Construction Forecasts

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Top 10 and trend graph-August 2011

09/12/2011 by Alex Carrick, RCD Canadian Chief Economist

The accompanying table records the 10 largest construction project starts in Canada in August 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 - August 2011
(East to
Sq. Ft.
Vaudreuil-Soulanges Engineering  Canal de Soulanges * $160
Régie intermunicipale du canal de Soulanges
Laval Residential Quintessence Condominium 400 $150
(14 storeys; 291 units; 5 structures), au nord boul St-Elzéar
Construction Jadco
Ottawa Commercial Parliament Hill, West Block Rehabilitation * $358
(1 structure), 111 Wellington Street
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Toronto Institutional MaRS Centre, Phase Two 770 $344
(20 storeys; 1 structure), 101 College Street, will be LEED Certified
MaRS Discovery District, Alexandria Real Estate Inc.
Province of Ontario Engineering Southeast Collector Trunk Sewer * $290
Regional Municipality of York
Toronto Engineering Georgetown South Grade Separation * $166
GO Transit
Toronto Residential Gibson Square Condominium 1,012 $117
(42 storeys; 937 units; 1 structure), 5170 Yonge Street
Menkes Developments Inc.
Wood Buffalo Engineering Voyageur Heavy Oil Processing Plant * $10,000
Suncor Energy, Total E&P Canada Ltd.
Province of Alberta Engineering BlackGold In-Situ SAGD Oilsands Project, Phase One * $300
Harvest Energy Corporation
Calgary Engineering Airport Trail Underpass * $280
City of Calgary
TOTALS:     2,182 $12,165

*A square footage measure does not apply for alteration and engineering work.
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – August 2011
Moving totals of the latest 12 months* (CanaData Figures)
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – August 2011
*For example, the August 2011 figure is the sum of the monthly figures for September 2010 through August 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 Eastmain 1-A hydroelectric power project in northern Québec (June 2007), the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta (April 2010), the Firebag 4 SAGD Oil Sands project in Alberta (June 2011) and the Voyageur heavy oil processing plant Alberta (August 2011). 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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