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Anchoring Peterborough’s cleantech innovation corridor – municipal services being provided to Cleantech Commons

Despite the interruptions that resulted from COVID-19 – and with comprehensive new health & safety measures in place to protect our contractors, construction crews and visitors – the provision of municipal services to Cleantech Commons on Trent University’s East Bank has continued to make strong progress.


An aerial view of the early servicing activities at Cleantech Commons: March 2020.

The current phase of work focuses on the provision of municipal services to the research park, which, when complete, will serve to anchor Peterborough’s emerging cleantech innovation corridor.

Once the internal servicing is fully complete, Cleantech Commons will be ready to accept its first tenants, helping to turn the vision of creating Canada’s premier clean, green and low-carbon technology research and innovation park into reality. (Please review the Tenant Criteria for Cleantech Commons here!)

Thanks to a good “Friend of Cleantech Commons”, Justen Soule of Visual Endeavour Corporation, we are delighted to share these aerial images of some of the early servicing activity at Cleantech Commons.

The current construction phase began by removing the first 4”- 6” of topsoil from the work area and stockpiling it for re-use later to support the regrowth of vegetation. The topsoil has a better growth rate for re-vegetation and after construction will be re-distributed on the disturbed areas and seeded for stabilization.

Making it real: big vision, big goals and big equipment!

Stockpiling also eliminated the need to truck this material off-site, resulting in a dramatic reduction in the carbon footprint.

Also included in the current phase is:

  • The installation of sanitary sewer connections
  • The excavation of the first stormwater management pond: to reduce flood risk, prevent erosion in neighbouring creeks, and improve the quality of water discharging to the natural environment
  • The installation of water mains.


Cleantech Commons at Trent University 

Showing the prime location of Cleantech Commons – immediately adjacent to the East Bank campus of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Top right: DNA Building, Otonabee College, Gzowski College. Surrounded by 1,400 acres of land situated on the banks of the Otonabee River, and with direct access to over 30km of nature trails, Cleantech Commons is located at one of Canada’s most picturesque university campuses.

Cleantech Commons will play host to a cluster of growth companies, spin-out & startup ventures, and corporate accelerators & “innovation outposts” – all focused on clean technology, water technologies,  environmental services, advanced material sciences, biotechnology, and agri-food and agri-business.

The businesses and research laboratories located at Cleantech Commons will help to significantly advance energy, environment and climate technology innovations that will have both national and global impact.

Designed to tap into the region’s growing cleantech innovation ecosystem, Cleantech Commons will provide companies with access to the facilities, resources, knowledge, expertise and mentorship they require to:

  • Develop solutions that help reduce greenhouse gases.
  • Promote the use of renewable resources.
  • Contribute to a low/ zero-carbon economy.
  • Reduce waste.
  • Develop new environmental remediation approaches.
  • Commercialize clean and green processes and products.


Tenants at Cleantech Commons

The stormwater pond will reduce flood risk, prevent erosion in neighbouring creeks, and improve the quality of water discharged to the natural environment.

Tenants at Cleantech Commons will be able to work with Trent University’s researchers, students and facilities, including the Trent School of the Environment, Water Quality Centre, Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research, and the Inorganic Materials Research Laboratory.

Already, a number of future Cleantech Commons tenants are working with Trent researchers and faculty on various collaborative research initiatives.

Offering experiential learning for students, creating spaces for the incubation and acceleration of student research, and providing commercialization support will all be a key focus of Cleantech Commons, which will be the 26th University-integrated research park in Canada. Recent research conducted by the Association of University Research Parks found that for every job created in a park, an additional 1.34 jobs were created in the surrounding community.

Environmental Considerations 

In preparation for the internal servicing, the City of Peterborough worked with and gained approvals from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Otonabee Region Conservation Authority on aspects such as natural heritage, groundwater conditions, tree preservation, stormwater management, species at risk and other environmental considerations. (A full list of studies is available to view at the City of Peterborough’s project site.)

Environmental protection features, such as erosion and sediment controls, were installed prior to the start of construction.

As Cleantech Commons is located adjacent to the Nassau Wetland Complex, Otonabee Conservation directed and reviewed environmental studies to determine the appropriate setbacks required to protect these important natural systems on the Trent campus.

Otonabee Conservation is monitoring environmental controls at the research park, while Trent has engaged an independent environmental consultant to monitor the adjacent wetland to ensure its continuing health.

Over the past few months, comprehensive environmental protection features such as erosion and sediment controls, to prevent sediment from washing off-site and into ditches, streams, watercourses or storm sewers, have been installed.

The master plan for Cleantech Commons includes sustainable design elements such as low-impact development standards for stormwater management.

Cleantech Commons tenants will also be required to commit to sustainable site design, green building principles, and environmentally-friendly operations.


Interested in Tenancy at Cleantech Commons?