From Brownfield to successful subdivision


CORNWALL | An idea first brought forward by Loiselle Developments Inc more than three years ago, in a pile of documents en- titled Belfort Estates Subdivision Planning report , will soon become a reality. The Bel- fort Estates will soon tower over the still empty Courtaulds land. Giant signs boast smiling individuals, as they welcome trav- elers on both Second Street and Montreal Road. “There will be a high density residential block located ad- jacent to the commercial area that fronts on Second Street.” According to the planning report, the de- velopment is primarily geared to the aging baby-boomer population, as they consist of the largest age cohorts in not only Corn- wall, but across the country. In other words, the subdivision would in essence cater to the already established efforts by the city to attract retiring citizens. The idea behind Lo- iselle Developments’ plan would be to cre- ate an age in place community, comprised of a variety of unit types that meet the de- mands of residents with varying degrees of mobility. As with any other planned development,

Submitted photo

An idea first brought forward by Loiselle Developments Inc more than three years ago, in a pile of documents entitled Belfort Es- tates Subdivision Planning report , will soon become a reality. Above, the Courtaulds Canada Inc. Mill .

the construction is divided in phases, with phase one of the subdivision consisting en- tirely of single detached and semi-detached residential units. “There will be a high density residential block located adjacent to the commercial area that fronts on Second Street,”the docu-

the environmental condition of the prop- erty. In order to acquire a RSC, property own- ers must first obtain an environmental site assessment (ESA). “An ESA explores the likelihood that one or more substances have contaminated all or part of a property,” highlights the guide. “The previous use of the property is reviewed by studying a variety of sources such as fire maps, aerial photos, directories, maps and even interviewing past and cur- rent owners.” A case study, published by the now de- funct Renaissance Group , claimed that ar- senic was present on the property, citing that some areas contained higher levels of ar- senic. The study also pointed to cinder, be- ing present on an estimated 18,375 square meters of the property. In a later chapter, entitled cleanup , the study then pointed to a rather strange solution to the problem. Rather than rid the property of cinder, soils containing cinder were covered with a sub- stantial layer of topsoil . A brief history of the Courtaulds Land Originally a 200-acre farm lot owned by Benjamin French and recognized as Lot 4, Concession 1, the land parcel originally stretched from the St. Lawrence River to what is now Tenth Street. Courtaulds Can- ada Inc then proceeded to purchase the property in 1924 and constructed its Rayon Silkmill. Several houses were built around it, in order to house workers. The Cornwall mill was closed in 1992, when it was announced that foreign competition had once and for all caused the factory’s demise.

ment explains. “This block could accommo- date a seniors’complex, apartment building or a condominium complex.” Future phases will consist of a mix of sin- gle detached, semi-detached, townhomes, apartments and condominiums. To make travelling easier for future resi- dents of the subdivision, connections would be established with Montreal Road and Second Street, all the while creating an extension to Nick Kaneb Drive. The subdivision will also promote land use compatibility and improve the quality of surrounding streetscapes. “It is believed that the staged develop- ment of the Brownfield site will improve the aesthetics of the area,” reads the report. “Streets have been laid out to take advan- tage of views and give street frontage to park space.” Interestingly, the majority of the south- east portion of the property would have only been remediated to accommodate commercial uses. Transforming a Brownfield site A practical Guide to Brownfield Redevelop- ment in Ontario , a document released by the province back in 2007, Brownfield prop- erties are defined as lands that are potential- ly contaminated due to historical, industrial or commercial land use practices, and are un- derutilized, derelict or vacant . The province has outlined several envi- ronmental standards that must be met for remediation, such as assessments. The pro- cess is mandatory before any redevelop- ment can occur. A Record of Site Condition (RSC) is also needed. The said report grades

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