Plans for one of the largest remaining under-developed properties in central Ottawa, Canada provide insight to future priorities in urban design: mixed use, pedestrian friendly and welcoming to the general public. Golder’s involvement in the master-planned Greystone Village project, which includes brownfields redevelopment and historic building aspects, earned Regional Group and Golder a “Brownie” award from the Canadian Brownfields Network in 2018.
This 10.5 hectare (26 acre) site is situated on prime land along the Rideau River, close to universities, transit and parks. A dominant feature on the property is the former educational facility of a religious order, Edifice Deschâtelets. It was built in 1885 by the Oblates of the Scholasticate and has heritage designation by the City of Ottawa.
Property owner Regional Group sought to develop the site to provide over 900 homes, offering a blend of housing options including mid-rises, townhouses and single-family houses. The Regional Group consulted extensively with the local community groups during the development planning and construction phases and integrated their input where possible, earning a wide base of support for this project in an old, long-established Ottawa neighbourhood.
Golder’s involvement in the project goes back to the site acquisition phase, and has included site remediation, geotechnical engineering, hydrogeology, risk assessment, inventory and removal of designated substances, archaeology and natural environment services, as well as consultation with the public and municipal decision-makers.
Investigations determined that due partly to the area’s industrial past, some of the century-old fill along the river included elevated concentrations of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that exceeded applicable standards for residential and park redevelopment. The majority of this soil was remediated through excavation and landfill disposal. In other parts of the property to be used as parkland, a screening level risk assessment found it was acceptable to leave some of the impacted soil in place and cover it with a clean soil cap.
A beneficial use was found for processed bedrock excavated as part of a municipal public light rail transit tunnel project underneath central Ottawa. This excavated material was used to backfill the remedial excavation and construct engineered fill pads for support of low-rise residential foundations and buried service lines on the property.
An archaeological investigation identified potential sites of interest buried below ground that required careful monitoring and handling during remediation.
Construction on the site, which is expected to continue over an 8-10 year planned development build-out, is expected to include space for community activities including a central event plaza with potential for a farmer’s market. As part of the master plan, specialized retail and commercial ventures plus a senior citizens’ residence are to be incorporated, serving residents as well as the surrounding Old Ottawa East community.
Application has been made for LEED ND v4 Silver certification, for Neighbourhood Development.