November 10, 2020
By Nick Mocan as featured in Water Canada
Stormwater management in Ontario has come a long way since the flood control efforts of the early 1970s. At that time, communities were concerned with preventing loss of life and property because of the type of devastation left behind by Hurricane Hazel. It flooded the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 1954, claimed 81 lives, and caused unprecedented damage to properties and infrastructure. In 1991, the Government of Ontario released additional guidelines regarding water quality treatment of stormwater. These guidelines further evolved in 1994 and 2003 to promote a treatment-train approach, incorporating small-scale, low impact development (LID) techniques for stormwater management (SWM). However, despite the efforts of some local agencies who have adopted their own updated SWM guidelines, there have been no official updates to the Provincial guidelines for nearly 20 years. With changing weather and climate conditions, development pressures, and new and innovative approaches, what will these updated guidelines need to consider for the future of stormwater management?
Greening stormwater infrastructure
Traditionally, stormwater was managed using grey infrastructure approaches like stormwater management ponds, dry detention basins, and oil-grit separators. However, innovative approaches to SWM known as low-impact development—or LID—have been gaining a foothold. LID practices, which include rain gardens and bioretention systems, manage stormwater by mimicking the natural processes under pre-development conditions that infiltrate and treat runoff.
In Ontario, initiatives like the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) are leading the charge to incorporate LID practices across the land development industry. This partnership between several Ontario conservation authorities works with partners to assess and research new SWM techniques. In the future, engineers should expect to use tools like STEP’s Low Impact Development Life Cycle Costing Tool more often to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating green infrastructure into their designs. In the next 20 years, it may not be a question of whether a development has green infrastructure at all, and instead what types of green infrastructure it incorporates. However, traditional stormwater management solutions will certainly not disappear. Grey SWM infrastructure will still serve an important role in capturing and detaining large volumes of runoff, particularly in the dense urban landscapes that characterize many parts of the GTA. The next generation of guidelines will likely expand further on how to integrate conventional and LID approaches for stormwater management to provide social, environmental, and economic benefits to communities.
A holistic approach
It’s no secret that the best solutions for any problem result from a multidisciplinary approach. Stormwater management problems are no different. Engineers have traditionally applied basic hydrologic and hydraulic principles to solve SWM challenges. However, the key to optimizing these systems lies in a strong understanding of hydrologic and hydraulic interactions and relationships with local ecology, geomorphology, and hydrogeology. We can expect future innovations in SWM to be advanced by drawing on the expertise of multidisciplinary teams of practitioners and researchers.
What will these updated guidelines need to consider for the future of stormwater management?
For example, engineers might leverage the expertise from disciplines such as geochemistry and hydrogeology to identify techniques to optimize SWM pond designs. They may also pursue further collaboration with landscape architects and ecologists to design and enhance the natural features of grey and green stormwater infrastructure. Unveiling a typical future SWM pond design may reveal targeted vegetation plantings that better manage erosion, reduce suspended solids, and selectively uptake problematic pollutants like chlorides. The future of SWM pond designs rely on these field studies now to identify opportunities for future infrastructure. For green infrastructure like bioretention systems, experts in biology and geochemistry might be involved from day one working on how to bind, trap, or uptake nutrients using optimized soil and vegetation characteristics. An increase in green infrastructure will also drive the need for engineering firms to attract and train team members that are scientifically literate and capable of designing, operating, and maintaining these solutions.
This may include hiring staff that come from non-traditional engineering backgrounds, or in some cases, have no engineering background whatsoever. Developing the skillset needed as a civil engineer in the future may involve taking additional courses or gaining certifications that round out traditional engineering expertise with proficiencies in ecology, soil chemistry, or geomorphology.
Implementing any type of stormwater management infrastructure comes at a cost. That’s why fast-tracking research towards innovative approaches will be critical to lower the traditionally high up-front cost of LID techniques. Currently in Ontario, financial incentives for developers to incorporate green SWM infrastructure are few and far between. Across the province, colleges and universities have been developing and refining innovations in SWM technologies. Engineering firms are in a unique position to bring these innovations into practice as key players in both design and communication with developers about their needs. For instance, firms can incorporate research and monitoring for LID practices at their project sites to learn about how these systems perform under varying development conditions. For engineering firms without dedicated research facilities and staff, partnering with schools and other organizations can help offset the costs of engaging in research. These partnerships can also cultivate important research skills for in-house staff through opportunities for experiential learning and involvement in field and lab activities. Executing successful research programs will require more than just engineers—they will need experienced technical staff who are comfortable in the field, lab, and on stage presenting at conferences.
