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Ground contamination hits Heneghan Peng Canadian Canoe Museum

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The client behind Heneghan Peng’s Canadian Canoe Museum has warned it is ‘highly concerned’ by the discovery of an industrial solvent on the site for the scheme

Canadian Canoe Museum said ground water at 353 Hunter Street East in Peterborough, Ontario, had been contaminated by chemicals from an adjacent property.

It added that it was working with parties including Parks Canada – which owns the site – to ‘evaluate the impact’ on the construction programme from the discovery of trichloroethylene.

Heneghan Peng – working with Toronto’s Kearns Mancini Architects – won an international design contest for the new museum in 2016. Work had been due to start on site this year.

Canadian Canoe Museum executive director Carolyn Hyslop this week said she was ‘highly concerned and extremely disappointed by the situation’.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) issued a Provincial Officers Order under the Environmental Protection Act to the owner of an adjacent property to the site, directing it to undertake air quality, ground water and additional onsite investigations and to provide remediation plans.

‘We are working with all parties including the MECP, Parks Canada and our community and funding partners to evaluate the overall impacts of these findings to our operations and our new museum build,’ said Hyslop.

‘While the full implications of this environmental interruption are not yet fully known, we are fully committed to building a world-class museum that will deliver on its vision and serve the needs of its patrons and local community while honouring and preserving this unique cultural asset of national significance.’

The Dublin practice’s winning design features a 7,400m² snaking glass pavilion filled with flexible exhibition spaces and capped with a rooftop park.

The facility was expected to attract 60,000 visitors in its first year to view the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft.

Heneghan Peng said it was evaluating the impact of the findings.

Heneghan Peng's winning design for the Canadian Canoe Museum

Heneghan Peng’s winning design for the Canadian Canoe Museum

Project team

Architect Heneghan Peng
Architect of record Kearns Mancini
Structural engineer Arup
M&E engineer Arup
Landscape architect Foggy River Farm Design
Lighting design Bartenbach
Food service planning and design Kaizen
Exhibition design Reich + Petch
Exhibition design Haley Sharpe

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