Construction Forecasts

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Top 10 and trend graph-February 2012

03/07/2012 by Alex Carrick, RCD Canadian Chief Economist

The accompanying table records the 10 largest construction project starts in Canada in February 2012. 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 - February 2012
(East to
Sq. Ft.
Sept-Rivières Engineering Mont-Wright mine (iron ore) * $1,400
ArcelorMittal inc
Denis-Riverin Engineering Parc Gros-Morne Wind Farm, Phase Deux * $163
Cartier énergie éolienne inc
Beauharnois Industrial Data centre d'OVH à Beauharnois Alterations * $130
(3 storeys; 8 units; 1 structure), rue St-Laurent
Baie-James Engineering Route 167 * $75
Ministère des transports du Québec
Toronto Commercial Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility 196 $238
(2 storeys; 4 structures), 1165 Lakeshore Boulevard East
Toronto Transit Commission
Ottawa Commercial Bank of Montreal Addition and Alternation 4 $74
(3 storeys; 1 structure), 144 Wellington Street
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Grande Prairie Institutional Shields Health and Education Centre 604 319
(3 storeys; 200 units; 1 structure), 10320 99 Street, will be LEED Certified
Alberta Health Services
Rocky View No. 44 Commercial Distribution Centre 1300 126
(1 storey; 1 structure), Regional Road 291, Balzac
Graham Construction and Engineering Ltd.
Wood Buffalo Engineering Woodland Pipeline, 140 km (from Kearl Oil Sands project) * 100
Enbridge Incorporated
Calgary Engineering Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant * 70
City of Calgary
TOTALS:     2,104 $2,695

*A square footage measure does not apply for alteration and engineering work.
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – February 2012
Moving totals of the latest 12 months* (CanaData Figures)
Trend lines of construction starts in Canada – February 2012
*For example, the February 2012 figure is the sum of the monthly numbers for March 2011 through February 2012.
†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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