Real Property Services current projects and overview: Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs—February 27, 2020

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Commitment on Real Property Services

As the Government of Canada’s real property expert, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) operates and maintains federal office buildings across Canada that provide accommodation to over 260,000 public servants.

PSPC is committed to providing a safe and modern workplace for federal employees, occupants, tenants and visitors through planning and design activities.

Current projects

In this section

Supreme Court of Canada and the West Memorial rehabilitation project

The Supreme Court of Canada building, a classified federal heritage building, has not had a complete rehabilitation since its original construction in 1938. Key building systems in the Supreme Court of Canada building are failing and the building requires constant monitoring. To proceed with the rehabilitation work at the Supreme Court of Canada building, swing space for these high-profile court functions is required.

The West Memorial Building, also a classified federal heritage building, is located opposite to the judicial precinct along the ceremonial route of the Confederation Boulevard. This strategic location makes it suitable for interim accommodations during the rehabilitation of the Supreme Court of Canada building and ideal for continued government use over the longer term.

On July 17, 2017, PSPC announced that it will rehabilitate the Supreme Court of Canada building. The building will be vacated for this project and the West Memorial Building, at proximity, has been selected as temporary accommodation, but the buildings need a major rehabilitation before it can accommodate Supreme Court of Canada employees.

The design work was initiated in February 2018 with the award of a design and architectural services contract to Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

The design work is ongoing and construction activities are planned to begin in 2020.

It is expected that the Supreme Court occupants will move to the West Memorial Building during summer 2023 allowing the Supreme Court of Canada rehabilitation to begin.

Carling Campus

In 2010, the department purchased Nortel's Carling Campus from Nortel Networks Technology Corporation and Nortel Networks Limited. This campus in the west end of Ottawa, comprised of 11 buildings, will allow the department to consolidate a significant portion of the office accommodation it provides to the Department of National Defence. It will provide approximately 45% of National Defence's total space requirement in the National Capital Area in a single, suburban, Crown-owned location.

By consolidating the majority of its administration and strategic functions into a campus environment, the Department of National Defence will be better positioned to save on operating costs and accommodate their personnel in a secure environment. The Carling Campus project is the largest real estate relocation project of its kind in Canada.

In 2010, PSPC purchased the former Nortel Campus in Ottawa for $208 million in order to refit it for the Department of National Defence (DND). As custodian, PSPC is the lead on the project to ensure that the campus meets DND's long-term office accommodation requirements. When completed, 9,300 to 9,400 Defence personnel will occupy the Carling Campus.

The first phase of moves, totaling nearly 3,500 employees was completed in 2017. Moves resumed in April 2019 and approximately 4,500 Defence personnel have moved since. It is expected that the remaining moves will be completed by March 31, 2020. Progress towards this final objective is on track.

At the start of the project, Defence personnel were distributed in over 45 locations across the National Capital Area, mainly located in downtown, commercial leased spaces. These locations were costly to lease, refit, secure and renew on a recurring basis. Purchasing an existent building allows to acquire office space at a price significantly less than the cost of a new facility.

The consolidation sees DND moving from over 40 offices to approximately 10 major locations in the NCA, achieving $750 million in net savings in accommodations costs over a 25 year period, plus an additional $160 million for DND in cost avoidance. It also allows PSPC and Shared Services Canada to provide DND with the safe, healthy, and affordable facilities it needs to efficiently deliver its programs and services in Canada and around the world.

This project will generate significant savings through the reduction of operational and accommodation costs, increase efficiencies by reducing fragmented workforce and strengthen security.

Giant Mine remediation

The Giant Mine is a defunct gold mine near the city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which is severely contaminated by lethal arsenic trioxide dust stored in large underground excavated areas, 95 hectares of open pits, tailing ponds with surface waste, and buildings contaminated with fibrous asbestos. Should the arsenic trioxide be released in the local groundwater system, there could be serious implications for nearby fresh-water bodies, including the Great Slave Lake.

The project’s broad objectives are to clean up the site to residential use standards; stabilize and secure the arsenic trioxide; and minimize health and safety risks to the public and site workers during the care and maintenance, implementation, and long-term operations. In advance of the full remediation phase, the department has been addressing urgent on-site risks to public and environmental health and safety.

The Government of Canada is taking action at the Giant Mine to protect the health and safety of local residents, on-site workers, and the environment. PSPC is responsible for providing project management and procurement services for the Giant Mine Remediation project to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). The goals are site stabilization, remediation and minimization of health and safety risks as this important project progresses over the next decade.

On site work will maximize opportunities for local suppliers, workers, and in particular for Indigenous business. To date, since 2006, 45% of the value of Giant Mine contracts awarded by PSPC were awarded to Indigenous firms, including joint ventures.

