Contact(s)

Brownfields & Incentives

Revitalization. Opportunity. Investment.


What are Brownfields?

Brownfields are vacant or underutilized properties such as former industrial sites, closed gas stations, dry cleaners, disposal sites or foundries that have remained unused or underdeveloped after the original business closed. Waterloo Region's history as a manufacturing centre means brownfields are in prime locations throughout our community.

Waterscape.jpgBrownfield properties provide opportunities for new investment that help us achieve long term objectives including:

  • promoting compact growth that uses existing infrastructure;
  • reducing the outward expansion of the urban area;
  • reducing risk to regional groundwater sources by promoting the remediation of environmentally impacted properties; and
  • supporting the adaptive reuse of buildings, including heritage properties.

The Brownfield Financial Incentive Program (BFIP)

The BFIP is a collection of financial incentives offered by the Region and Cities to promote the redevelopment of brownfield sites throughout Waterloo Region. These financial incentives assist property owners and developers with costs associated with the environmental investigation, remediation and redevelopment of a brownfield site.

The BFIP consists of three programs:

1. Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant (available Region wide)

Phase Two ESA Grants provide funding towards completion of Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments that address environmental impacts on groundwater. Funding covers 50 per cent of one Phase Two ESA per site to a maximum of $40,000.

Phase Two ESA Program Details

Phase Two ESA Frequently Asked Questions

2. Regional Development Charge (RDC) Exemptions (available Region wide)

The Core Areas of Cambridge and Kitchener currently have development charge exemptions for all developments. Brownfield sites outside of these areas are eligible for brownfield RDC Exemptions. The value of the RDC Exemption is based on the total eligible costs of remediation, plus 20 per cent for indirect costs, less any brownfield financial assistance already received.

RDC Exemption Program Details

RDC Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

3. Joint Tax-Increment Grant (TIG) (available in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo)

BreithauptBlock5.jpgTIGs are an annual grant provided to the developer of a brownfield property. The payment is equal to the increase in annual property taxes after a brownfield is remediated, redeveloped and reassessed. It is provided annually until the total eligible remediation costs are recovered, or to a maximum of 10 annual payments, whichever comes first.

TIG Program Details

TIG Frequently Asked Questions

Starting Your Application

Step 1:

Contact the Regional or City brownfield coordinator to arrange a pre-application meeting prior to starting remediation work.

Step 2:

After your pre-application meeting, the property owner must complete, print and sign the Eligibility Form.

Step 3:

Receive a Letter of Eligibility from the Region. If your site is eligible, a file number will be provided for your BFIP applications.

Step 4:

Complete the BFIP Application(s) below, print, sign and return to the Region and City Brownfield Coordinators.

BFIP Application Packages

The Applications below provide detailed information on Eligibility Criteria, Terms of Financial Assistance, Eligible Costs, Application Process, as well as Terms and Conditions.

It is important to read through the entire application package and to fill out the form in its entirety. Applications may only be submitted after a Pre-Application Meeting has been held with the Regional Brownfield Coordinator and a Eligiblity Form has been submitted.

  1. Phase Two ESA Application Package
  2. RDC Exemption Application Package
  3. For the Tax Increment Grant (TIG) program, please choose the application package for the municipality in which your property is located:

    City of Cambridge TIG Application Package
    City of Kitchener TIG Application Package
    City of Waterloo TIG Application Package

Eligible Costs and Invoicing

All invoices will be reviewed in accordance with the Eligible Remediation Costs Submission Requirements. Eligible costs must:

  1. Comply with the description of an 'Eligible Cost' in the applicable BFIP application.
  2. Be documented as part of an invoice containing detailed descriptions of each activity and its associated cost before HST.

