations, Manitoba
- The Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation (NDFN) project is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that has the potential to shape the future of remediation on Indigenous lands through dismantling colonial systems through energy sovereignty and economic security. This project aimed to have the community divest from using diesel power and instead install solar, biomass, and geothermal heating systems to act as their primary source for heating and power generation. Without the need for importing fuels, the NDFN are able to actively combat climate change and save a sizable sum of money to reinvest in their community.
- This project aimed to empower residents to take leadership roles in environmental remediation and alternative energy in their community. The remediation project also trained onsite community members to work in various roles that helped develop skills that were transferable to the energy systems projects. Upon completion of the project, the community was left with equipment and skills to reuse on the site and other communities conducting the same remediation project. This project refocuses brownfield remediation into a broader project that uses an alternative lens, with economic independence, environmental protection, and community resurgency at the forefront of the project’s goals.
Development of a Vacant Contaminated Site into a Sustainable Eco-friendly Hotel - St. John's, Newfoundland
- The ALT Hotel is a development project on a contaminated site that had been vacant for 13 years, and it has facilitated the revitalization of the downtown core of St. John’s. With the innovative prefabricated modular technique used in this project, which was created with a focus on sustainability, the environmental effects of waste, air, water, and noise pollution were greatly decreased
- Materials recovered from the historic site were preserved and put on display in the lobby of the hotel alongside old photos of the history of the site.
- The hotel offers ecologically sustainable features such as geothermal heating and cooling powered by the ocean, innovative heat recovery systems, and automated central switches.
Category 5: REBUILD: REDEVELOPMENT AT THE LOCAL, SITE SCALE
Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, RRC Polytech - Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Manitou a bi Bii daziigae is an expansion project of Red River College Polytechnic’s Exchange District Campus, which exemplifies regeneration and renewal through the reinforcement of city planning and economic policy, the adaptive re-use of a heritage structure, and the full remediation and repurposing of a brownfield site. As a result, this project supplements the economic, cultural, and innovative life of the Winnipeg core in alignment with the three pillars of the City’s Regeneration Strategy: Aboriginal Capacity Building, Downtown Renewal, and Inner City Resiliency.
- The name "Manitou a bi Bii daziigae" translates to "Where the Creator sits / Brings light" in the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) language, connecting the name to the design and cultural intent of the space, as well as the hope that the building represents. The project has also led to the creation of an urban public plaza adjacent to the historic Scott Fruit Warehouse, which has been rehabilitated for academic use. This has contributed to the creation of a space for innovative teaching facilities that engage hundreds of new students in the area.
- The former Metro Motors site was fully remediated, recycling 95.90% of the removed demolition materials.
Category 6: RENEW: DEVELOPMENT AT THE COMMUNITY SCALE
120 Huron Street - Guelph, Ontario
- Located in the City of Guelph’s St. Patrick’s Ward, 120 Huron Street is a site in a community known for its industrial heritage. The property was used for such purposes for 100 years before becoming vacant and underutilised in 2014. As a result, the property became a blight within the existing residential community.
- Known as the "Alice Block Towns," the project has brought infrastructure and services to the area, further simulating neighbourhood redevelopment through the repurposing of the historic site into 133 new residential units, 30 of which are planned to be affordable housing. This project facilitates the renewal of the historic neighbourhood through the delivery of alternate housing options among the wartime bungalows and row housing.
- Reid’s Heritage Homes recognised the potential of the site and purchased 65% of the site’s land. With a goal to address the "missing middle," 58 stacked townhouse condominiums were developed as attainable housing in nine cluster townhouse buildings.
Category 7: REACH OUT: COMMUNICATION, MARKETING AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area - Mississauga, Ontario
- The Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area is a project that supports the long-term sustainability of the community and surrounding areas. The project obtained materials from the Region of Peel capital projects, diverting a substantial amount of excess fill and concrete rubble from being transported to landfill sites. As a result of the sustainable efforts to re-use materials from other projects, hauler transport distances were reduced significantly, improving the air quality associated with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
- The project aims to create ecological and recreational opportunities for the adjacent Lakeview community, and in their community engagement efforts, the project team has hosted four Public Information Centers, providing an opportunity to inform the public, and encourage feedback from the local community.
