Although Ontario faces a $16 billion construction economy related to industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) developments, the recently released Ontario Construction Secretariat’s (OCS) annual Construction Confidence Indicator shows growth within the sector, along with job creation, will occur at very different rates.
Major public transportation projects and urban infrastructure are expected to drive the majority of developments within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 2015.
Beyond the GTA, such factors are also supporting confidence as some projects include the $1 billion renovation of Windsor’s Chrysler plant and a rapid transit line in Ottawa.
In Northern Ontario, mining companies are holding back money for new construction. As a result, there is a below-average outlook for contractors in this region. 16 per cent are expecting to conduct less business in 2015, the region’s lowest level of optimism since 2009.
“To build a strong economy in Ontario, we will need to tap into new opportunities in and outside of mining and infrastructure development in the North,” said Sean Strickland, chief executive officer of the OCS. “And a critical part of that involves building a skilled workforce that’s capable of meeting future demand across the province.”
Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC Financial Group, points to signs of a recovering manufacturing sector that will accelerate productivity and support economic growth.