Built in 1923, the Canadian White Pine Mill was one of Western Canada’s first sawmills. It was active for more than 80 years before being decommissioned by then-owner Weyerhaeuser in 2002. Shortly after, Wesgroup and ParkLane Homes purchased the 130-acre brownfield site, which stretches for nearly 1.5 km along the mighty Fraser River.
River District Vancouver is the largest recycling program in Canada. Excavated material was sorted, treated and reused on site – keeping 6,000 dump trucks off the roads. The rock and concrete were crushed for structural fill material. The peat, organics and wood waste were ground and screened to produce topsoil mix for landscaping. Additionally, over 140,00 kg of steel has been recycled from the site.
Six years later, the property has been largely remediated, and a comprehensive Master Plan developed to transform the River District Vancouver into a vibrant, ecologically sound, mixed-use neighbourhood.
Extensive landscape plantings throughout the community will create opportunities for songbird nesting and foraging, and will attract the widest possible variety of bird species. Tidal channels and sloughs for salmon rearing will be built. New rain gardens, watercourses and wetlands will be developed to provide a natural storm water management system with diverse habitat for indigenous species.
Incorporating the collective work of countless biologists, ornithologists, botanists and other experts, the remediation of the River District Vancouver brings ingenuity, and imagination, to life.