Canadian Consulting Engineer

Ontario tests digital twins for major infrastructure projects

June 26, 2024
By Peter Saunders

New Mississauga Hospital

Rendering courtesy Stantec.

Ontario’s government announced it is spending $5 million in digital twin technology to help build critical infrastructure faster and within budget. Testing will start with three major projects: the new Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital (pictured), the redeveloped Ontario Place and the western extension of the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail transit (LRT) line.

Digital twins map virtual models of physical assets in construction to help identify and mitigate problems early on. By testing the applications and benefits of this digital modelling technology, the government says it will not only save money and time, but also improve worker safety.

“From start to finish, digital twins will help ensure project partners involved in the building process have access to timely, accurate and state-of-the-art data to advance the delivery of infrastructure for our growing communities,” says Ontario’s minister of infrastructure, Kinga Surma.

The government explains it has selected the three initial projects for digital twinning because of their complex electrical, gas, water and wastewater utility systems. Using a digital twin for underground utilities could help reduce delays and cost overruns by avoiding conflicts between those utilities.

As part of the provincial testing process, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is partnering with other organizations, including Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and the U.K.’s Geospatial Commission, to leverage their experience in modernizing the delivery of public infrastructure.

By way of example, the municipal governments of Toronto and York Region are already using digital twins for real-time monitoring of wear and tear on their water infrastructure, so as to better allocate public resources. Ottawa’s government, meanwhile, is leveraging aerial data collection and 3-D mapping technology to enhance urban planning and asset management.


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories