Brownfield Redevelopment for Housing in Canada — Case Studies
Brownfield redevelopment is a form of sustainable development, offering opportunities to revitalize older neighbourhoods, lower municipal infrastructure costs, increase municipal property tax revenues and lessen urban sprawl. Despite the obstacles facing this type of development, successful redevelopment projects have been built across Canada. These case studies are successful examples of residential projects that have overcome the barriers to brownfield redevelopment.
Brandt's Creek Crossing, Kelowna, British Columbia
Located north of downtown Kelowna, the lands of a former CN rail yard have been subdivided and rezoned to create a mixed-use neighbourhood of industrial, commercial, office and residential lots. Canada Lands Company (CLC) remediated the heavily contaminated site. The first phase of development is currently being planned, and will consist of 89 condominium units in one tower and seven freehold townhomes. Ultimately, 600 residential units are expected to be built by 2010.
The Hamilton Beaches, Hamilton, Ontario
A former gasoline station in one of Hamilton's transitional neighbourhoods is currently under redevelopment. When complete the development will include 93 residential units including row and stacked townhouses, and apartment units. Through the use of innovative remediation technologies and Hamilton's supportive policy environment for brownfield redevelopment, this site is being transformed into a community of attractive market-priced housing.
Abe Zakem House, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
A former City public works garage in downtown Charlottetown has been redeveloped for 23 affordable rental apartment units. A risk assessment was employed at this site using the Atlantic Risk Based Corrective Action (RBCA) process. The risk assessment process determined that the site could be safely redeveloped using passive and active risk mitigation measures. The project has had a positive impact on the neighbourhood with several nearby properties now under renovation or proposed for new multi-unit residential uses.
Oliver Village, Edmonton, Alberta
Oliver Village is a thriving residential community close to downtown Edmonton. Located on a former CN Rail yard, the development consists of 308 rental apartment units in two buildings and 4,180 m2 (45,000 sq. ft.) of ground-level commercial space. The Canada Lands Company (CLC) remediated the site, using aeration to remediate hydrocarbon contamination and a standard "dig and dump" approach for heavy metals. The development removes a barrier between downtown Edmonton and the communities to the north by providing pedestrian and automobile links and is part of the City's effort to promote revitalization in downtown Edmonton.
Spencer Creek Village, Dundas, Ontario
Spencer Creek Village is a large-scale, high-density residential development located in the heart of the community of Dundas in Hamilton, Ontario. The development will contain 598 residential units in nine buildings along with 1,300 m2 (14,000 sq. ft.) of commercial space. This redevelopment of a former steel foundry site incorporated extensive use of on-site soils sorting and recycling to reduce costs and materials sent to the landfill. The development has also been designed to fit into the existing neighbourhood.
London Landing, Richmond, British Columbia
London Landing is an award winning, 221 unit residential development of detached town homes, stacked units and condominium apartments in Richmond, BC. Located on a former mixed industrial site, site remediation involved digging up and aerating contaminated soils and re-using the soils as on-site fill. Design features incorporated in the homes and on the property have created a heritage-sensitive residential community.
Le Cours Chaboillez, Montréal, Quebec
A former industrial site in downtown Montréal, which once contained rail lines, freight sheds, and numerous industrial uses, is being redeveloped to accommodate almost 1,000 residential units, and retail and institutional uses. The site is being remediated and will be transformed into a community of attractive high-density market-priced condominium units, through the use of a site-specific risk assessment and a grant from the Province's Revi-Sols Program.
Quai des Éclusiers, Montréal, Quebec
The site of a former wrought iron factory and foundry on the Lachine Canal in Montréal's Secteur Saint-Antoine is being redeveloped for 400 residential units. Through grants from the province's Revi-Sols program and the City of Montréal, the site is being remediated and transformed into attractive, market-priced condominium units.
Wellington Square, Cambridge, Ontario
Wellington Square is a residential development of 82 townhouse units built on formerly contaminated industrial land in Galt City Centre (Cambridge, Ontario). The site was contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons from a long industrial history, with the bulk of the contamination attributed to a former foundry. The project was the first to take advantage of Cambridge's new Contaminated Sites Grant Program, as well as several other complimentary City programs geared to promoting redevelopment in the core areas.
Atlantic Risk-Based Corrective Action Program (RBCA)
The Atlantic Risk Based Corrective Action (RBCA) approach which has been adopted by the Atlantic Provinces establishes a set of scientifically derived risk-based (and harmonized) criteria and a pre-approved and cost effective methodology for applying "Site Specific Risk Assessment" (SSRA) to petroleum-contaminated sites. The Atlantic RBCA process makes it cost effective for the owners of small contaminated properties to remediate these sites. With the benefits of standardized criteria and methods of SSRA, the rate at which petroleum-impacted sites are being remediated has increased.
Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Initiative, Hamilton, Ontario
The City of Hamilton's ERASE Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a comprehensive planning and financial incentive framework for promoting brownfield development in the older industrial area of Hamilton. The ERASE CIP has been used by several other Canadian municipalities as the template for their brownfield redevelopment plans and incentive programs.