- The project also places a high priority on involving the treaty holders for the lands and waters of the subject site. The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation have been informed and engaged through presentations to the Band Council, various community events, and tours of the project site. Indigenous Placemaking is at the forefront of this project, aiming to reflect and respect the significant contributions of the Indigenous Peoples.
Category 8: BROWNFIELDER OF THE YEAR
- Denise is an expert and advocate for developing strategies and policies for excess soil reuse and remediation. Having a successful career in assessing environmental impacts on contaminated properties, Denise works hard to promote and educate excess-soil strategies throughout Ontario, including her involvement in the work that led to the creation of Ontario Regulation 406/19. Through webinars and conference panel discussions, Denise seeks out opportunities to educate others in the industry on the best practises for adopting the new policies. Many Ontario municipalities are familiar with Denise through her work providing excess soil advisory services, helping numerous municipalities develop and incorporate excess soil reuse strategies into their procurement packages.
- Denise is currently working on the Waterfront Toronto Port Lands Flood Project as discipline lead (soil management).
Additional: BEST SMALL PROJECT
York Recreation Centre - Toronto, Ontario
- The York Recreation Centre is a project that transformed and repurposed an underused baseball diamond into a community centre that serves three lower-income neighbourhoods that surround the site. Prior to the development of the facility, most residents in the surrounding neighbourhoods had to travel outside the local area to access athletic and recreational facilities. The site was an opportunity to provide for residents of the underserved neighbourhoods and to empower community life and connections.
- The project has attained Toronto Green Standards certification, advocating a green approach by employing energy and water conservation features in the building and site. Having been developed on a brownfield, the site required remediation efforts that involved an underfloor venting system to exhaust methane in the soil, indigenous drought-resistant plantings, and extensive bio-swales at parking areas.
- The previously underutilised site had poor access and little exposure and was not well-suited for recreational use prior to the development of the York Recreation Center. Upon the creation of the facility, the site is now a hub for the community, with programmes in high demand and registration reaching full capacity.
Additional: BEST LARGE PROJECT
Watson Island Redevelopment - City of Prince Rupert, British Columbia
- The Watson Island Redevelopment is a collaborative effort that emphasises the importance and economic benefits of reusing land and materials and reducing environmental harm. Upon the closure of a former pulp mill, the site became an economic drain, costing the city approximately $100,000 in monthly costs. During the demolition, 95% of all materials recovered were recycled, and the materials that required disposal were sent to the existing industrial waste landfill on the island, including over 77,000 m3 of non-hazardous contaminated soil. This procedure eliminated the need for off-site transportation, resulting in a $12 million cost savings and a considerable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- The large site was costly and underutilised, so it was decided that the land would be broken into manageable sections to lease to proponents, and remediation and redevelopment would continue site after site.
- This project has reduced environmental liabilities while also benefiting the local, regional, and Western Canadian economies. This collaborative effort has turned what once was a financial drain into Canada’s third-largest port complex by revenue.
Additional: BEST OVERALL PROJECT
LeBreton Flats - Ottawa, Ontario
- LeBreton Flats has had a long industrial history that was halted by fire damage, leaving behind a legacy of abandoned linear infrastructure, servicing deficits, and site contamination. The redevelopment of the site began with extensive decontamination of the soil, which contributed to the prohibition of development for the past 60 years. The Building LeBreton project prioritises public and economic benefits, providing affordable housing, creating parks and public spaces, and supporting active transportation and transit use through its close proximity to two LRT stations. Upon its completion, the LeBreton Flats area is expected to house up to 7,500 residents and 4,000 workers. The project is also expected to create 1,743 construction jobs per year.
- The Canadian economy is expected to benefit from construction spending to the tune of $13.2 billion over the next 30 years, resulting in millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.
- Along with economic advantages, this initiative also benefits locals, the city, and the National Capital Region socially. LeBreton Flats, a new energetic neighbourhood, celebrates its industrial past by developing a thriving cultural centre and entertainment zone along the famed aqueducts of the Ottawa Waterworks.