Thorold Multimodal Hub Named Brownie Award Winner

  • Award recognizes 500-acre multimodal industrial facility renewed for modern industrial uses
  • Redeveloped spaces leverage the site’s multimodal transportation infrastructure
  • More than 30 industrial tenants are now located at the Thorold Multimodal Hub
An aerial shot of Thorold Hub, North

Thorold, ON — The Thorold Multimodal Hub, a collaborative venture between the BMI Group and HOPA Ports, has received a 2023 Brownie Award from the Canadian Brownfields Network. Honored in the ‘Renew-Large Scale Project’ category, the Thorold Multimodal Hub was recognized for its successful reimagining of a legacy industrial site for modern industrial uses.

Each year, the Canadian Brownfields Network recognizes Canada’s best brownfield redevelopment projects which demonstrate innovation, environmental sustainability, and positive community impact.

The Thorold Multimodal Hub was introduced in 2020 by partners BMI Group and HOPA Ports, at the site of a former paper mill next to the Welland Canal in Thorold, Ontario. The mill had stood empty since 2017, with little prospect of attracting a new paper manufacturer. At 200 acres (80 hectares) and purpose-built for paper milling, it was not easily adaptable to another use. However, the site possessed some interesting assets: marine access to the adjacent Welland Canal, rail access, on-site water treatment, and more than 500,000 sq.ft of buildings.

Purchased by BMI Group, the site was brought under the Thorold Multimodal Hub umbrella with adjacent lands owned by HOPA Ports. To-date more than $100 million has been invested across the Hub to reconfigure and modernize the site infrastructure, including reactivation of the rail lines, and upgrading the buildings to suit modern users. 

AN interior view of Thorold multimodal hub on Davis Road

In 2022, BMI Group purchased another adjacent property, a vacant former automotive manufacturing facility, and in October 2023, HOPA expanded its own adjacent land holdings, bringing the Thorold Multimodal Hub lands to 500+ acres of contiguous multimodal industrial lands.

HOPA Ports works with BMI Group to manage and market the Hub to new users as part of HOPA’s Niagara Ports strategy. The partners have attracted more than 30 diverse industrial tenants so far.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with this Brownie Award,” said Justus Veldman, Managing Director at BMI Group. “We’re proud of the imagination and dedication of our team, and grateful to all of our partners who have helped us come so far, so fast. Our restorative development model recognizes the value inherent in legacy industrial spaces and positions them for the future.”

“The success of the Thorold Multimodal Hub shows the healthy demand for marine-served industrial space in southern Ontario,” said Ian Hamilton, President & CEO of HOPA Ports. “By improving industrial brownfields and strengthening their transportation assets, we can create room for business to grow, enhance supply chains, and create new jobs.“ 

Partners who have contributed to the renewal of the Thorold Multimodal Hub site include:

  • BMI Group
  • HOPA Ports
  • City of Thorold
  • MTE Environmental

 

About BMI Group:

BMI Group is a real estate development and revitalization company specializing in the adaptive reuse and repurposing of end-of-use industrial and commercial properties and their transition from linear to circular economies.

About HOPA Ports:

As an integrated port network, the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) offers port and marine assets in Hamilton, Oshawa and Niagara. By investing in high-quality infrastructure and prioritizing sustainability, HOPA helps build prosperous working waterfronts in Ontario communities.

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Media contact:

Larissa Fenn
HOPA Ports
[email protected]
905-518-7632

Leasing inquiries:

Kurt Vos
HOPA Ports
[email protected]
365-336-4976

Media Assets (Hi-res photos) available for download HERE

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Larissa Fenn

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Larissa Fenn is Vice President, Corporate Affairs at HOPA Ports, leading a team responsible for communications and government relations, sustainability reporting, corporate governance and corporate culture.

Previous positions included communications and public policy roles at the Canadian Bankers Association, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, and the Regional Municipality of Halton.

Larissa holds a B.A.(Hons) in Political Science from Queen’s University. She holds the APR designation from the Canadian Public Relations Society, and completed the Senior Public Sector Leaders program at the University of Western Ontario, Ivey School of Business. Larissa has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and as a member of the Policy Council of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Fitzgerald

Vice President, Strategic Development

Bill assumed the role of Vice President, Strategic Development in 2024, after having served as HOPA’s Vice President, Operations since 2008.

Bill joined the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority in July 1995 as Project Engineer. He previously worked with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa’s Transportation Department, as well as for the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Waterloo.

Bill received a Bachelor of Applied Science, civil engineering / water resources, in 1995 from the University of Waterloo and registered with the Professional Engineers of Ontario in 1997.

Jeremy Dunn

Vice President, Operations

Jeremy assumed the role of Vice President, Operations in 2024 after having served as HOPA’s Commercial Vice President since 2019. Prior to joining HOPA, Jeremy served in successive leadership roles at The Miller Group, one of Canada’s leading transportation construction and infrastructure maintenance companies. Jeremy has managed multiple business groups in the heavy construction, asphalt paving and aggregates sectors driving results through business restructuring, service improvement and strategic growth. In his most recent role, Jeremy served as General Manager of Miller Maintenance, responsible for managing and growing Miller’s highway maintenance business in Ontario.

Previous to The Miller Group, Jeremy held the position of Director of Operations for the Dunn Group of Companies.

Jeremy earned his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) through Queen’s University. He also holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management.

Janet Knight

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer for the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority since 2008, Janet joined the HPA in 1998 as Accounting Supervisor and subsequently served as Controller.

Prior to joining the HPA, Janet held the position of Financial Analyst with St. Joseph’s Hospital, as well as various positions, including Marketing Communications/Research Lead with Zeneca Agro. Janet graduated from McMaster University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Commerce. She attained the professional designation of Certified Management Accountant in 1992.

Ian Hamilton

President & CEO

Ian Hamilton is President & CEO of HOPA Ports (Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority). He assumed this role in 2017, after serving as the Port Authority’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate since 2008. Ian has been instrumental in developing working waterfronts in Hamilton, Oshawa, and Niagara by attracting new business and private investment, and creating an integrated marine network across Southern Ontario.

Ian possesses more than 25 years of experience in international transportation and logistics in Europe and North America, and has held progressively senior positions in the liner shipping industry, including Transatlantic Trade Director (Europe) for CP Ships and Business Development Manager for Hapag-Lloyd. Ian is Chairperson of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, and holds positions on various other boards, including: the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the Hamilton Club, and Brigs Youth Sail Training.

Ian holds an MBA from Aston University (UK) and a BSc in business administration and economics from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.