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Forecasts show boom for big infrastructure in Canada

Large-scale construction in Canada is set for good times according to PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers). Their new report says that between 2010 to 2015, Canadian infrastructure will grow at a rate of over two-and-a-half times the rate of the...


Large-scale construction in Canada is set for good times according to PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers). Their new report says that between 2010 to 2015, Canadian infrastructure will grow at a rate of over two-and-a-half times the rate of the previous five years. “By 2020, Canada is expected to be the fifth largest construction market behind India and Japan — a jump from its current position to seventh place,” says PwC.

Driving the growth in the infrastructure construction industry are oil sands projects in Alberta, major hydro projects planned for Ontario and Quebec, transportation projects in urban centres, and construction for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. The outlook is not so rosy for the housing sector, which is expected to be the slowest in terms of growth.

The PwC report, issued May 5, names specific projects, such as billons to be spent on transit lines and tunnels for Toronto and Ottawa, a $6.5-billion hydro complex in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec expected to be completed by 2020, along with a $5-billion hydro project in James Bay Territory under construction, and a $6.2 billion hydro complex in Labrador.

In Alberta, 20 potential new oil sands projects are expected to start over the next five years, along with enormous spending on capital construction and machinery. As well, Alberta’s Capital Plan calls for $17.6 billion in infrastructure spending to support the oil sands over the next three years, and this is besides the investments from major industry players like Suncor and CNRL. The full report, entitled, Global Construction 2020, is available here.

Another report, the Spring 2011 edition of “Metropolitan Outlook” issued by the Conference Board of Canada,  suggests that four western cities will lead economic growth this year. Saskatoon’s gross domestic product is projected to increase by 4.1 per cent this year, while Calgary, Edmonton and Regina are not far behind at 3.4, 3.1 and 3.1 per cent respectively.

Toronto’s GDP is expected to grow 2.8 per cent, while Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax are expected to grow in the region of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent.