THOROLD, ONT. — The Thorold Multimodal Hub has received a 2023 Brownie Award from the Canadian Brownfields Network in the Renew-Large Scale Project.
The hub was introduced in 2020 by partners BMI Group and HOPA Ports at the site of a former paper mill next to the Welland Canal in Thorold, Ont. The mill had stood empty since 2017.
At 200 acres and purpose-built for paper milling, the site was not easily adaptable to another use, stated a release. But the developers saw potential given there was marine access to the adjacent canal, rail access, onsite water treatment and more than 500,000 square feet of buildings.
The revitalization project involved adjacent lands owned by HOPA Ports. So far more than $100 million has been invested to reconfigure and modernize the site infrastructure, including reactivation of the rail lines, and upgrading the buildings to suit modern users.
In 2022, BMI Group purchased another adjacent property, a vacant former automotive manufacturing facility, and in October 2023, HOPA expanded its own adjacent land holdings, bringing the Thorold Multimodal Hub lands to 500-plus acres of contiguous multimodal industrial lands. The partners have attracted more than 30 industrial tenants so far.
“We are thrilled to be recognized with this Brownie Award,” stated Justus Veldman, managing director at BMI Group, in a statement. “Our restorative development model recognizes the value inherent in legacy industrial spaces and positions them for the future.”