Waterloo clears contaminants to create vibrant public space
Waterloo’s Town Square is home to shops, restaurants, public space and offices right in the heart of the City. The Square sits on a former industrial site that was contaminated due to years of commercial use. Waterloo developed a groundwater clean-up system to promote the environmentally friendly chemical breakdown of old pollutants, paving the way for new development in the downtown core. Installed in 2006, the system has successfully cleaned up more than 10,000 cubic metres of affected groundwater and reduced contaminants by approximately 90%.
The development of Town Square created employment opportunities and enabled the installation of enhanced streetscaping with decorative lighting, accessible sidewalks and landscaping, creating a modern and inviting space. The Town Square area is supported by light rail transit, bike lanes and a pedestrian-friendly public area. It’s located next to Waterloo’s Public Square, a vibrant public space that could not have been built without the clean-up of impacted groundwater. The remediation also protects the City’s drinking water supply by reducing the threat of underground contamination.
The City of Waterloo’s work to create a downtown “anchor development” demonstrates that long-term investment in environmental clean-up can help create a healthier community, cleaner environment and economic growth.