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Renaissance ROM creates value for Ontario

Posted on November 22, 2006
In the November/December issue of ReNew Canada magazine, ROM CEO William Thorsell says that “the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) offers the highest return of any infrastructure investment by in its history.” The province has invested 17 per cent of the capital needed to renovate the ROM. The rest of the capital has come from private philanthropy. “These are essentially private-sector cultural projects,” says Thorsell. “Yet Ontario shares in 100 per cent of the benefits of them in generating net economic activity.” The ROM capital campaign has [...]

Funding alone can’t fix failing infrastructure

Posted on November 17, 2006
Roads are built to last between 15-25 years; bridges around 40. Canada’s National Highway system was built mostly in the 1950s. That means it’s passed middle-ages — it’s old. While our roads are in visible need of attention, bridges are more complex. Flaws can be hidden from inspectors. “This discussion has gone on too long about financing and policy,” says Dr. Ghani Razaqpur, professor, chair and director of civil engineering at McMaster university. “We need to talk about technology. It’s important how and where you spend your money [...]

$173 million deal for Macquarie

Posted on November 7, 2006
A unit of Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. Has taken control of Halifax’s Halterm Income Fund. There were several proposals, but Macquarie’s $173 million offer won out. Haltern runs a container terminal and cargo-handling operation out of the well-located Halifax harbour. The operation links international shippers to North American ground transportation systems. Macquarie, a private equity company, is already part owner of Ontario's 407 toll highway. This latest investment is another indication of growing international interest in Canada’s infrastructure [...]

CUI Brownie Awards Gala A Success

Posted on October 27, 2006
The reception hall at the Toronto Congress Centre was packed last night as leaders in the industry gathered to celebrate those who have done exemplary work in brownfield remediation. ReNew Canada’s Todd Latham was master of ceremonies, with CUI’s David Crombie and CMHC's Doug Stewart on hand to give out the awards. Three Sisters Mountain Village in Alberta, which Latham said “is truly a beautiful place,” won for best sustainable design and technological innovation on a brownfield site. Evergreen at the Brickworks in Ontario won for best [...]

Higher Learning Symposium

Posted on October 23, 2006
Architects, planners, policy-makers and ReNew Canada’s editors convened at the Westin Harbour Castle for a higher learning symposium on tall buildings. President and chief executive officer at CUI, David Crombie, moderated a lively panel discussion. Speakers included Samuel Assefa, director of policy for Chicago’s department of planning and development, and Edith Hsu-Chen, deputy director for city planning in Manhattan. While almost every speaker extolled the virtues of very tall buildings, the ROM’s William Thorsell said it with the most flair [...]

Canada's Infrastructure Crisis

Posted on September 26, 2006
The current issue of ReNew Canada magazine features Guy “Dr. Infrastructure” Felio, Ph.D at the National Research Council (NRC), who says it’s pointless to try and assign a dollar amount to the infrastructure deficit, or gap. “Whether it’s $40 or $60 or $100 billion, nobody’s going to come up with that amount and say, ‘let’s fix it,’ ” Felio writes. The Sept./Oct. issue of ReNew Canada features an investigation of Canada’s infrastructure — how much we have, how much we need and, most importantly, what it is. In a letter to the [...]

$50 Million Capital Campaign

Posted on September 26, 2006
Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization in Toronto, has started restoration work at the old Brick Works factory in Don Valley. Evergreen Director Geoff Cape says although the site is currently a brownfield — an environmentally-contaminated and underused space being considered for redevelopment — the area is manageable and the soil will be cleaned enough to grow vegetables in the indoor and outdoor gardens they plan to install.  “This project that will show policymakers how a vacant industrial lot can become a cultural centre for Ontario that [...]

Design and Bid Fees Introduced

Posted on September 8, 2006
Infrastructure Ontario has received authority from the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal to offer design and bid fees for its Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) projects.  The partial compensation will be given to losing bidders for the detailed design and bid preparation work submitted in project proposals.   “This is a positive step for developers, general contractors and professional service firms,“ said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal. “Our government wants to ensure that we get the most competitive bids for [...]

PWGSC Minister says future Government Funded Projects to be Energy Efficient, LEED Certified.

Posted on July 31, 2006
The Federal Buildings Initiative (FBI) is part of Public Works and Government Services Canada's (PWGSC) plan to raise the value of buildings while lowering environmental costs. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Michael Fortier, is quoted in the July/August issue of ReNew Canada magazine: “One of the key elements in our efforts to reduce energy and water consumption and recapitalize our current building inventory is the FBI. Projects we’ve completed under this initiative are saving Canadian taxpayers more than $6 million annually [...]

Canadian Cities are Prosperous — They Need to Look Like It.

Posted on July 31, 2006
Potholes, the side-effect of a Canadian winter, are almost impossible to avoid. So why do they upset us so much? Todd Hirsch, chief economist for the Canada West Foundation, is quoted in the July/August issue of ReNew Canada magazine as saying “we derive a strong sense of how ‘wealthy’ we are as a society from the condition of our immediate surroundings. And for most of us in western Canada, that is the visual image we have of our cities. Potholes, run-down infrastructure, crumbling concrete on bridges, weeded-over abandoned lots, half-painted light [...]
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