Former Railyard Remediated in St. Thomas to Build Affordable Housing
The City of St. Thomas invested $400,000 from the CCBF to remediate – and subsequently redevelop – a brownfield site between 2018 and 2021.
A 700 square-metre city-owned property at 230 Talbot Street was a prime location for development, but environmental assessments revealed the soil was contaminated. In order to identify what contaminants lay dormant in the soil, 50 boreholes were drilled, and soil samples were taken and tested for things like lead and arsenic.
The property was formerly used as a railyard in the coal-powered steam engine era, and soil testing revealed the ground was contaminated by leftover ash that was used as fill.
Remediation of the property involved removing several feet of contaminated soil to prepare it for development, along with brick and concrete from when the property was home to a grocery store and hotel.
The property is now home to St. Thomas-Elgin Social Services, along with a 28-unit affordable housing building. This project has helped address the need for more housing in the region, and a full clean-up of the property has made room for more future development.
The City recently severed a vacant portion of the property for the development of an additional 45 units of affordable housing, along with office space and a fire hall.