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The 2012 Brownie Award for best small-scale project went to Underpass Park in Toronto’s Don Lands. Here, 10-year-old Jordan Smith uses a skateboard ramp at the $9.5-million project, located beneath the Richmond/Adelaide overpasses in the West Don Lands. Underpass Park is at the centre of development in preparation for the 2015 PanAm Games.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

The 12th annual Canadian Urban Institute's Brownie Awards were presented at a gala dinner in Niagara Falls on Oct. 4. Held in conjunction with the CUI's Canadian Brownfields conference, Making Great Places, the awards were sponsored by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and celebrate excellence in brownfield redevelopment by transforming contaminated sites into "great places."

Winners in seven categories from across Canada were recognized for their leadership, innovation and commitment to building sustainable communities.

"Regardless of their size or scale, successful brownfield projects are a truly collaborative effort," said Glenn Miller, vice-president, education and research with the CUI. "The extraordinary range of projects and programs represented by the finalists are a tribute to the high quality of design and technical expertise across the country. Selecting the winners gets harder every year."

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Best overall project: Sydney tar ponds and coke ovens remediation project in Sydney, N.S., which through extensive public consultation has developed a future land use for largest contaminated site in the country that is comprehensive and includes both short-term and long-term development strategies. This project has, and will continue to have, an important impact on the local economy, in addition to health and environmental benefits.

Best large-scale project: SOLEfood Farm, Vancouver, for interim brownfield use as urban agriculture.

Best small-scale project: Underpass Park, Toronto.

Public realm: Flood protection landform, Toronto.

Brownfielder of the year: Lois E. Jackson, Mayor of the Corporation of Delta, B.C. who has been a tireless and vocal advocate for brownfield issues as Mayor of Delta, as well as in her capacity as chair of Metro Vancouver.

Category-specific awards were also awarded to the following projects:

Category 1 – Legislation, policy and program development

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Smarter Niagara Incentives Program (SNIP) – Niagara Region, Ont.

Category 2 – Sustainable remediation technologies and technological innovation

Sustainable remediation of former aerospace manufacturing facility for future residential use in Montreal suburb – Montreal

Category 3 – Financing, risk management and partnerships

Village Suites Oshawa – Oshawa, Ont.

Category 4 – Excellence in project development: Building scale

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CCOC Beaver Barracks Redevelopment – Ottawa

Category 5 – Excellence in project development: Neighbourhood scale

George Brown College Waterfront Health Sciences Campus – Toronto

Category 6 – Communications, marketing and public engagement

FCM Brownfield Capacity Building Tools – Ottawa

Category 7 – Individual achievement

Lois E. Jackson – Mayor, the Corporation of Delta, B.C.

The CUI Brownie Awards jury is comprised of representatives from 10 professional and industry associations. In addition to the Canadian Urban Institute and Canadian Brownfields Network, the jury includes representatives from the Canadian Institute of Planners/Ontario Professional Planners Institute; Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario; Federation of Canadian Municipalities;Ontario Association of Architects; Natural Resources Canada; and ReNew Canada.

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