We can also expect climate change to be a major driver of innovation in SWM. Future-proofing SWM designs and retrofits for future climate conditions will be critical. While it is uncertain about how these changes will affect rainfall timing and intensity, engaging in research and development now can identify ways to cope with projected scenarios. For example, enhanced water quality treatment through targeted vegetation plantings may be required to handle increased volumes of runoff into SWM ponds during the winter. Changing rainfall patterns may also affect the storm events that grey and green infrastructure are designed to control. This, in turn, will drive the need for innovative ways to develop resiliency in new and retrofitted systems.
The stormwater management solutions of the future will be holistic systems that integrate both grey and green infrastructure to protect communities and the natural environment. These systems will be designed by engineers who go beyond traditional design techniques to create solutions that consider their sustainability, cost, and longterm resiliency in a changing world. Through research and development, as well as collaborating with and learning from other fields, engineers will be able to leverage what they’ve learned over the past 20 years to shape the direction of stormwater management for the next 20.
September 18, 2020
Ontario real estate has seen a recent surge throughout this pandemic and overall Canadian “home sales increased by 25% and prices were well up from last year’s level, too”, CBC reports. The pandemic has triggered changes in how businesses will operate moving forward and where employees will work from.
Companies in areas such as the GTA have shifted remotely, some indefinitely. The correlation between growth in real estate within cottage country or smaller urban areas and remote-working is no coincidence. Many see this as an opportunity to move away from the hustle and bustle of city life and areas such as Collingwood have seen an increase in construction to accommodate.
In the latest issue of Ontario Home Builders’ Association Magazine, Ted McIntyre discusses these changes and how it has affected homebuyers and employers. One of these employers is Crozier’s founder and CEO, Chris Crozier, where he mentions that “in the Collingwood and south Georgian Bay Area, we’re seeing a big post-COVID-19 uptick in the market. We have builders and developers coming to us—some with projects that were dormant for years, asking how quickly we can get building permits. And we’ve already had a strong run for five to seven years up here. I don’t think we’ve ever been busier, and the forecast is very strong.”
Companies have had to learn to adjust and pivot to the changing times all while continuing to maintain business-as-usual. The article also forecasts that designs of residential buildings will see the most changes, and examines the new challenges that architects and builders will be faced with in adapting to the post-pandemic life.
To read more of Ted’s article, click here.
July 7, 2020
Crozier is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Mocan, P.Eng., as president. Nick will succeed Chris Crozier, P.Eng., founder and CEO, who has held the presidency since the company’s inception in 2004. This significant development in the leadership team marks a new chapter for the company and will support its continued growth in residential, commercial, industrial and recreational resort land development sectors across Canada.
“Nick’s dedication and expertise strengthens our leadership and represents a key milestone for Crozier,” said Chris Crozier, founder and CEO, C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc. “Nick has risen through the ranks with an entrepreneurial mindset that aligns with our company’s values and he will continue to contribute greatly to our future success. As our first student hire, he’s a perfect example of how Crozier fosters the growth and advancement of our talented engineers.”
With offices in Toronto, Milton, Bradford and Collingwood, Crozier specializes in civil, transportation, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering for the private sector.
As president, Nick will work with the senior management team to advance initiatives including business development, day-to-day operations, marketing and recruitment among other key responsibilities, and will continue to enhance the company’s participation within the communities it serves. He will also work alongside Chris to advance Crozier’s long-term corporate strategy and growth.
In his previous role at Crozier, Nick led the company’s business operations in the Greater Toronto Area and was instrumental in providing leadership in business development and community relations. He also spearheaded the opening of Crozier’s offices in Toronto and Milton to meet the growing demand for engineering services.
In addition to Nick’s leadership at Crozier, he is currently leading research projects with some of Canada’s top universities including Wilfrid Laurier University and Western University to improve the future of stormwater management.
Commenting on his appointment, Nick said: “It’s an honour to take on this new role as president at Crozier – a company that’s truly committed to excellence and the growth of vibrant communities. I look forward to continuing to accelerate the growth of the company while serving as an advocate for our clients, communities, and the industry.”
July 6, 2020
On behalf of Crozier and our COVID-19 Committee, we’d like to thank all our partners and team members for the continued support and immense effort during these past months. Together, we were able to keep projects on track with the support of clients, agencies and development partners. We’d like to thank our IT team for providing a smooth work-from-home transition to the entire company and allowing us to efficiently serve our clients.
With recent announcements by the provincial government, we are pleased to share that our team is carefully re-entering our offices and will continue to over the summer months by taking a cautious and staged approach.
We’d like to assure our clients, partners and company friends that we are taking all appropriate measures to keep our team and those we interact with safe by following the guidelines of Public Health Agency of Canada.
We look forward to providing our clients with exceptional service as we navigate through the ‘new normal’ together.