National verification and collection centre in Shawinigan

In April 2017, it was announced and that certain major improvements and repairs would be made to the building and parking lot. Specifically, PSPC informed the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and employees of the National Verification and Collection Centre in Shawinigan (NVCC) that major ceiling and lighting improvements and repairs would be made to the centre's parking lot. At the time of the announcement, the investments and work required were based on a preliminary study and previous analysis of the building's condition.

Following preliminary study and analysis of the building’s condition, we conducted further studies based on the current condition of the building, the results of the study showed that the scope of the work and the costs would be greater than expected. In the interest of ensuring sound management of public funds, we reviewed our long-term investment plan and decided that the better option for the Crown and taxpayers would be the construction of a new federal office building.

The new building will provide NVCC employees with a modern, environmentally-friendly, state-of-the-art building that better meets the new needs of the NVCC and fully meets the government's new sustainable development requirements. The building will aim to obtain a Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating for new construction.

The estimated construction costs for the project, as published in the department’s request for proposals for a construction management contract, are $106M. The actual cost of construction will be known once the project’s design and plans are finalized.

The project will include the construction of the new building, the dismantling of the existing building and the construction of the parking lot. The new 4-to 6-story building will be built near the existing building on the same site. PSPC will own the new building.

In August 2019, 2 requests for proposals were issued on seeking (1) construction management services (2) architectural and engineering services for the construction of a National Verification and Collections Centre in Shawinigan, Québec. Both tenders closed in November 2019 and the evaluation is ongoing.

[Redacted], construction is expected to begin in fall 2021 and occupation of the new facility is scheduled to begin in fall 2024. PSPC will work with the federal organizations occupying the building to plan the details of the move. The dismantling of the existing building and the construction of the parking lot will follow.

PSPC took action to address the mould issue at the Shawinigan Tax Centre as soon as it was made aware. The department shared all reports with the health and safety committees of the tenant departments. Experts consulted confirmed that the current situation is safe.

Work to eliminate visible mould and ensure the building remains safe for occupants was completed at the end of August. Additional work will begin in the spring to remove encapsulated moulds and seal the building envelope until decommissioning. Experts consulted confirmed that the current situation is safe. The department continues to work with stakeholders, tenant departments and the property managers to ensure that visual inspections are made on a monthly basis and that proper testing regimes are in place to proactively signal health and safety related issues.

Decontamination of the Saint-Germain Foundry

The Saint-Germain Foundry, located in St-Edmond-de-Grantham, Quebec, operated between 1977 and 2006. During this time, it processed metal scraps, resulting in an accumulation of contaminants such as metals, dioxins and furans.

In July 2010, the Government of Quebec informed PSPC that the site of the former Saint-Germain Foundry had been transferred to the Crown under the terms of the Canada Business Corporations Act.

In September 2016, PSPC awarded a $9.8 million contract to GPEC International for the site’s environmental remediation.

In August 2019, PSPC, the municipality, the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) and the provincial health authorities committed to undertake a collaborative approach as further analysis was conducted by both PSPC and MELCC to confirm the scope of the airborne contamination.

The first results from PSPC’s further analysis confirmed the presence of airborne contamination at the outer limits of the former foundry. Results of the province’s analysis are expected in the winter of 2020. There is a possible contamination of neighbouring properties, which fall under provincial jurisdiction.

On December 2, 2019, a meeting was held by PSPC, the MELCC, the provincial health authorities and the municipality to inform neighbouring residents of the foundry of the surface contamination at the outer limits of the site. A second meeting with neighbouring residents may be held in winter 2020, following receipt by MELCC of the results of the analysis conducted on the neighbouring properties.

In 2017, after finding surface contamination of dioxins and furans, PSPC informed the provincial ministry responsible for the environment (now the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)) by providing the results. The MELCC has the authority to regulate environmental issues related to the neighboring properties.

Decontamination work targeting the former foundry’s work area was completed in March 2019, and land rehabilitation and landscaping of the area was completed in August 2019. The contaminants found on the land are essentially the same contaminants that were found in the ground of the operation area of the old foundry during the decontamination, namely copper, lead, zinc and dioxins and furans.

Lac-Mégantic bypass

The Government of Canada confirmed on May 11, 2018 that it will finance 60% of the construction costs of the Lac-Mégantic railway bypass. The Quebec Government will fund the other 40%.

Transport Canada, the lead department for the project, has contracted Public Services and Procurement Canada to acquire properties to construct the railway bypass.

Up to 81 pieces of land, mainly parcels of lots, belonging to 42 different owners located in the towns of Lac-Mégantic, Frontenac and Nantes will have to be acquired for construction to proceed. It is expected that the majority of, if not all, properties will be acquired by way of mutual agreement.

In November 2019, PSPC initiated the assessment of properties affected by the project. The land acquisition process is scheduled from January 2020 to December of 2020.