In order to be accepted invoices must contain the following information:

  • Invoice number
  • Invoice date
  • Project site address/location
  • Firm name/description
  • Invoice amount (before HST)
  • Highly detailed descriptions of the activities and their individual costs
  • Explanation from the firm describing how the invoices related to the sites remediation
  • Any additional comments/explanations required

Applicants must also ensure the costs submitted are a reasonable reflection of the remediation work proposed in the Remedial Work Plan provided with the application.

The following invoices may not be eligible for reimbursement:

  • Invoices that do not provide detailed information about the remediation activities and specific costs incurred.
  • Invoices that result in total eligible remediation costs above the Remedial Work Plan estimate.
  • Invoices for environmental investigation or remediation work started 12 months before the application was received.

We recommend you submit invoices to the Region and City throughout the remediation process to ensure they contain the required information. An example invoice is provided in the Eligible Remediation Costs Submission Requirements.

You are responsible to prepare an "Eligible Remediation Cost Invoice Package" for review. This package includes hard copies of all paid invoices, and a summary of the invoices. The RDC and TIG incentives also require an independent third-party audit of all costs. You may choose any chartered accountant for the audit as long as the accountant is an impartial third party who is not employed by your company or involved with the project in any other capacity. The audit should confirm the link between the remediation costs submitted and the Remedial Work Plan.

Brownfield Municipal Contacts

Region of Waterloo

John Hill
Principal Planner
150 Frederick St., Kitchener ON N2G 4J3
519-575-4500 x3646
jhill@regionofwaterloo.ca

City of Cambridge

Deanne Friess, MCIP RPP
Senior Planner, Reurbanization
50 Dixon St., Cambridge ON N1R 8S1
519-740-4650 x4213
friessd@cambridge.ca

City of Kitchener

Robert Morgan
Capital Investment Advisor
200 King St. W., Kitchener ON N2G 4G7
519-741-2200 x7734
Robert.morgan@kitchener.ca

City of Waterloo

Ryan Mounsey, MCIP RPP
Manager of Expansion and Business Retention Services
Economic Development
100 Regina St. S
PO Box 337 Stn Waterloo
Waterloo ON N2J 4A8
519-747-8707
ryan.mounsey@waterloo.ca

  


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Phase Two ESA FAQs

I have a draft Phase Two ESA report completed; can I apply to the program?

No. The Phase Two ESA program is intended to provide early stage funding and is not intended to provide funding for reports that have already been completed.

Are there specific Phase Two ESA reporting requirements that must be addressed?

Yes. The specific requirements are detailed in table form within the application form. It is advisable to bring your technical advisor/consultant to the pre-application meeting to discuss the technical requirements. If there are subsequent questions about the technical requirements, we are happy to arrange another meeting or conference call.

Is funding limited for the Phase Two ESA program?

Yes. At the current time, there is a limited amount of funding available for Phase Two ESA grants. Applications which meet all of the eligibility requirements will be funded on a first come first serve basis.

Does the Phase Two ESA work have to meet all the requirements of Ontario Regulation 153/04 to be eligible for the grant?

No. The ESA work should generally meet the requirements of the CSA standard, and APGO or PEO professional standards, for Environmental Site Assessment work. In addition it must meet the specific requirements detailed in the application form, to be eligible for the grant.

 

RDC Exemption FAQs

When should I submit my RDC Exemption application?

After your pre-application meeting, provide one (1) copy each of the completed application form, Phase One and preliminary Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment reports, and a draft Remedial Work Plan to the Regional Brownfield Coordinator. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

Who can prepare my environmental reports?

Phase One and Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments as well as a Remedial Work Plan must be prepared by a Qualified Person (QP) as defined under Ontario's Regulation 153/04.

What information should be included in the Remedial Work Plan?

The plan should outline the planned remediation approach to be carried out in order to achieve filing of a Record of Site Condition with the Ministry of Environment. In addition, the plan should provide a cost estimate of how much the planned remediation will cost. Costs incurred beyond those identified in the Remedial Work Plan may not be eligible for reimbursement. As part of your Remedial Work Plan, the Region may request a Soil Management Plan. Please see the Province of Ontario's Management of Excess Soil - A Guide for Best Management Practices.

