Ontario's 4 Best Brownfield Redevelopment Projects
The Canadian Urban Institute handed out Brownie Awards last week, its annual tip of the cap to brownfield projects that catalyze neighbourhood reinvestment. Here’s a look at Ontario's winners.
1. Queen Richmond Centre West
Location: 134 Peter St
Award: Best overall, building scale
Developer/Owner: Allied Properties REIT
Why it won: Newly opened QRC West is a poster child for urban intensification, a modernized heritage warehouse with a new 17-storey glass box perched above it. The building boasts 300k SF of office space, with 14k SF of retail. Coolest part: the steel structures that support the rooftop addition run through QRC West’s glass-walled atrium.
2. Queens Quay Revitalization
Location: Queens Quay West
Award: Best overall, neighbourhood scale
Developer: Waterfront Toronto
Why it won: Spanning 1.7 km from Spadina to Bay, this $130M project has transformed the main waterfront drag into a public realm showpiece. Condos and ground-floor retail front a tree-lined granite pedestrian promenade that co-exists (mostly) peacefully alongside a new bike lane, two lanes of car traffic and a dedicated LRT line in the middle.
3. Meridian Centre
Location: St Catharines
Award: Project development, neighbourhood scale
Owner: City of St. Catharines
Why it won: This 160k SF, 5,300-seat entertainment complex, home to the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, was built on a parking lot created when parts of the old canal system were paved over. The centre repurposes an underutilized site and the city hopes it'll spur further growth downtown. Pedestrian bridges connect the complex to surrounding areas.
Award: Communications, marketing and public engagement
Developer: Windmill Development Group, Dream Unlimited Corp
Why it won: On a 37-acre waterfront site between Ottawa and Gatineau once occupied by a paper mill, Zibi (named for the Algonquin word for river), will have condos, a hotel, waterfront parks and green spaces, and a network of pedestrian and cycling paths. The community will also feature a district-wide energy system.