Arthur Meighen Building rehabilitation

PSPC is leading a major rehabilitation of the Arthur Meighen Building, located at 25/55 St. Clair Ave East in mid-town Toronto. This project will reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% through the implementation of sustainability features that include high-efficiency building systems, geothermal heating and cooling system, and photovoltaic panels. Once renovated, the building will accommodate several government departments and agencies, and serve as a flagship model of the government’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and as the Government of Canada Building (GOCB) in the Ontario Region.

The Arthur Meighen Building renovation project is a major recapitalization of the Government of Canada Building located at 25/55 St. Clair Ave East in mid-town Toronto, with an extensive greening component.

The project is a significant investment in the community and supports the government’s commitment to a 40% reduction below 2005 levels in greenhouse gas emission by 2030. The project is part of PSPC’s Workplace Renewal Initiative, which seeks to leverage all the benefits of an open, modern, and environmentally efficient workplace with new ideas, new technologies, and new ways of working.

The Arthur Meighen Building was built in the 1950s and although the building’s superstructure remains in good condition, the building envelope, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems are outdated and require updating in order to meet current health, safety and accessibility standards. The renovation project is an opportunity to transform the building into an energy efficient, low carbon asset that will contribute to meeting the government’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The significant sustainability elements of this project will contribute to meeting Canada’s commitments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project will create more than 300 full time construction and consultancy jobs for 4 years while underway. Additionally, once the project is completed, approximately 1,500 federal employees will work in the building and will contribute to the local economy.

Throughout the life of this rehabilitation project and upon its completion, PSPC will work closely with disability networks for universal design and wayfinding.

Allen Lands development project

PSPC is the real property expert for the Government of Canada. A long-term accommodation strategy within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that includes a consolidation, relocation and modernization plan [Redacted] was identified by PSPC. This solution offers fiscal and operational advantages for the government due to the similar accommodation requirements of the clients (such as other government departments). As well, PSPC has identified existing federally-owned land located at Sheppard Ave West and Allen Rd in the GTA in an area known as the Downsview Lands, as the most appropriate location for the new facility.

As part of this strategy, PSPC will be working with Canada Lands Company (CLC) Limited on building a new, Crown-controlled facility at the Downsview Lands site in the North West end of Toronto. The property is owned by Parc Downsview Park Inc., but managed by CLC. CLC will act as project manager and manage all construction activities, while PSPC, in cooperation with CLC, will manage site plan approvals required from the City of Toronto. Ultimately, PSPC will own both the land and the building as part of a long term lease to own arrangement.

The Allen Lands Development project involves the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient, 21,500 rentable square metres (rm2) [Redacted].

This project will be a significant financial investment in the community that will create construction jobs and provide meaningful, long-term economic benefits for local businesses. This building will help accomplish the government’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and the minister’s mandate to power federal buildings with 100% clean electricity. The new building will achieve a carbon neutral level of energy and greenhouse gas performance and will meet the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) Zero Carbon Building Standard and Toronto Green Standard Version 3 requirements.

Parc Downsview Park (PDP) Inc. is managing this project on behalf of PSPC and is currently working with the City of Toronto to acquire the necessary approvals to begin construction of the new facility at the Downsview Lands site. PDP posted a request for qualifications for the construction and management of the facility. The request for proposal will be issued in the spring of 2020. Construction is expected to begin in August 2021 and the in-service date for the new facility is December 2024.

Randle Reef sediment remediation project

The Hamilton Harbour Randle Reef sediment remediation project requires the construction of an engineered containment facility (ECF) and placement of 675,000 m3 of contaminated harbour sediment in the ECF. The remediation of the contaminated sediments will lead to the restoration of Hamilton Harbour and its eventual delisting as a Great Lakes Area of concern under the Canada-U.S Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

PSPC is the contracting authority, as well as project manager on the major contracts of this project. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is the project lead and is partnering with the Hamilton and Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA), Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, local governments and Stelco. ECCC has estimated the project to cost $138.9M, which is being shared between the federal government, provincial government and local partners. ECCC is responsible for the federal government’s $46.3M contribution. The project is being delivered in 3 stages; building the ECF, dredging contaminated sediment into the ECF—the current stage, and sealing and capping the ECF.

The project is underway and currently at the tail end of stage 2 (of 3). It is expected to be completed in 2022. The ECF will form a 6.2 hectare pier that will be owned and maintained by the HOPA.

The Hamilton Harbour Randle Reef sediment remediation project is the remediation of contaminated sediments from the Hamilton Harbour. This project involves building an underwater ECF, over the most contaminated area of the harbour, then dredging and placement of adjacent contaminated sediments into the ECF, and placing a thin layer cap on residual sediments outside the ECF. The ECF will then be dewatered and capped and used as a marine terminal.