Which remediation costs are eligible under the RDC Exemption program?

Eligible remediation costs are outlined in the Eligible Cost Submission Guideline

Who can undertake remediation work on my site?

You may choose who carries out the remediation work on your site. However, if plans for remediation include the use of a wholly owned company, subsidiary firm or any company with which the applicant/owner has a financial interest, cost estimates for the work should be provided by at least two other competitive bidders. The applicant/owner should also be prepared to demonstrate the anticipated cost savings and added benefit this approach provides.

What happens after I submit my application?

The Region will review the application to determine eligibility. If a site is determined to be eligible, the Region will inform you that the application has been accepted. However the application cannot be approved until such time as a Record of Site Condition has been filed and acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment. In the meantime, the applicant is expected to carry out remediation work on the site in accordance with the Remedial Work Plan provided with the application.

Does my RDC Exemption application require Regional Council approval?

No. RDC Exemption approvals are provided for under Schedule C of the current Regional Development Charge Bylaw (09-024)

When should I submit my invoices?

Once the application has been accepted, invoices should be submitted to the Region throughout the remediation process in order to provide feedback and ensure that the invoices contain the necessary detail to allow for acceptance.

How are my invoices for eligible remediation costs reviewed?

Invoices will be reviewed to ensure they contain detailed information about the remediation activities carried out and that the costs and activities identified are eligible in accordance with the Eligible Cost Submission Guideline.

The invoices must contain the following information:

  • Invoice number;
  • Invoice date;
  • Project site address/location;
  • Invoice date;
  • Firm name/description;
  • Invoice amount (before HST);
  • Highly detailed descriptions of the activities carried out and their individual costs;
  • Explanation from the firm describing how the invoices related to the sites remediation; and
  • Any additional comments/explanations required.

Applicants must also ensure that the costs submitted are a reasonable reflection of the remediation work that was proposed to be undertaken in the Remedial Work Plan provided with the application.

Please note that invoices which do not provide highly detailed information about the individual activities carried out and their specific costs and/or which culminate in total eligible costs in excess of the estimate provided in the Remedial Work Plan may not be accepted!

Will my invoices be audited?

Yes. Once the Region has completed reviewing all submitted invoices, the applicant/owner must submit a third party, independent audit of these costs, at the applicant's expense. The applicant/owner may choose any chartered accountant to undertake the audit so long as the accountant is an impartial, third party who is not employed by the applicant/owner or involved with the project in any other capacity. The audit should confirm the link between the remediation costs submitted and the Remedial Work Plan followed to achieve the Record of Site Condition and be carried out in accordance with the standards set out in Section 5815 of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Handbook - Special Reports - Audit Reports on Compliance with Agreements, Statues and Regulations.

Is HST an eligible cost?

No, HST is not included.

When is the site considered 'remediated'?

The site is considered 'remediated' once a Record of Site Condition (RSC) has been approved and acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment.

When will the RDC exemptions be available?

The RDC Exemption application will be approved upon satisfactory acceptance of the audit report by the Region. The Exemptions will be available thirty (30) calendar days after a Record of Site Condition has been filed and acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment.

Do I have to wait to apply for my Building Permit until my RDC Exemption application is approved?

No. Applicable Regional Development Charges paid at the time of Building Permit application can be refunded once the RDC Exemption application has been approved.

Are there time limits on my RDC Exemption approval?

Yes. RDC exemption approvals are valid for 5 years beginning thirty (30) calendar days after a Record of Site Condition has been filed and acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment.

 

Joint TIG FAQs

When should I submit my TIG application?

After your pre-application meeting, provide one (1) copy each of the completed application form, Phase One and preliminary Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment reports, and a draft Remedial Work Plan to the Region and City contacts. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

Who can prepare my environmental reports?

