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Ontario, B.C. to lead the way in 2020 construction growth: report

DCN News Services
Ontario, B.C. to lead the way in 2020 construction growth: report

TORONTO — Market consultant BTY is forecasting that Ontario will lead the national construction industry in growth in 2020 followed by British Columbia and Quebec.

BTY’s Market Intelligence Report said that despite an expected global economic slowdown, the firm identifies opportunities for growth in the industry, stated a Dec. 30 release.

For 2020, BTY is forecasting escalation in Ontario (6-7 per cent), B.C. (5-6 per cent) and Quebec (4-5 per cent), with low to moderate escalation in Alberta (1-2 per cent), Saskatchewan (1-2 per cent), Manitoba (1-2 per cent) and the Atlantic provinces (0-1 per cent).

The largest private sector investment ever in Canada’s history, the $40-billion LNG Canada development, is anchoring BC’s sustained building boom, while strong ICI activity, a resilient housing sector and major infrastructure projects are fuelling Ontario’s robust industry, said the release.

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

Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces will hold steady for the most part, while Quebec will maintain a brisk pace with a growing pipeline of planned projects forecast post 2020, said BTY.

Growth will be limited nationwide for residential building comparing forecast starts year over year. Affordability remains a critical issue in major urban centres, the report said.

“What stands out to us is the industry’s consistent ability to adapt to change and challenge,” said BTY managing director Toby Mallinder in the release. “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.”

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, said BTY.

B.C., meanwhile 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.

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