The remediation of the contaminated sediments will lead to the restoration of Hamilton Harbour and its eventual delisting as a Great Lakes Area of concern under the Canada-U.S Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Following project completion, the facility will be developed into a marine terminal by the Hamilton and Oshawa Port Authority, generating economic benefits for the local economy.

Projects currently underway in the National Capital Area

In this section

PSPC provides other federal departments, agencies and the Parliament of Canada with responsive and cost-effective real property services like facilities management, workplace fit-ups, site clean-up and remediation, property valuation services and engineering expertise. The examples below are not exhaustive, but provide an overview of the kinds of projects currently underway in the National Capital Area, the regions and in the context of site remediation.

Place du Portage III

Place du Portage III was built between 1973 and 1978 and forms a major part of the 4 phase Place du Portage complex. It is the headquarters of Public Services and Procurement Canada. The department’s accommodation strategy is to retain and modernize this complex as a cornerstone accommodation holding that assists the government in meeting the federal public servant employment distribution ratio of 75:25 between Ontario and Quebec in the National Capital Area.

The main objective of the Place du Portage III asset and workplace renewal project is to conduct a complete building retrofit inclusive of base building, workplace modernization and information technology (IT) requirements. By increasing the overall performance of the building systems, thereby reducing the operation and maintenance costs for the building, the Place du Portage III asset and workplace renewal project will contribute to the Real Property Services’ goals of ensuring effective and efficient portfolio management and modernization, and greening of operations.

Les Terrasses de la Chaudière

Les Terrasses de la Chaudière complex was built between 1976 and 1978. It is composed of 4 office towers located in downtown Gatineau. The complex accommodates over 6,400 people, as well as retail, daycare and storage space. The department is committed to systematically renewing Les Terrasses complex over the long term. This will include the modernization of the interior space and upgrades to mechanical, electrical, heating and cooling systems, as well as the renewal of the site.

This complex contains the administrative headquarters for various departments including Indigenous Services Canada, CIRNAC, Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission and the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Lester B. Pearson Building

The Lester B. Pearson Building located at 125 Sussex Drive in Ottawa was built between 1970 and 1973 to accommodate the then Department of External Affairs, now Global Affairs Canada. The building requires significant recapitalization due to its age; systems are at the end of their useful life and the building no longer meets federal office accommodation standards.

The department’s Accommodation Strategy is to retain and modernize the building, as it will remain the headquarters and flagship for Global Affairs Canada. The building has been identified to be a greening showcase facility and will support the objective of reaching a carbon neutral portfolio by 2030 with the incorporation of LEED standards, innovative sustainable solutions and the new GCworkplace fit-up standards.

Province House

On October 1, 1974, the Government of Canada, through Parks Canada, signed a memorandum of agreement with the Province of Prince Edward Island to restore, preserve, interpret and administer Province House as a national historic site. The government was given exclusive occupancy of designated areas for 99 years. The complex conservation project for Prince Edward Island’s Province House, known as the birthplace of Canada, is ongoing and will be entering the penultimate phase of construction in 2020. On February 5, 2020, Parks Canada issued a news release announcing an addition of $30 million for the next phase of work. This brings the total project budget to $91.8 million.

Between 1974 and 2015, Parks Canada operated Province House as a national historic site and provided guided tours to the public. At the same time, the facility housed the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island and other provincial government offices. In 2015, the historic building was closed by Parks Canada to begin exterior conservation work. On behalf of Parks Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada is now managing the conservation project of Prince Edward Island’s Province House.

Canadian High Arctic Research Station

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is a research facility in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut that provides both national and international scientists with a year-round base for northern science and technology research. The CHARS is the headquarters of Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) and its Northern Science and Technology Research Program. It is comprised of the main research building, the field and maintenance building and 2 triplex accommodation buildings for visiting researchers. Most of the facility is finished, but some systems in the Main Research Building are still being completed.

The department is providing project management and procurement services for the design and construction of the facility to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada who was mandated to build the facility on behalf of the Polar Knowledge Canada’s Science and Technology Program. The facility has an energy-efficient design and LEED Gold Certification is being pursued.

Sinclair Centre

The Sinclair Centre is a federal property that encompasses 4 buildings over a full city block in downtown Vancouver, BC. It includes the original post office building that has been in service since 1905 and is a heritage site.

PSPC is redeveloping Sinclair Centre to be an accessible hub for federal services and federal departments in downtown Vancouver. The project is part of a federal Metro Vancouver Workplace Strategy that aims to optimize the use of crown-owned space in Vancouver and Surrey, BC. Redevelopment of the Sinclair Centre is the most cost effective solution for federal office space in the downtown core and will provide stability and security for many federal departments, advance greening government priorities, and preserve heritage value. Located close to transit corridors for convenience to the public, the development also aligns with the City of Vancouver’s plan for the area.


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