BTY Projects Higher Construction Activity in Canada

(UC) — Despite an expected global economic slowdown, Toronto-based BTY is projecting generally positive construction activity across Canada in its annual Market Intelligence Report for 2020.  The report includes energy and other infrastructure, as well as broader construction activity, including housing.

The largest private sector investment ever in Canada’s history, the $40 billion LNG Canada development, is anchoring British Columbia’s sustained building boom, BTY says, while major infrastructure projects are fueling Ontario’s activity.

Alberta and Saskatchewan will continue to see challenges related to oil production, transportation and trade. However, additions to pipeline capacity and improved efficiencies signal improving conditions through and beyond 2020, BTY projects.

The Market Report calls for activity to remain mostly steady in Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces will hold steady for the most part, while Quebec maintains a brisk pace with a growing pipeline of planned projects forecast post 2020.

"“What stands out to us is the industry’s consistent ability to adapt to change and challenge,” said BTY Managing Director Toby Mallinder. “With a record increase in foreign direct investment, sustained high immigration, a surging tech sector, expanding investment in renewable energy and a strong infrastructure pipeline, we see reason to be optimistic for construction in Canada even as trade uncertainty shadows the global economy.”

Provincial highlights include:

  • ONTARIO will see a very tight labour market, especially in major urban centres, thanks to Toronto’s office building boom, major transportation infrastructure projects and a resilient residential sector.
  • BRITISH COLUMBIA is at full steam with multiple mega-projects in energy and transportation and booming office building driven by an expanding tech sector, all of which will strain an already tight labour supply.
  • ALBERTA will continue to see lower construction levels given oil patch challenges. However, strong population growth will sustain residential building, and investment in renewables will create new opportunities.
  • SASKATCHEWAN is also facing a year of low growth due to soft commodity prices and export roadblocks. One bright spot is steady population growth, expected to sustain demand in the residential sector.
  • MANITOBA will have major energy projects wrapping up and slower growth in residential and commercial construction. However, new projects in the energy sector and food processing will help keep activity levels stable.
  • QUEBEC is projected to have a slight moderation in its robust activity levels. Strength in office and condos, industrial and warehousing, and infrastructure will remain mainstays.
  • ATLANTIC PROVINCES. Prince Edward Island will repeat as a growth leader, with Nova Scotia right behind. New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador will see low growth; all four provinces will have declines in the residential sectors.

BTY has been publishing its annual industry review of construction cost forecasts across Canada since 2003. A full copy of the report can be accessed

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