Study highlights the benefits of brownfield redevelopment in Ontario

Toronto Sugar Beach
Toronto Sugar Beach, former industrial site

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) together with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has released a study that reaffirms the positive effects of brownfield redevelopment on the economy, people’s quality of life and the environment.

The research studied three brownfield redevelopment sites in Ontario: Kaufman Lofts in Kitchener, Lybster Mill in St. Catharines, and the Currents in Ottawa. In all three cases, it was found that remediating these abandoned sites and making them suitable for residential and commercial purposes generated economic development, contributed to an improved environment and to more vibrant neighbourhoods by attracting more residents, businesses or visitors to the area. You can view a complete report here.

Despite these positive findings, investing in brownfield redevelopment remains a complex task. Unlike greenfield development, brownfield sites may require extensive remediation along with other associated investments, expertise on the part of the developer and sometimes government funded incentives.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has released a report outlining financial and non-financial tools that municipalities provide to encourage brownfield redevelopment in their communities. Click here to view a full report.

MAH also made available a summary chart of all incentives and services including municipal contact information and links to relevant municipal documents.  The geographic distribution of municipal brownfield financial incentives could be viewed using this map .

Research indicates that, as of 2010, 44 Ontario municipalities have adopted Community Improvement Plans (CIP) containing brownfield provisions.

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