Three waterfront projects have been awarded 2012 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie awards. The new George Brown College Health Sciences Campus in East Bayfront received the Excellence in Project Development Award: Neighbourhood Scale. In the West Don Lands, Underpass Park won for the Best Small Scale Project and the Flood Protection Landform was recognized with a special award for its contribution to the Public Realm.
The Canadian Urban Institute’s annual Brownie Awards program recognizes leadership, innovation and environmental sustainability in brownfields redevelopment across Canada. The prestigious awards, which were announced on October 4, are considered the Canadian industry standard for recognizing excellence in brownfield development and commitment to the remediation of brownfield sites. The awards celebrate excellence in brownfield redevelopment by transforming contaminated sites into “great places.” The jury included representatives from ten professional and industry associations. Toronto’s three waterfront projects were among 27 finalists in 7 categories across Canada.
The newly opened George Brown College Centre for Health Sciences is the cornerstone of the new East Bayfront community. Located on the water’s edge next to Sherbourne Common, the state-of-the-art campus provides a unique hands-on learning environment that features informal learning spaces and rooftop terraces. The waterfront campus transformed a brownfield site that was created by lakefill in the 1950s. The new campus building is targeting LEED Gold Certification and includes alternative fuel stations and energy and water conservation measures which will help the college significantly reduce its energy and water consumption.
Underpass Park is the first park under an overpass in Toronto and the largest in Canada. The park opened earlier this summer and transformed a derelict unused space into a unique community park and key pedestrian passageway in the West Don Lands. Underpass Park includes two basketball half-courts, an extensive skatepark, a large playground complete with playful climbing structures, as well as a series of park benches and flexible community space that can be used for markets, festivals and seasonal public events.
The jury distinguished the Flood Protection Landform project in Toronto with a special award for its contribution to the public realm. Located on a brownfield site that had been contaminated from over 100 years of industrial use, the flood protection landform will provide flood protection for 209.6 hectares (518 acres) of Toronto’s downtown east, including Toronto’s financial district , and is also the location of Don River Park, the West Don Lands’ signature park. Construction of the flood protection landform permitted the removal of the flood-plain designation, allowing the land to be rezoned for residential development.
As one of the largest urban brownfield remediation projects in the world, Waterfront Toronto is employing global best practices and made-in-Toronto solutions to develop new waterfront communities that protect and enhance our natural environment.
Waterfront Toronto’s Port Lands Pilot Soil Recycling Facility won a Brownie Award for Sustainable Remediation Technologies and Technological Innovation in 2010.