An examination of municipal efforts to manage brownfields redevelopment in Ontario, Canada


  • Christopher A. De Sousa School of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University
  • D. Reanne Ridsdale Environmental Applied Sciences and Management, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Ryerson University


Brownfield, Contamination, Municipal, Planning, Canada


Since the mid-1990s, the reuse of brownfield properties for urban intensification has emerged as a core strategy in government efforts to remediate pollution and support renewal, regeneration, and retrofitting. While upper levels of government in Canada engaged in early efforts to devise policies, programs, and funding strategies to support redevelopment, the job of overseeing it has fallen mainly to local governments. This paper investigates the role of municipalities
in Ontario, Canada’s most populous and industrialized province, in managing and facilitating brownfields redevelopment. Survey data from 43 municipalities, coupled with information gathered from six site visitations and provincial information, reveal that despite common goals, tools, and approaches put forward by Ontario municipalities
in their Community Improvement Plans, the management of planning, funding, and redevelopment issues continues to be a challenge for many, resulting in some very proficient municipalities and numerous hopeful ones with limited capacity to address this demanding issue.