May 7, 2020
Crozier Consulting Engineers would like to congratulate our landscape architect, Mike Hensel, as a recipient of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment. This well-deserved recognition is awarded to an OALA member “whose practice promotes special or unique contributions to sensitive, sustainable design and use of the environment”.
Mike received the honour for his ongoing land evaluations with First Nation Communities. His efforts have led him to complete Traditional Knowledge Assessments in various Communities where he’s advanced the understanding of effects that projects within Traditional Land Use Areas will have on the associated health, welfare and safety of the potentially affected First Nation Communities. Landscape architecture is a unique service with the opportunity to manage technical and scientific support to identify potential land-use conflicts between First Nations Communities and developments.
Mike has been cited as “making a real and positive change” in the profession and we’re proud to have such an expert within the Crozier team.
November 13, 2019
How well are existing stormwater management facilities coping with climate change?
Crozier Consulting Engineers and Wilfrid Laurier University have been studying stormwater management pond vegetation and its ability to enhance water quality.
Thanks to an NSERC funding extension granted earlier this year, the Laurier and Crozier research team has continued through summer and fall to chase storms, collect samples, analyze data, and interpret the results.
The next phase of this research project will include growing plants in temperature-controlled chambers to simulate changing weather conditions while being subjected to simulated urban runoff. Water quality samples will be taken from these chambers to determine pollutant removal efficiencies. Following the cold chamber experiments, our team plans to deploy some targeted vegetation plantings in the field for study.
Stay tuned for more updates as the research progresses, and we work toward improving the future of stormwater management.
For more information on this research project, please contact Nick Mocan from Crozier at 905-875-0026 or at [email protected]
September 5, 2019
On September 3, 2009, Jim Firth and Nick Mocan officially opened Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers’ second office in Carriage Square in downtown Milton. As the company’s first expansion out of Collingwood since its founding in 2004, Crozier & Associates was drawn to Milton’s business-friendly atmosphere and rapid growth, which company founder Christopher Crozier knows well – Milton is his hometown.
In 2015, Crozier & Associates moved to the High Point Business Park, more than tripling their office space to accommodate the additional Professional Engineers, technologists, and support staff who had joined the team.
Earlier this week, Crozier & Associates celebrated the Milton office’s 10-year anniversary with over 100 employees and guests. Mayor Gord Krantz, Councillors Mike Cluett and Colin Best, Scott McCammon from the Milton Chamber of Commerce, and Milton Economic Development team members Mike Launslager and Jenna Patterson attended the festivities.
In his welcoming remarks, Nick Mocan commented on why he feels Milton is a great place for business:
“Milton is a place of extraordinary growth and opportunity for businesses looking to diversify and expand. We have been so fortunate to be able to build our business in one of Canada’s fastest growing communities with the support of the Town and the Chamber.”
One of the Company’s core values is getting involved and giving back to the community through volunteer events, sponsorships, and donations to local organizations. Over the past decade, the office has raised thousands of dollars to support local charities, including donations to the Milton Centre for the Arts, Halton Learning Foundation, the Milton District Hospital Foundation, and several other local non-profits. The Milton team has also built and strengthened relationships over the last decade with community partners including the Town of Milton, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Milton Chamber of Commerce.
Since opening, Crozier & Associates has provided engineering services for hundreds of projects in Milton and the surrounding areas and expanded its services to include transportation, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering.
The company has seen many changes in the town over the past decade, including construction of the Mattamy National Cycling Centre, Milton Centre for the Arts, and the Milton District Hospital Expansion, along with multiple new developments. If the past is any indication of the future in Milton, the company is excited to see what the next 10 years will bring.
About Crozier & Associates
Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers provides private sector land developers with civil, water resources, traffic/transportation, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering services, complemented by natural heritage project management and building science services. With offices in Toronto, Milton, Bradford, and Collingwood, Crozier & Associates serves the Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond. Their engineers work collaboratively with planners, developers, architects, landowners and other stakeholder groups to advance commercial, industrial and residential projects from conception through to construction completion.
Shannon Harvey, Marketing Manager
Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers
June 19, 2019
On behalf of the company, we would like to pass on the coveted Penguin Trophy, and congratulate Hamdy Shafi, P.Eng. on receiving his Professional Engineering designation!
Hamdy joined our Milton office in 2015 as an Engineering graduate from the University of Guelph, expanding our civil land development team. He then relished the opportunity to strengthen our roster and joined the Toronto office upon opening. Hamdy has supported a number of development applications, ranging from Official Plan Amendments to Site Plan Applications. He also provides technical assistance in delivering civil engineering design solutions and has a thoughtful approach to stormwater management.
