Brownfields are abandoned, vacant, or underutilized properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived environmental contamination and/or derelict or deteriorated buildings. They are usually, but not exclusively, former industrial or commercial properties. Brownfields can include old landfills, abandoned factories, dry cleaners, gas stations, storage areas, bulk fuel storage/oil terminals, asphalt plants and print shops.
The Ottawa Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a comprehensive framework for promoting brownfield development within the City's urban area boundary and designated villages. The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP places the highest priority for brownfield redevelopment in intensification target areas. These areas are known as the brownfield priority area and are shown in the map below.
The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP was adopted by Council on April 27, 2007 and amended by Council on May 12, 2010, and October 14, 2015.
Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan Priority Area
Under the Brownfield Redevelopment CIP, the applicant is required to submit various technical documents to determine eligibility as well as the estimated costs eligible for the grant. The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP specifies that the total grant be capped at 50 per cent of the total estimated costs (with the provision that eligible items 7 to 12 cannot exceed 15 per cent of the total eligible items being submitted for a grant).
The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP program includes a list of 12 eligible items. Items 1 to 6 are directly associated with the remediation costs of the contaminated site, and items 7 to 12 are attributed to other site development and on-site improvement costs.
Eligible items and cost - 50 per cent of estimated cost
- Environmental studies, Remedial Work Plan and Risk Assessment not covered by Environmental Site Assessment Grant Program
- Environmental Remediation including the cost of preparing a Record of Site Condition
- Placing clean fill and grading
- Installing environmental and/or engineering controls/works as specified in the Remedial Work Plan and/or Risk Assessment
- Monitoring, maintaining and operating environmental and engineering controls/works as specified in the Remedial Work Plan and/or Risk Assessment
- Environmental Insurance Premiums
Eligible items and cost - 50 per cent of estimated cost but no more than 15 per cent of total eligible cost
- Leadership Program
- Cost of Feasibility Study
- 30 per cent of Building Permit Fee (only eligible in priority area)
- 50 per cent Building demolition costs
- 50 per cent Building rehabilitation costs
- 50 per cent of the upgrading costs for on-site infrastructure including water services, sanitary sewers and stormwater management facilities
The program funding is administered through the incremental increase of property tax following the brownfield site redevelopment. For example, if a brownfield site currently generates $10,000 in municipal property tax per year and following redevelopment, the property tax being generated increases to $500,000 per year, the uplift is calculated to be $490,000 per year. A percentage of the value uplift is then used to fund the program. There are three main components to the brownfield program which are described below.
Property Tax Assistance Program
Grants would be 100 per cent of the municipal share of the increase in property taxes that result from the redevelopment, payable annually for up to the first 3 years from Council approval, or up to the time when the total grant payments equal the total eligible grants (items 1 to 6), whichever comes first. The City will only pay the annual grant after the property taxes have been paid in full each year and all terms and conditions specified in the registered legal agreement between the City and the applicant have been met. To be eligible for the property tax assistance program, the ownership of the property cannot change within the period of the program. For example, a condominium development that will be sold and conveyed to individual owners will not qualify for this program.
Rehabilitation Grant Program
Grants would be capped at 85 per cent of the municipal share of the increase in property taxes that result from the redevelopment, payable annually for either 5 years from Council approval for a non-priority area or 10 years for a priority area, or up to the time when the total grant payments equal the total eligible grants (items 1 to 12 minus any amount paid out through the property tax assistance program), whichever comes first. The City will only pay the annual grant after the property taxes have been paid in full each year and all terms and conditions specified in the registered legal agreement between the City and the applicant have been met. If an applicant meets the requirement under the property tax assistance program, they can apply for both programs for a maximum combined grant period of either 5 or 10 years.
Development Charge Deferral Program
Under the Development Charge Deferral Program, the owner of the property is eligible for a 50 per cent deferment of eligible items costs towards development charges (items 1 to 7), by entering into a Deferral Agreement with a preferred annual interest charge of the issued index interest rate with the City of Ottawa. The term of the agreement would be subject to a maximum of either 2 years after issuance of a building permit or 3 years after the approval by the Council of the Brownfield Redevelopment CIP application by the developer, whichever one occurs first, at which time the payment of the Development Charge deferred amount, plus interest, would be made by the developer.
For more information about these programs and how to make an application, please contact:
Stream Shen, Coordinator (A)
Front-Ending Agreements and Brownfields Program
613-580-2424, ext. 24488
Old Landfill Management Strategy
The Old Landfill Management Strategy (OLMS) was implemented by the City of Ottawa to protect public health and the environment, to assess and minimize possible liability of the municipality and individuals, and to provide information to the various stakeholders associated with old landfill sites in the amalgamated City of Ottawa.
The first phase of the OLMS initiative included a detailed inventory of old landfill sites within the City which was documented in the report entitled Old Landfill Management Strategy, Phase 1 – Identification of Sites, City of Ottawa, Ontario” (Golder Associates, October 2004). Electronic copies of this report are available upon request. Inquiries such as whether a resident’s home was built on a former landfill can be directed to
Environmental Remediation Unit - ERU-UAE@ottawa.ca
Kimberley Millar, Environmental Remediation and Leasing Program Manager
613-580-2424, extension 23416
Erin Tait, Environmental Remediation Specialist
613-580-2424, extension 12958