Laurel Point Park Remediation Project

The Laurel Point Park Remediation Project is a partnership project between Transport Canada and the City of Victoria. The remediation area is known as Laurel Point and includes a City owned park and sections of the David Foster Harbour Pathway. 

 

Between fall 2018 and late 2019, Transport Canada will remediate the soil from the Laurel Point Park site. Workers will remove contaminated soil, treat it off-site, refill the area with clean soil and re-turf the park.

Transport Canada will complete the project as quickly and sustainably as possible to minimize disruption to the public. The site is anticipated to be restored by late 2019.


Site History

This site has important and rich cultural history and is a central feature in the Inner Harbour. Locally, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations used this area for traditional harvesting and access.

Between 1906 and 1975 Laurel Point was home to the British American Paint Company, operating as a paint factory.  During this time, the site was also periodically infilled with unknown materials.

 

 British America Paint Co. (BAPCo) at Laurel Point.  (City of Victoria Archives M06564)


Why is this remediation project important?

Following a multi-year investigation and environmental assessments, the Government of Canada has classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site (which includes the Laurel Point Park) as a contaminated site.  Although the contaminants do not pose a risk to park users, it is important to move forward with remediation in order to mitigate marine and terrestrial ecosystem risks.

This is the second and final phase of the Laurel Point Park Remediation Project.

Transport Canada previously completed Phase One in February 2018 and successfully remediated the underwater contaminated sediments in Victoria Harbour adjacent to Laurel Point.

The work being undertaken is important for the well-being of marine wildlife, will improve the overall health and function of the harbour and reduce the risk of recontamination in the future.  


What will the remediation work include?

This is an extensive remediation project. Between the Inn at Laurel Point and the seawall, Transport Canada will remove 35,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil and replace it with clean soil.

The depths and grades required for excavation and full remediation means that all trees, benches and public artwork will need to be removed.   

Because the trees have been growing in contaminated soil for their lifetime, we cannot guarantee that the trees are free of contaminants. Relocation or reuse would risk spreading the contaminants to other, healthy, locations.  Transport Canada has required that the contractor will chip the trees off site and material will be disposed of responsibly.

The contaminated soils will be treated and disposed of at a licensed off-site facility. The areas will then be backfilled and re-turfed. This work will involve excavators, truck traffic, and construction-related noise.


Timelines

The project will begin in September 2018. Transport Canada aims to complete the remediation as quickly and sustainably as possible in order to minimize disruption to this public space.

We expect that the site will be restored by late 2019. Basic site restoration is planned as a part of this project. The city will be undertaking a separate process to determine a future park improvement plan and pathway investments.

  • September 2018:  Site preparations including the temporary removal of benches, public art, and other city assets. These features will be temporarily relocated and/or stored during the remediation project.
  • October 2018: Remediation project begins. Starting on Monday, October 15 the site will be closed to public access.  All trees will be removed from the site and the soil remediation will begin.
  • Late 2019: Project complete.  This will include basic site restoration. The area will be re-turfed at this point and a gravel pathway will be completed. The park will reopen.
  • To follow: Laurel Point Park Improvement Plan:   The City will be developing a Park Improvement Plan for the site once the project is completed. This process will have opportunities for the public to be involved and will include new trees and landscaping, furniture, public art and upgrades to the pedestrian pathway.


How will construction impacts be managed?

Transport Canada will ensure that measures are taken to minimize disruption to nearby property owners, businesses and residents. The removal of contaminants onto barges will reduce the amount of truck traffic on public roads. Professionals will be on site monitoring air quality and noise levels. Environmental and archeological monitoring are also a part of the planned construction program. All federal environmental approvals have been granted for completing this work.


Project Work Hours

-7 a.m.- 7 p.m., Monday to Friday
-10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday

Evening work may occasionally be needed to accommodate harbour operations or in the case of bad weather.


Will there be public access to the site during the remediation project?

During the project, Laurel Point Park and the David Foster Harbour Pathway will be closed.  It is anticipated that this detouring routing will be in effect starting in mid October. Please see the detour routing below:

 

Public Information Session

Transport Canada hosted an Information Session on Tuesday, September 25 from 7- 9 p.m. at City Hall. 
The presentation is available here. [PDF - 3.4 MB]

 

For more information:

The remediation project work is contracted and coordinated by Public Service and Procurement Canada, on behalf of Transport Canada.  For more information please call 604-666-2528 or email TC.laurelpoint.TC@tc.gc.ca .