Scott Construction obtains B Corp certification

It’s official.

Scott Construction announced this month that it has achieved B Corp Certification, an international designation that shows a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. 

“We have always operated with a people-first mindset, a company driven by more than just a balance sheet,” said the company in a release. “Striving to be known for the people behind our hammers, we know our impact in building physical communities. We have built our business around purpose and people.”

According to B Corp’s directory, there are only a few other companies in Canada related to the contracting and building sector that have achieved certification: Chandos Construction, Trico Homes, B Collective Homes and EcoAmmo Sustainable Consulting.

The company explained that it underwent a rigorous evaluation to ensure it met the B Corp global standards for our people, the planet and the communities in which it works.

Scott Construction stated that these were some keys to its certification: 

Cultivating Community: Paid volunteer days off, group community initiatives with over 240 hours of employee volunteer service.

Putting People First: Scott focuses on career development programs coupled with well-rounded rewards programs, resulting in high engagement (86% to 94% in the last three years) and high retention rates.

Taking Care of the Planet: Beyond building to sustainability standards like LEED, WELL, and Passive House, among others, Scott says it aims for over 75% waste diversion on its sites. They are also a Climate Smart Certified business, working to minimize its own environmental impact.

Values in Action: The company has an employee-led environmental, social, and governance (ESG) committee, as well as mental health and volunteer committees that influence its policies and internal initiatives.

“We are proud to join the B Corp community. We look forward to continuing to share with you the ways we’re using business as a force for good,” said the company. 

Scott’s B Corp profile can be found here.

B Corp Certification is an intense process to verify a company’s practices meet high standards in five categories: workers, environment, governance, community and customers

The B Corp community consists of 6,466 Companies, 89 Countries, 161 Industries and 554,355 Workers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Level Bot Technology is developing an app that can use voice transcription technology to capture and communicate data on jobsites.
  • The technology will be able to integrate into existing solutions, like Procore.
  • Level Bot believes the app could also be used to help translate information for workers who speak different languages and to identify those who are struggling with mental health issues.

The Whole Story:

Brey Tucker wants to talk about talking. 

For years, he’s been pondering how workers communicate information on jobsites and how it can be assisted by voice technology.  

“I’ve been thinking about voice technology for a while now,” said Tucker. “I used to be a skyscraper architect. One of the things we looked at was using voice in virtual reality. What struck me was how powerful voice is when you can create a transcript and add info to plans. That was sitting in my mind for ten years.” 

While working as director of innovation for ETRO Construction he found that despite being given digital solutions, workers still shared some information with their voices. 

“One of the biggest problems in site capture was just getting data into the site platform,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what solution is used, site workers hate data entry – but they talk a lot on site. They talk through walkie-talkies and between people. That is where the data is. It’s in their minds.” 

While working for Autodesk on how to integrate with BIM he suggested using voice AI but was told it was too big a risk. Instead, he was allowed to leave and pursue it on his own with Ventana Construction.

“They had been building their own management solutions for 20 years and had been talking about taking what they had to market,” said Tucker. “I told them about this voice idea and how simple it was to gather evidence and capture communications. They were into it and that was how it came together.”

The result was Level Bot Technologies, and they plan to release their communication and site documentation app this fall. Tucker explained that the app will be able to message others, gather data and fill out forms by just using one’s voice and chat bot technology. The app is flexible and can integrate with existing platforms many companies use, like Procore. 

He believes this could be especially useful for sites that have multiple languages being spoken. 

“What is awesome about natural language processing is that it can do translation on the fly in real time,” said Tucker. “If you have a form in English, any of the languages we support can distribute that information to the worker in their preferred language.”

Tucker said this could be used to ensure that critical safety information is relayed, understood and documented. The first two languages that the app will support are English and Spanish. Tucker says the app will see real beta testing on a site in a few months, but right now the team has only been testing singular features.

“The main thing about the app is that it is really simple, so messaging, answering forms and capturing evidence can all be done on any smartphone,” he said. 

Level Bot also wants to address one of the industry’s biggest issues: mental health.

