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$2-billion Brightwater project to rise from Mississauga brownfield site

Don Wall
$2-billion Brightwater project to rise from Mississauga brownfield site
PCWVP—Brightwater village plaza: Mississauga planning staff wrote in a report supporting the Brightwater proposal, “The new community has been designed to be sensitive to the existing and planned character of the neighbourhood and provides an appropriate transition to adjacent residential and commercial uses.”

The 72-acre, $2-billion mixed-use Brightwater development on Mississauga’s waterfront has taken two significant permitting steps this summer, clearing the way for developers Port Credit West Village Partners to revitalize a long-standing brownfield site and create homes for 7,000 new residents.

With 2,995 condo and rental units, 300,000 square feet of commercial, office and other components along Lakeshore Road West and a new 10-acre Waterfront Park, the developers are positioning Brightwater as the new western extension of the Port Credit community.

“For the first time in over 100 years, these former Texaco/Imperial Oil lands are going to finally be cleaned up, with no government or taxpayer money going into the remediation effort. We should all be really excited about the future of this site,” commented Councillor Stephen Dasko at the City’s planning and development committee meeting on July 29.

The developer’s vice-president of planning and development Christina Giannone has a unique take on what the development means for the region.

“I was born and raised in the area so I only knew the site as a fenced-off property,” said Giannone.

“Everybody had different opinions of what it could be, but I think what the community wanted, and what council and staff were looking for, will complete Port Credit and tie the west side of the river to the east side of the river.”

Port Credit West Village Partners includes the Kilmer Group, DiamondCorp, Dream Unlimited Corp and FRAM+Slokker. Toronto-based architects Giannone Petricone Associates led the design and COBE from Denmark joined the architectural team after the developer judged COBE’S proposal to be best suited for the project’s marquee Campus waterfront precinct. Urban Strategies, Urbantech, BA Group and Public Work are other consultants to the developer.

From the late 1800s to 1933, prior to its use by Imperial Oil, the site was a base for shale excavation for brickmaking so COBE’s recognition of that heritage in its designs for the Campus precinct was a perfect nod to the industrial past, Giannone said. The Campus will feature 156,000 square feet of commercial, retail and public amenity space.

“COBE took inspiration from the nature and the original ties to shale and they were inspired by the stacking of rocks and shale and it was a really inspiring presentation they gave us,” Giannone said.

The tallest condo tower in Brightwater will be 29 storeys with other condo and rental buildings of diminishing heights supplemented by townhouses and stacked townhouses. The anticipated total residency when the project is completed some eight years in the future will more than double the current population of Port Credit.

Beyond the developer’s allotment of 2,995 units, there will be additional affordable homes built by the Region of Peel — possibly up to 150 units. There are also plans for a YMCA and an elementary school.

Despite the developer’s appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) — it was largely a procedural step with only minor issues to take care of, Giannone said — the City and the developer worked in full collaboration throughout the planning process, Giannone said. The master plan was approved in June, two years after the proposal was submitted to the City. Mississauga City Council unanimously endorsed staff’s recommendation report for the proposal on July 31 and the lingering issues were settled at the LPAT level Aug. 7, meaning the project will achieve official planning and zoning approval status by order of the tribunal on Sept. 7.

Sales will begin next year with the start of construction targeted for later in 2020.

Remediation of the lands is already underway, with completion expected this year. Stantec is the owner’s consultant on the remediation, which is mainly focused on removing petrochemicals, and the Cannington Group is responsible for the demolition and remediation work.

Some but not all existing water and sewer services are adequate to accommodate the development, Giannone explained. The Region of Peel is undertaking an extension and expansion of the sanitary line with upgrades meeting needs beyond those of the developers’ site, she said, and there will also be upgrades to the stormwater line along Mississauga Road. But the existing water system has sufficient capacity.

Similarly, the transportation and transit puzzle benefits from existing infrastructure such as the nearby Port Credit Go station and the Lakeshore GO corridor, which will be upgraded through the GO RER electrification project to eventually provide 15-minute service. The Hurontario LRT line will also connect to the Port Credit GO station and Mississauga’s MiWay will loop through the village.

The developer aims to develop an active transportation component — cycling and walking — that will minimize the use of private automobiles on the site. Incorporating the commercial and office component will provide residents with local opportunities for shopping and work, but for commuters, the goal is to avoid car trips to the Port Credit station.

“From the early stages we have said we wanted to create a shuttle to the GO station,” said Giannone. “The GO station is already congested in the morning.”

At some point in the future, automated vehicles may well be involved in the first-mile, last-mile accessing of the GO station from Brightwater, Giannone said; the developer is already studying those opportunities.

Proposed sustainability features include rainwater harvesting, green roofs, bioretention via tree pits, vegetated swales, geothermal heating and photovoltaic energy generation.

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