From the very beginning, Hamdy has led by example in dedication and hard work. He has an admirable work ethic and provides tremendous support not only to senior engineers, but by leading the next generation of young engineering interns. We are honoured to have you on our team. Congratulations for all of your hard work!
June 5, 2019
Water Week at Blue, which ran from May 27th through May 31st, was the combination of two of Canada’s most notable water conferences.
Canadian Water Resources Association’s National Conference kicked off Water Week at Blue, followed by the Canadian Water Summit, which included the Water’s Next Awards.
On Monday, May 27th, Crozier & Associates Partner and Senior Water Resources Engineer Nick Mocan presented alongside Dr. Kevin Stevens of Wilfrid Laurier University at the 2019 CWRA National Conference on how targeted vegetation plantings can be used to enhance water quality treatment in stormwater management ponds.
Their presentation covered the last 8 months of site visits, vegetation surveys, and water sampling at a stormwater management (SWM) pond near a subdivision in the Credit Valley watershed. Dr. Stevens, an expert in wetland plant ecology, discussed the science behind how plants can contribute to water quality treatment, the types of vegetation found at the site, and preliminary water quality analysis results. Mocan drew on his expertise in stormwater management to review the impact of climate change on SWM facility inputs, hydrology, and hydraulics. Mocan also highlighted how this multi-disciplinary research can help stormwater ponds cope with the effects of a changing climate.
Preliminary results show that vegetation in the subject SWM pond is performing nutrient removal year-round, but that removal rates are diminished during colder periods. However, there appear to be increasing removal efficiencies as vegetation begins to re-establish itself. Vegetation surveys also noted that volunteer species are contributing to increased species richness, but these plants may not all be desirable.
After collecting and analyzing data from summer of 2018 through spring of 2019, the research team has broadened the scope of the research, from studying not only the treatment of total suspended solids, but also to studying various plants’ abilities to treat urban runoff during rain events in the winter, when more of the vegetation is dormant.
With climate change impacting rain events year-round, it’s more important than ever to develop solutions for managing urban runoff and its effects on the environment.
The second stage of this project will involve developing targeted planting mixes based on local hydrologic, hydraulic, and environmental conditions. We anticipate these mixes will provide improved water quality treatment in SWM facilities, prevent incursions of invasive plant species, and contribute to the reduction of nutrient loading in urban stormwater that reaches lakes and streams.
WATER’S NEXT AWARDS
In addition to the CWRA conference, the Canadian Water Summit hosted the Water’s Next Awards. The Water’s Next national awards program honours the achievements and ideas of individuals and companies that successfully work to change water in our country.
The Crozier & Laurier research project was nominated for a Water’s Next Award in the category for Projects and Technologies – Stormwater. Our project didn’t win the award unfortunately, but we were honoured to have been nominated alongside other notable stormwater projects from across Canada.
We would like to congratulate the research team from Laurier Biology, including Dr. Kevin Stevens, Julia Zazzarini, Heather Jovanovic, Rebekah Hamp, and Emily Hall, along with the Crozier research team, including Nick Mocan, Katherine O’Hearn, Luke Parsons, and Amanda Pinto. Assisting the team with sampling and research were Crozier team members Jurgen Koehler, Himanshi Juneja, Jessica Visser, and Brendan Hummelen, as well as several students including Chris Kwan, Jayesh Boily, Heaven Lin, and Thiruni Thirimanne.
May 11, 2019
Crozier Bradford – One Year Later
What a year it’s been! This month Crozier & Associates is proudly celebrating the 1st Anniversary of our office opening in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
Since May of 2018, we’ve worked on exciting local projects, brought on new staff members, integrated ourselves into the community, and with great honour and humility, we were the recipients of the Bradford Board of Trade’s New Business Award in the fall of 2018.
When we opened our doors last year we had a small but mighty team of 6 people in our Bradford branch. One year later, we have a team of 12 Crozier Bradford team members and we’re still growing.
The most notable addition to the team is our new Branch Manager, Geoff Masotti, P.Eng. Geoff brings 18 years of engineering experience to the Bradford team, and will lead the team alongside Associate Jim Koutroubis, P.Eng.
Not only has our team grown, but so too has our portfolio of projects in Bradford. We’ve continued our servicing and construction administration for the Strathallen project the employment lands at Hwy 400 and 88. We also worked on plans for servicing, stormwater management, and transportation for the Bradford Community Centre Master Plan, along with other projects ranging from home owners to commercial land developers.
We are grateful to feel so welcomed in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, and for this we’d would like to give thanks to the BWG community, Town of BWG Mayor Rob Keffer and Town Council, the team at BradfordToday.ca, and special thanks to the Bradford Board of Trade.
Bradford is an incredible place to live, work and play. We look forward to building the future together.