“One of the biggest things we see happening is construction that is concerning is the mental health crisis,” said Tucker. “There’s lots of depression, high suicide rates. As of last year, it was more likely for you to commit suicide than to die from a work-related incident.” 

They are looking at partnering with health technology companies to develop a free questionnaire to assist in identifying workers who are struggling. Tucker noted that there is also promising research into how voice technology could be used to detect fatigue, depression and even some forms of cancer. 

“We want to keep the industry as healthy as we can and want to support unions and trades who are looking to do something about the mental health crisis,” said Tucker. “We won’t ever be a health provider but will enable this for builders with health provider partners.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Walters Group supplied and erected approximately 12,000 tons of structural steel and 1.07 million square feet of metal deck for the main tower and podium.
  • The building offers a total floor area of approximately 1.25 million square feet, over 12,000 square feet of retail space, a four-storey summit platform, and four levels of below-grade parking for 324 cars and bike storage for 507 bikes.
  • Construction completion is set for December 2023.

The Whole Story:

PCL just topped off a 47 storey project in downtown Toronto.

But this building has a twist. The design of Cadillac Fairview’s 160 Front Street West commercial office tower called for a curved steel beam to create a new and iconic addition to the city’s skyline.

“Constructing a steel office tower is unique in the Toronto market and we’re proud to have reached the top as we build Cadillac Fairview’s vision for their newest landmark building in Toronto, along with our talented construction and design partners.” said Monique Buckberger, vice president and district manager, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. “Placing the final steel beam is a significant milestone for all those involved. Thank you to the hundreds of men and women who have contributed to building this project with safety and quality top of mind.”

Unique Steel Structure

PCL explained that 160 Front Street West’s curved profile applies both form and function, offering a distinctive shape to the city’s skyline and functionality for wind resistance. Structural steel was used in conjunction with a concrete core to help evenly distribute the weight throughout the building, maximizing floor space. PCL noted that in addition to its durability, the use of structural steel allowed the tower to be built efficiently within the confines of a busy urban environment.

“We are proud to be a part of such an iconic project,” said Tim Verhey, executive vice president, engineering & operations, Walters Group. “Being brought into this team as a Design-Assist partner at the very early stages of the project was an incredibly rewarding experience. Having all stakeholders present to work through tough design challenges resulted in practical, cost-effective solutions that did not sacrifice architectural intent. Now that we’ve safely topped off, we extend our congratulations to CF, PCL and everyone involved in this project, and most importantly to the dedicated men and women ironworkers for safely reaching this milestone.”

Ironworkers pose with the final steel beam of Cadillac Fairview’s 160 Front Street West commercial office tower. – PCL

Concrete Beginnings

Following groundbreaking in 2019, the team demolished part of an existing six-story heritage building on site, while keeping its façade intact to incorporate into the new structure. A self-climbing formwork system was utilized to construct the tower’s concrete core, consisting of a top and bottom deck, two trailing decks and two levels that wrapped around the exterior of the core, enabling it to climb up the core as one unit. Completion of the above-grade concrete structure enabled the structural steel partners to move forward in completing the tower’s iconic crown.

To make sure that trade partners who were integral to the core completion were honored before leaving the project, PCL’s 160 Front Street West project team hosted a team barbecue in August, 2022. To commemorate this milestone, all workers received a photobook capturing the progress of the build.

“Our trade partners have been paramount in reaching this significant milestone,” said Ed Sceviour, PCL General Superintendent at the time. “As the concrete core phase of construction wrapped up, a large portion of the crew moved on to other projects, so the celebration was our small way of showing the team our gratitude for getting us to that point.”

With the steel structure topped off, the next steps for the build include finalizing the structure, removing the tower crane from the building that was primarily used for the structure, completing the building envelope, followed by interior finishes.

Construction completion is set for December 2023.

Topping-Off Tradition

PCL explained that topping-off is typically celebrated when a building reaches its maximum height. In the case of a steel structure, celebrating the placement of the last beam is considered a major milestone for ironworkers, the construction team, and owners involved erecting the building.

Traditionally, the final beam is signed by ironworkers and adorned with a small evergreen tree which is symbolic of the structure safely reaching the sky, along with good luck and prosperity for the new tenants of the building. The beam is also accompanied by a flag or banner representative of the workforce.

