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Site remediation for PanAm Athletes Village wins Brownie Award

The redevelopment of an old industrial area at the foot of the Don River in Toronto, site of the Athletes' Village for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Games won the top recognition in the 2013 CUI Brownie Awards.


Pan/Parapan Games Athletes' Village and Canary District site under construction in summer 2012. Photo: BP/CCE.
Pan/Parapan Games Athletes' Village and Canary District site under construction in summer 2012. Photo: BP/CCE.

The redevelopment of an old industrial area at the foot of the Don River in Toronto, site of the Athletes’ Village for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Games won the top recognition in the 2013 CUI Brownie Awards.

Given by the Canadian Urban Institute, the awards were announced on October 24 in Toronto. Glenn Miller of the institute, noted: “Even though the technical aspects of brownfield redevelopment have largely been overcome since the CUI Brownie Awards were launched, success execution and implementation still requires a high degree of skill.” Miller also said, “This year’s finalists and winners come from five different provinces and are a tribute to the high quality of design and technical expertise across the country.”

Located in the east downtown in the new West Don Lands precinct, the 35-acre CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Athlete’s Village/Canary District sits on land that was a hub of industrial activity in the early 1900s. However, by the end of the last century the area had declined into disuse and largely vacant lots.

The province began appropriating the land in the mid-1980s and in 2010 Infrastructure Ontario hired CH2M HILL to do environmental studies and come up with a risk assessment and remediation plan so that the area could be redeveloped. Waterfront Toronto spearheaded the urban design for the area, and the province entered into a P3 arrangement with Dundee Kilmer Developments to design, build and finance the athletes’ village. Dundee Kilmer nominated the project for the Brownie award. Site remediation and construction is now well underway.

After the 2014 games, the housing for 10,000 athletes, new roads and other infrastructure will evolve into a pedestrian oriented mixed-use community. Known as the Canary District, it will link the Distillery District and a new park, Corktown Common, to the east along a wide paved and tree-lined Front Street Promenade.

To remediate the site soils the province decided to follow a risk assessment as opposed to a traditional “dig and dump” approach. This enabled some soil to be reused on site and saved more than 1 million tonnes of soil from landfill. Other remediation measures include the installation of vapour barriers beneath structures, and hard and soft capping.

Among the other Brownie award winners were the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory in Hamilton, Ontario which was chosen as the Best Large Scale Project. Nominator for this project were Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The Baggage Building Arts Centre at Prince Arthur’s Landing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which was nominated by Brook McIlroy, received the award for Best Small Scale Project.

Among the other winners were the Thorold Park Redevelopment (Sustainable Remediation Technologies and Technological Innovation), the Nova Scotia Power Corporate Headquarters in Halifax (published in CCE’s May 2013 issue, click here,

https://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/news/harnessing-the-ocean-nova-scotia-power-headquarters/1002346328/

and the

Whitehorse Waterfront Revitalization, Yukon (published in CCE’s Daily News, click here. https://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/news/whitehorse-revitalizes-its-historic-waterfront/1002657986/

photo caption

Pan/Parapan Games Athletes’ Village and Canary District site under construction in summer 2012.

Photo: BP/CCE.