Redevelopment of Historic Shipyards

RFP Support, Environmental Consulting, Contractor Supervision, Permitting, Regulatory Liaison, & MOE Regulatory Sign-off

The Site:

The Shipyards district, after over 100 years of operation on the North Shore waterfront, is recognized as a Primary Heritage Site in the City of North Vancouver Heritage Inventory.

As part of the City of North Vancouver’s Central Waterfront Development Plan, the Shipyards – Lot 5 redevelopment will be a year-round activity driven community place.  The site will include 84,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial and community amenity space featuring an outdoor public skating rink for use during the winter months, and a water play area for use during the summer.

 The Client:

Through an extensive Request for Proposals process, The City of North Vancouver selected Quay Property Management ( and its environmental consultant, PGL , to help bring their vision of a dramatic community orient space to fruition.

As part of the RFP process, PGL worked with Quay Property Management and the City of North Vancouver to develop a new remediation vision for the Site that included bulk excavation and risk assessment of historical hydrocarbon and metals impacts.

The Challenge:

The Shipyards first opened as Wallace Shipyards in 1906 and grew into one of the most impressive industrial operations in western Canada before closing its doors in 1992. Environmental investigation throughout the entire Shipyards began in the late 1990s, and the site was divided into several parcels to facilitate remediation and redevelopment in a staged approach.

The last remaining area to be developed, Lot 5, presented some unique challenges.

Contamination extends to depths up to 8m below street-level elevation, and includes a plume of bunker C and diesel fuel, and metals contamination related to foreshore infilling that took place at the turn of the century. The plume moved to within 20m of Burrard Inlet, limiting remediation options.

The Solution:

PGL summarized historical data into a database, and determined where additional data was required.  Two additional drill programs took place, consisting of almost 100 boreholes throughout the 60,000m2 site.

Once the boundaries of contamination were mapped, PGL completed a risk assessment to determine the effects of leaving contamination in place below the new development.  We determined that with risk-management tools, including a concrete secant pile wall around the entire site, and a sub-slab soil vapour management system, there were no unacceptable risks to human health and the environment.

PGL pre-classified soils planned for the bulk excavation into a 100mgrid to minimize the need for stockpiling of soils onsite and allow a fix-price bulk excavation contract.  Within six weeks 25,000m3 soil was hot-loaded into trucks and shipped offsite to local permitted landfills.

The Result:

With the bulk excavation complete and confirmation of remediation investigation underway, PGL anticipates to submit all regulatory reporting to the MOE and obtain a risk-based Certificate of Compliance in the fall of 2017.

Construction at the site is ongoing, and PGL continues to communicate closely with the client to respond to any environmental related issues and ensure construction deadlines are met and the project is delivered to the community of North Vancouver on time.