Construction Forecasts

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Top 10 and trend graph-May 2011

06/02/2011 by Alex Carrick, RCD Canadian Chief Economist

The accompanying table records the 10 largest construction project starts in Canada in May 2011. Also included is the latest trend graph on starts. This looks at 12-month moving totals of the two major non-residential building categories in Canada − total ICI starts and engineering work. ICI stands for industrial, commercial and institutional.

There are several reasons for highlighting upcoming large projects. Such jobs have often received a fair amount of media coverage. Therefore, people in the industry are on the lookout for when job-site work actually gets underway. And, as showcase projects, they highlight geographically where major construction projects are proceeding.

Also, total construction activity is comprised of many small and medium-sized projects and a limited number of large developments. But the largest projects, simply by their nature, can dramatically affect total dollar and square footage volumes. In other words, the timing and size of these projects have an exaggerated influence on market forecasts.

Top 10 projects of the month - May 2011
(East to
St. John's Residential Memorial University of Newfoundland Residence 98 $51
(6 storeys; 500 units; 2 structures), 1 Elizabeth Avenue
Memorial University of Newfoundland


L'Érable Engineering Parc éolien de l'Érable (100 MW wind farm) * $421
Éoliennes de l'Érable inc
Labelle Engineering route 117 * $43
Ministère des transports du Québec


Mississauga Residential Grand Residences of Parkside Village, Phase Two 450 $55
(45 storeys; 453 units; 1 structure), 465 Burnhamthorpe Road
Amacon Development Corporation
Trenton Institutional Maintenance Hangar 2 129 $44
(2 storeys; 1 structure), 8 Wing, CFB Trenton
Defense Construction Canada


Winnipeg Engineering Chief Peguis Trail Expansion, roadwork * $60
City of Winnipeg


Calgary Engineering North, South Parallel Runway Expansion * $620
Calgary Airport Authority
Bruderheim Engineering Blue Horizon Biodiesel Facility * $160
Blue Horizon Energy

British Columbia

Abbotsford Commercial High Street Shopping Centre 600 $55
(3 storeys; 11 structures), 3100 & 3122 Mount Lehman Road
Shape Properties Corporation
Columbia-Shuswap Regional District Engineering Mica Generating Station Unit 5 and 6 * $40
    British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority    
TOTALS:     1,277 $1,549

*A square footage measure does not apply for alteration and engineering work.
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – May 2011
Moving totals of the latest 12 months* (CanaData Figures)
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – May 2011
*For example, the May 2011 figure is the sum of the monthly figures for April 2010 through May 2011.
†ICI is the sum of industrial, commercial and institutional.
The prominent jumps in the engineering curve reflect such mega project starts as Horizon Oil Sands work in Alberta (March 2005), the Canada Line LRT project between Richmond and Vancouver in B.C. (January 2006), the Eastmain 1-A hydroelectric power project in northern Québec (June 2007), the Port Mann bridge in B.C. (November 2009) and the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta (April 2010). In May 2010, the ICI curve shot upward due to the McGill University medical centre project in Montreal.
Data source and chart: Reed Construction Data – CanaData.


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