Beam Signing

Earlier in March, the beam was signed during an event hosted by Cadillac Fairview for future tenants TD Bank and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Representatives from PCL, Walters Group and consultants key to the steel program also signed the beam prior to placement.

“As long-standing collaborative team with PCL, we’re proud to mark this significant construction milestone of our newest landmark building in Toronto,” said Wayne Barwise, executive vice president, development, Cadillac Fairview. “This milestone brings us closer to opening this brand-new building that will further connect the downtown core and we’re proud to see this project come to life.”

Don’t have time to read through hundreds of pages of federal budget documents? No problem. SiteNews went through it and picked out some of the most interesting bits that you should know.

15. Tax credits

We all love paying less taxes, right? To encourage the transition to clean energy and emissions reductions, the budget is looking to leverage tax credits. The budget included several major ones: Clean Hydrogen Investment tax credit, Clean Electricity tax credit, and a tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage. All said, the credits at up to $55 billion. 

14. Labour requirements 

To be eligible for some of the highest tax credit rates, businesses must pay a total compensation package that equates to the prevailing wage. The definition of prevailing wage would be based on union compensation, including benefits and pension contributions from the most recent, widely applicable multi-employer collective bargaining agreement, or corresponding project labour agreements. Additionally, at least 10 per cent of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades. 

A Red Seal student practices their drilling. – Province of B.C.

13. Protecting procurement

Proposed procurement measures will include placing conditions on foreign suppliers’ participation in federally-funded infrastructure projects, applying strict reciprocity to federal procurement, and creating a preference program for Canadian small businesses. 

12. Employee ownership

The budget is proposing making Employee Ownership Trusts easier to create. Officials say that this would make selling the business to employees a more attractive proposition for owners looking to exit. An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is a form of employee ownership where a trust holds shares of a corporation for the benefit of the corporation’s employees.

11. Building a lunar vehicle 

This project is going straight to the moon. Canada is planning to provide $1.2 billion over 13 years to the Canadian Space Agency to develop and contribute a lunar utility vehicle to assist astronauts on the moon.

The Canadian Space Agency tests one of its lunar rovers. – Government of Canada

10. Strikes strengthened

Officials are looking to table amendments to the Canada Labour Code this year that would prohibit the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout, and improve the process to review activities that must be maintained to ensure the health and safety of the public during a work stoppage. 

9. Pregnancy loss leave

Officials are looking to expand support for grieving parents. Budget 2023 would amend the Canada Labour Code to create a new stand-alone leave for workers in federally regulated sectors who experience a pregnancy loss.

8. Program review

How we train youth for careers is going under the microscope. The budget introduced cross-government program effectiveness reviews, to be led by the President of the Treasury Board. The first review will examine skills training and youth programming, to determine, by the next budget, whether improvements can be made to help more Canadians develop the skills and receive the work experience they need to have successful careers.

7. Indigenous loans for equity

Budget 2023 announces that the Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide loans to Indigenous communities to support them in purchasing equity stakes in infrastructure projects in which the Bank is also investing. These loans will be sourced from the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s existing funding envelope.

The Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre in northwestern Saskatchewan is Canada’s first Indigenous-owned bioenergy facility. – The Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC)

6. Reinforcing supply chains

Ottawa plans to spend $27.2 million to establish a Transportation Supply Chain Office, and $25 million to develop useful transportation supply chain data. Officials also want to compel data sharing by shippers accessing federally regulated transportation services, and increase rail and shipping competition. 

5. National Supply Chain Strategy

The budget noted that the country’s strategy is just months away from being completed. Plans for the strategy were announced last October. The strategy will be shaped by by the National Supply Chain Task Force. The Government of Canada has established an online portal for suggestions on how it can improve its supply chain performance.

4. Improving approvals 

Officials have committed to outline a concrete plan to improve the efficiency of the impact assessment and permitting processes for major projects by the end of the year.  This will include clarifying and reducing timelines, mitigating inefficiencies, and improving engagement and partnerships. 

