Cleantech Commons Project


Trails, roads, sewers and water services are being installed to support the creation of Cleantech Commons - a research and innovation park focusing on green and clean technology through a partnership between Trent University and the City of Peterborough.

Cleantech Commons website

The City worked with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Otonabee Conservation on aspects such as natural heritage, ground water conditions, tree preservation, stormwater management, animals and other environmental considerations.

The project includes low-impact development techniques for features such as managing stormwater and the layout ensures setbacks from natural areas.

Outline of boundaries of Cleantech Commons research and innovation park

Cleantech Commons design principles

 Integrated with the Trent University campus
Cleantech Commons will be integrated with Trent University physically, visually and socially. The plan identifies an Integration Zone representing a five-minute walk from the East Bank DNA buildings that will be reserved for businesses requiring the highest degree of interaction with the campus. The plan also depicts two road and three pedestrian connections directly to campus. From a massing perspective, the buildings within the research park will be allowed to exhibit the scale of development already represented at Trent.
 Innovative community culture
A research park differs from traditional centres of employment by encouraging innovation between companies through collaboration. The research park needs to intentionally plan for social interaction in all seasons between the tenants of the research park. This is achieved in part by wisely placing like-minded tenants in proximity, and including amenities such as public open space and food services along paths of travel.
 Sustainable design
Cleantech Commons aspires to be a leader in sustainable design and therefore the Master Plan sets the bar high in many areas in order to “walk the talk”. The Plan encourages a LEED Silver target for private investment, innovative energy solutions, and Low-Impact Development standards for storm water management on private and public lands. The Master Plan accepts that some businesses may wish to sponsor on-site demonstration projects in lieu of achieving certain LEED targets where those projects advance the science and practices in sustainability.
The pre-development landscape of the Cleantech Commons site is a field community marked with gently rolling terrain and a network of agricultural hedgerows. To the greatest extent possible the development of the research park will adapt to the landscape to respect the existing topography and established vegetation. The hedgerows will define a network of public corridors.
The research park lot fabric must be flexible to accommodate a range of uses and size of enterprise. The lot pattern should be pre-determined only by the streets with individual lots being created in direct response to user requirements. The research park needs to anticipate that some sites will be used for large-scale manufacturing/processing uses with the need for effective goods movement. Some sites will be required for multi-tenant buildings, while other sites may serve as incubator spaces for emerging businesses.
 Well connected
The Plan has been developed to ensure efficient access for public transit from the initial phases, the inclusion of well defined network of trail and pedestrian connections linking all parts of the Research Park, and the promotion of a pedestrian priority with truck access restricted to the main through street and private driveways.  Each street within the Research Park has a unique cross section to achieve the planned function.

Internal site servicing

Internal servicing of the Cleantech Commons property is a milestone in the project that stretches back to 2006 when the idea of a research and innovation park emerged as part of Trent University's Endowment Lands Plan.

Municipal services were extended to the property in 2017.

The site is taking shape, turning the vision of Canada's premier green technology research and innovation park into reality.

Cleantech Commons will host a cluster of companies and start-up enterprises in the fields of clean technology, water, environmental services, advanced material sciences biotechnology, medical and health products, agri-food and agri-business, and information and communications technologies.

What you're going to see happening on the site

Map of Cleantech Commons construction area

Work started with setting up environmental protection features, such as erosion and sediment controls, to prevent sediment from washing off-site and into ditches, streams, watercourses or storm sewers.

Wetland Evaluation Report

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry approved the Wetland Evaluation Report completed on behalf of the City of Peterborough.

The site for Cleantech Commons was designed assuming that the wetland next to the planned innovation and employment park would be designated provincially significant under the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System. With the assumption that the wetland would be designated, the City completed the necessary studies to determine the appropriate buffers and boundaries - and the studies were reviewed by Otonabee Conservation.

 Buffers between Cleantech Commons and the wetland

A 30-metre buffer between Cleantech Commons and the Nassau wetland was established based on assessments and evaluations of the property.

To build or alter property on land that's within 120 metres of a provincially significant wetland, the ecological function of the adjacent land has to be evaluated to show that there will be no negative impacts on the features or their ecological functions, under Section 2.1.8 of the Provincial Policy Statement. The 120-metre distance is used as a threshold for when a study is required. This assessment and evaluation includes the establishment of a buffer width that is required to protect the feature. This buffer can be, and usually is, less than 120 metres. This process is typically done as part of the planning approval process.

The 2010 Natural Heritage Reference Manual (page 44), from the Ministry of Natural Resources, describes the relationship between the area within 120 metres of a significant natural heritage feature, such as a provincially significant wetland, and the requirement for a study to determine the appropriate mitigation measures, including buffers that can vary in width.

The detailed design process for Cleantech Commons was completed assuming that the Nassau wetland would be designated as a provincially significant wetland.

The studies were reviewed by Otonabee Conservation, which issued a permit to allow the work to proceed, and the wetland evaluation report for Nassau wetland was reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Leadership in sustainability

Beyond the setbacks, the City and Trent University are showing leadership in sustainability practices by building sustainable design elements into Cleantech Commons, such as low-impact development standards for storm water management.


 Studies and reports