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Report on Plans and Priorities - Supplementary Information Tables

Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects

This table applies to all Major Crown Projects and Transformational Projects in accordance with Treasury Board policies. Please see the policy on Management of Major Crown Projects and the Policy on the Management of Projects.


Randle Reef is an area of highly contaminated sediment located on the south shore of Hamilton Harbour in the western end of Lake Ontario, and is considered to be the largest and one of the more complex and highly contaminated sediment sites in the Great Lakes. With the remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds nearing completion, Randle Reef is now the largest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated sediment site in Canada. Sediment remediation is required in order to reduce the environmental impacts of contaminants, including PAHs and heavy metals located at this site.

Owing to the long history of contamination (more than 150 years) from multiple sources, it is not possible to apply the polluter pay principle. Instead, a shared responsibility model has been adopted, with the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the local community participating equally in the design and implementation of a solution. This legacy site is a priority for remediation in the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and under the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA).

The Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project involves the construction of a 7.5-hectare engineered containment facility (ECF) over the most highly contaminated sediment, dredging and placement of additional contaminated sediment within the ECF, and in-situ capping and isolation of remaining targeted sediment--for a grand total of 675,000 m3 of sediment being managed.

Project Stage

The Randle Reef project is currently in the detailed project planning phase and is scheduled to begin implementation in 2014.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies
Lead DepartmentEnvironment Canada
Contracting AuthorityPublic Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Department(s)Ontario Ministry of the Environment
City of Hamilton
City of Burlington
Region of Halton
Hamilton Port Authority
U.S. Steel Canada Inc.


Prime and Major Subcontractor(s)
Prime ContractorNot determined yet
Major subcontractor(s)Not determined yet


Major Milestones
Major milestoneDate (Proposed)
Pre-construction preparations2013–2014
Stage 1: ECF construction2014–2015 to 2016–2017
Stage 2: Dredging and containment2016–2017 to 2018–2019
Stage 3: Capping and landscaping2019–2020 to 2021–2022
Post-construction monitoring/maintenance2022–2023 to 2036–2037

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes are the measurable results expected at the end of the project and contribute to the sustainment or improvement of one of the activities in an organizational Program Alignment Architecture.

The objective of the project is to contribute to the improvement of environmental conditions in Hamilton Harbour and to assist in delisting of the harbour as an Area of Concern. Performance of the remediation project will be measured with a set of indicator studies designed to assess the effectiveness of the sediment remediation project. Indicator studies have been undertaken for the project to establish baseline biological and chemical conditions in the remediation area; these will be used to assess the effectiveness of the project through a comparison with post-remediation conditions. The studies include the following:

  • PAH concentrations and profiles in suspended sediments
  • sediment toxicity and benthic invertebrate community structure
  • incidence of tumours and external abnormalities in wild fish

The Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project will prevent/reduce the spread of PAH-contaminated sediment from the project site into the rest of the harbour. Remediation of Randle Reef will improve water quality and reduce contaminant levels in biota, eventually making it safer to consume fish caught in the harbour. It will also remove current restrictions on navigation and generate economic returns through the creation of valuable port lands.

Progress Report and Explanations of Variances

Treasury Board approved the Randle Reef Project on December 13, 2012; the project has an estimated cost of $138.9 million. The construction phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in 2022, with post-construction monitoring to continue for an additional 15 years, until 2037.

Industrial Benefits

Hamilton Harbour is a 2150- ha embayment located at the western end of Lake Ontario and connected to the lake by a single ship canal across the sandbar that forms the bay. The harbour accommodates a commercial port and is considered to be a major shipping centre. The south shore of the harbour supports the highest concentration of heavy metal industry (primarily iron and steel) in Canada.

The contaminated sediment targeted for remediation is located at Randle Reef along the south shore of Hamilton Harbour in the vicinity of piers 14, 15 and 16. The ECF will be connected to Pier 15, owned by the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA), located south of the property owned by U.S. Steel (formerly Stelco).

Following project completion, the HPA will assume ownership of the ECF and will be responsible for ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Two thirds of the site will be developed into a marine terminal that will be suitable for ships of Great Lakes Seaway draught, providing access to berths along Pier 15, northwest of Sherman Inlet. The remaining one third of the site will either be maintained as vegetated green space or surfaced with a suitable aggregate material and used as industrial space.

In 2007, a research study by York University revealed that the net benefits (environmental, social and economic) of cleaning Randle Reef were estimated as $126 million over 25 years. The proposed Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project will further advance the economic competitiveness of the region through expanded port facilities, shoreline redevelopment and creation of approximately 60 jobs/year over the 8-year life of the project.

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