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Birchley Park Honoured with Best Overall Project at 2023 Brownie Awards

November 24, 2023 by Anthony Teles

In recognition of innovative urban redevelopment, Birchley Park, developed by Diamond Kilmer Developments, was awarded the Best Overall Project at the Canadian Brownfield Network’s 2023 Brownie Awards. The announcement came during the Brownie Awards Gala, held on November 24th at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Downtown Toronto, an event celebrating exceptional efforts in rehabilitating underutilized sites.

The Brownie Awards, organized by the Canadian Brownfields Network, recognize excellence in urban redevelopment. This award highlighted Birchley Park’s transformation of a former quarry into a vibrant, sustainable community.

Birchley Park, Toronto, designed by TACT Architecture – Looking southwest to Birchley Park, image courtesy of Diamond Kilmer

CreateTO selected the developer as a development partner for the project, which includes affordable units built and sold by Habitat for Humanity. Located at 411 Victoria Park Avenue in Scarborough’s Birch Cliff area, Birchley Park is currently under construction at a 19-acre site that remained largely vacant for over half a century.

Today, the project is poised to. become a model of urban revitalization, set to feature over 1,050 residential units, including more than 10% dedicated to affordable housing. Designed by TACT Architecture, the development encompasses seven mixed-use condominium and rental buildings, integrating residential, commercial, and public spaces.

Birchley Park, Toronto, designed by TACT Architecture – The first phase of Birchley Park, image courtesy of Diamond Kilmer

The developer has emphasized the project’s commitment to climate resiliency, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, and sustainable mobility solutions. Their vision was to create a complete community, addressing housing needs while also achieving their environmental goals and engaging the local community.

The developer’s efforts to form a complete community are reflected in amenities. These include outdoor features such as a dining area, spa, and a spot for hammocking surrounded by greenery, all complemented by indoor amenities like a yoga studio and a zen garden-inspired lobby.

Zen lobby, Birchley Park, Toronto, image courtesy of Diamond Kilmer

Diamond Kilmer has also focused heavily on sustainability at Birchley Park. A key element of this initiative is its collaboration with Enwave to implement a geo-exchange system. This system, alongside design features such as green roofs, is projected to reduce carbon emissions by 62.3% annually and achieve LEED certification.

Construction on Birchley Park, Toronto – Looking north to boreholes going into the ground for the geoexchange system in July 2022, image courtesy of Diamond Kilmer

Furthermore, the site will have over 5.5 acres of public park space, a notable contribution to the local community. The project boasts a well-connected public realm, including accessible open spaces with generous street frontage. The final design of Birchley Park resulted from a collaborative process involving the City of Toronto, local neighbourhoods, and various stakeholders.

Outdoor dining area, Birchley Park, Toronto, image courtesy of Diamond Kilmer

Adding to its appeal, Birchley Park’s location near the Victoria Park subway station and Danforth GO station will make getting around Toronto easy.

The Canadian Urban Institute’s Brownie Awards, in partnership with the Canadian Brownfields Network and Actual Media, are a benchmark for excellence in brownfield redevelopment in Canada. The awards celebrate leadership, innovation, and environmental sustainability in transforming contaminated and under-utilized sites into thriving community spaces.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been republished to correct the reference to the award’s sponsoring party.

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Related Companies: Bousfields, Diamond Kilmer Developments, EQ Building Performance Inc., Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Menard Canada Inc., Monir Precision Monitoring Inc., Patton Design Studio, Platinum Condo Deals, Rebar Enterprises Inc.