This five-part, year long series, looked at the integral role

Canada's construction industry has played in building the country




National, eastern and western construction industry forecasts

that provide  pivotal intelligence to industry stakeholders



2017 Special Edition

Vince Versace

National Managing Editor, ConstructConnect

The year 2017 marks Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation and to celebrate this sesquicentennial the Daily Commercial News and the Journal of Commerce generated a special editorial feature series called Building Canada 150. This five-part, year-long series, looked at the integral role Canada’s construction industry has played in building the country. From iconic projects to those that transformed Canada’s massive landscape, linking communities, cities and natural wonders, this series was a milestone initiative created by ConstructConnect’s two premier heritage construction industry publications.


This year’s The Leaders 2017 is a commemorative edition packed with the most significant stories we generated during Building Canada 150. On this year’s cover you see a CP train rolling along a track in a maple leaf. Our top story from the series is about building the CPR railroad, Canada’s first true megaproject, which not only physically linked a young nation but also transformed its prospects for growth and success.


The first of our western section stories in this year’s Leaders is about construction of the Trans-Canada Highway, another transformational megaproject which linked communities and stretches across Canada’s varied and challenging landscape. The ‘Mile 0’ marker for Canada’s great highway is in Victoria, B.C. The second story in this section explores the sacrifice and hard work of thousands of Chinese labourers in helping build the CPR railroad. The story of these migrant workers during construction of this first vital nationwide link is one well worth commemorating.


Our eastern section in this year’s Leaders is dominated by the two most iconic projects, according to our reader polls, that have been built in Canada — the CN Tower in Toronto and Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings.


The CN Tower, standing at its majestic, sky-piercing 1,815 feet, becomes commonplace when you are in downtown Toronto long enough. We decided to look at it closely and consider the engineering and construction marvel it is. The tower would cost roughly $325 million in today’s dollars (accounting for only inflation) to build. The project cost when it opened in 1976 was $63 million. It contains 40,500 cubic metres of concrete, almost 5,100 tonnes of steel and employed more than 1,500 workers during its construction.


Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings and surrounding government precinct is an everlasting symbol of national pride. These buildings are a Victorian gothic revival gem that easily stand up against other worldwide national capital buildings. Ground broke on this project in late 1859 on a site situated at the top of a cliff in downtown Ottawa overlooking the Ottawa River. Today, through the skills of architects and trades workers, its’ elegant and powerful beauty is maintained and revived for generations to come.


Once again this year’s Leaders also delivers our national, eastern and western construction industry forecasts powered by CanaData. These forecasts provide the pivotal intelligence industry stakeholders need in order to operate in Canada’s evolving construction industry landscape.


In closing, when you look at Canada from a strictly bricks and mortar perspective, the vision, determination and skill to make this nation a reality is impressive. Our Leaders 2017 stories are not just about the legacy these projects left for Canadians to celebrate, they are also emblematic of determined construction, engineering excellence and nation building. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did creating them.





Daily Commercial News and

Construction Record

3760 14th Avenue, 6th Floor

Markham, Ontario  L3R 3T7

Phone: (905) 752-5408

Fax: (905) 752-5450


Journal of Commerce

101-4299 Canada Way

Burnaby, British Columbia

V5G 1H3

Phone: (604) 433-8164

Fax: (604) 433-9549






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Mark Casaletto, President

John Richardson, Vice President of Customer Relations

Peter Rigakos, Vice President of Sales

Marg Edwards, Vice President of Content

Alex Carrick, Chief Economist, CanaData

Vince Versace, National Managing Editor

Mary Kikic, Lead Designer

Erich Falkenberg, National Production Manager

Kristin Cooper, Manager, Data Operations

Melinda Rideout, Research Supervisor



The Leaders, Volume 11