December 4, 2018 by Jillian Morgan
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Just off the shore of Lake Ontario, demolition machines chip away at the extensive concrete foundations that once rested beneath a massive coal-fired power plant.
The arduous work is part of an ambitious plan by a consortium of developers to transform the 177-acre brownfield site in Mississauga, Ont. into a sprawling waterfront community.
Lakeview Community Partners Limited – Argo Development Corporation, TACC Construction Limited, Branthaven Homes, Greenpark Group and CCI Development Group of Companies – purchased the property from Ontario Power Generation for $275 million in March.
OPG’s Lakeview Generating Station, operational since 1962, was decommissioned in 2005. In its place, the consortium has proposed Lakeview Village, a scenic mixed-use community overlooking the waterfront.
The ongoing demolition work is just the start.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, the largely untapped piece of land will become a sweeping construction site for residential, commercial and institutional structures backdropping a 600-metre pier.
Brian Sutherland, director of development at Argo Development, and Fabio Mazzocco, president of land development, are optimistic, but admit there will be some hurdles to overcome.
“Everything was over-built,” Sutherland said. “[The plant] had very significant concrete foundations. That’s been interesting and challenging.”
To take the site from power plant to community, contaminated soil, particularly near the shoreline, will need to be remediated. Sutherland said the team plans to undertake a risk assessment process this fall.
“The site is largely in a better shape, environmentally, than we had thought,” Mazzocco said. “The part where the power plant was had a slab which kind of protected it from the soils.”
LCPL hope to leverage existing GO stations in Long Branch and Port Credit, as well as the planned Metrolinx Hurontario LRT and Lakeshore Road BRT line. Construction of a street network will also be needed to connect the seven proposed districts.
“It’s going to take the municipality and everybody working together, thinking a little outside the box. Which, typically, it’s hard for the municipalities to do that but they seem capable. These new ideas take some time,” Mazzocco said. “Having said that, Mississauga is getting more and more progressive and they see the benefit here and they really want this community to be a priority.”
The project will include a district renewable energy system along with other green features, such as permeable paving, green roofs and smart streetlights. Some components of the old site will also be reused.
As far as water and systems wastewater go, Mazzocco said it’s largely “plug and play” thanks to existing infrastructure, namely the G.E. Booth Wastewater Treatment Facility east of the site and Lakeview Water Treatment Facility to the west.
“There’s a large underground tunnel and infrastructure that could be utilized as part of our park and water system. We’re looking at understanding those things that are under the ground now better and how we can reuse or improve on them,” Sutherland said.
The consortium recently submitted it’s Master Plan to the City of Mississauga, and aims to have it endorsed by council in January 2019 so that construction on the first phase can begin in 2020.
“At the same time we’ll be submitting our development applications, draft plan subdivision rezoning,” Sutherland said. “Basically utilizing 2019 to work through all the formal planning process and deal with revisions.”