Phase One and Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments as well as Remedial Work Plans must be prepared by a Qualified Person (QP) as defined under Ontario's Regulation 153/04, as amended.

What information should be included in the Remedial Work Plan?

The plan should outline the planned remediation approach to be carried out in order to achieve filing of a Record of Site Condition with the Ministry of Environment. In addition, the plan should provide a cost estimate of how much the planned remediation will cost. This estimate will be used as the maximum potential grant amount should your application be approved by Regional and City Councils. Costs incurred beyond those identified in the Remedial Work Plan may not be eligible for reimbursement. As part of your Remedial Work Plan, the Region may request a Soil Management Plan. Please see the Province of Ontario's Management of Excess Soil - A Guide for Best Management Practices.

Which remediation costs are eligible under the TIG program?

Eligible remediation costs are outlined in the Eligible Cost Submission Guideline.

Who can undertake remediation work on my site?

You may choose who carries out the remediation work on your site. However, if plans for remediation include the use of a wholly owned company, subsidiary firm or any company with which the applicant/owner has a financial interest, cost estimates for the work should be provided by at least two other competitive bidders. The applicant/owner should also be prepared to demonstrate the anticipated cost savings and added benefit this approach provides.

What happens after I submit my application?

The Region and City will review the application to determine eligibility. If a site is determined to be eligible, the Region and City will prepare a recommendation for consideration by Regional and City Councils. In addition, a draft payment schedule based on the estimated eligible remediation costs and post remediation and redevelopment assessment of the property, provided by the applicant, will be developed for each Council's consideration (this payment schedule will be updated with the actual eligible remediation costs and actual assessment prior to payment).

If the application is approved, a legal agreement will be prepared between the Region, City and applicant/owner to finalize the approval process.

When should I submit my invoices?

Invoices may be submitted to the Region and City contacts anytime after the application has been approved (please note that invoices for remediation work undertaken more than 12 months prior to the date of application submission are not eligible). Invoices should be submitted to the Region and City throughout the remediation process in order to provide feedback and ensure that the invoices contain the necessary detail to allow for acceptance.

How are my invoices for eligible remediation costs reviewed?

Invoices will be reviewed to ensure they contain detailed information about the remediation activities carried out and that the costs and activities identified are eligible in accordance with the Eligible Cost Submission Guideline.

The invoices must contain the following information:

  • Invoice number;
  • Invoice date;
  • Project site address/location;
  • Invoice date;
  • Firm name/description;
  • Invoice amount (before HST);
  • Highly detailed descriptions of the activities carried out and their individual costs;
  • Explanation from the firm describing how the invoices related to the sites remediation; and
  • Any additional comments/explanations required.

Applicants must also ensure that the costs submitted are a reasonable reflection of the remediation work that was proposed to be undertaken in the Remedial Work Plan provided with the application.

Please note that invoices which do not provide highly detailed information about the individual activities carried out and their specific costs and/or which culminate in total eligible costs in excess of the estimate provided in the Remedial Work Plan may not be accepted!

Will my invoices be audited?

Yes. Once the Region and City have completed reviewing all submitted invoices, the applicant/owner must submit a third party, independent audit of these costs, at the applicant's expense. The applicant/owner may choose any chartered accountant to undertake the audit so long as the accountant is an impartial, third party who is not employed by the applicant/owner or involved with the project in any other capacity. The audit should confirm the link between the remediation costs submitted and the Remedial Work Plan followed to achieve the Record of Site Condition.

Is HST an eligible cost?

No, HST is not included.

When is the site considered 'remediated'?

The site is considered 'remediated' once a Record of Site Condition (RSC) has been approved and acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment.

When will grant payments begin?

Payments will begin in the first year following completion of the remediation, redevelopment and reassessment of the brownfield property. The reassessment of the property must be undertaken by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) at the request of the applicant/owner.

 

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