3. Money for tools

Have your eye on a new drill or saw? To help tradespeople invest in the equipment they need, Ottawa wants to double the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000. This change would take effect for the 2023 taxation year.

2. Work-Sharing Program

The budget is asking for $5.4 million to give the Work-Sharing Program a boost. The program helps avoid layoffs during temporary decreases in business activity by providing income support through the Employment Insurance program to eligible employees who work a reduced week while their employer recovers. This means that employees can keep their jobs and continue earning income, while their employer retains skilled workers without having to hire someone new when business picks up. 

1. Redeveloping the Bonaventure Expressway

This was one of the few projects specifically highlighted in the budget. Officials plan to spend $47.8 million over nine years, with $225.5 million in remaining amortization, with Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated for the redevelopment of the federal portion of Montreal’s Bonaventure Expressway into an urban boulevard. The budget also proposes to provide $576.1 million to help operate, maintain, and repair infrastructure in the Greater Montreal Area.

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge lights up the sky in Quebec at night.

TransLink and PCI Developments (PCI) are announcing a new partnership to build a proposed mixed-used development near the future Arbutus SkyTrain Station, on West Broadway and Arbutus.

Located next to the future terminus of the Broadway Subway, an incoming bus loop, and the Arbutus Greenway mixed-use walking and cycling path – this is the first development under TransLink’s Real Estate Development Program

Officials say the transit-oriented development will improve people’s access to sustainable transportation options, generate new long-term funding for transit services, and provide much-needed housing options.

“This partnership will help us build a new transit-oriented community, where people can more easily take transit, walk, or cycle,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “This program will generate much-needed long-term revenue to expand and improve vital transit services, while aligning with local and provincial government goals to increase housing supply.”

TransLink and PCI own adjacent plots of land on the southeast corner of Arbutus and Broadway and have entered an equal development partnership. The proposed development would include:

  • 30 storeys of mixed-use residential and commercial space
  • Street-level retail and over 200 residential rental units, 20 per cent of which will be rented at below market rates and secured for moderate-income households
  • Community space that will serve as the future home of the Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel, a Jewish cultural, education, and neighbourhood centre

“We are honoured to be partnering with TransLink on this significant transit-oriented, mixed-use development,” said PCI Developments president Tim Grant. “We are similarly excited about partnering with The Kollel in delivering their new community and worship premises – all in conjunction with desperately needed market and below-market rental housing in a sustainable development adjacent to Arbutus Station and the Arbutus Greenway.”

The federal budget is looking to create a cleaner economy as Canada looks to meet aggressive climate targets.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the 255-page budget which forecasts a $40.1 billion deficit for 2023-24. The SiteNews team read through the documents and picked out everything that is relevant for the construction industry.

Going green

The Canada Infrastructure Bank plans to invest at least $10 billion through its Clean Power priority area, and at least $10 billion through its Green Infrastructure priority area. This will allow the Canada Infrastructure Bank to invest at least $20 billion to support the building of major clean electricity and clean growth infrastructure projects. 

Ottawa is looking to expand tax credits for investments in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). It would include dual use heat and/or power equipment and water use equipment, with tax support prorated in proportion to the use of energy or material in the carbon capture, utilization, and storage process. In addition to Saskatchewan and Alberta, credits would be available to projects that store CO2 using dedicated geological storage in B.C. Officials would require projects storing CO2 in concrete to have their concrete storage process validated by a third-party based on an ISO standard prior to claiming the investment tax credit.

The budget proposes to provide $500 million over ten years to the Strategic Innovation Fund to support the development and application of clean technologies in Canada. The Strategic Innovation Fund will also direct up to $1.5 billion of its existing resources towards projects in sectors including clean technologies, critical minerals, and industrial transformation.

The federal government announced the details of the Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit. Levels of support will vary between 15 and 40 per cent of eligible project costs, with the projects that produce the cleanest hydrogen receiving the highest levels of support. The program will extend a 15 per cent tax credit to equipment needed to convert hydrogen into ammonia, in order to transport the hydrogen. The tax credit will only be available to the extent the ammonia production is associated with the production of clean hydrogen.

Workers create hydrogen fuel cells at a facility in B.C. – Province of B.C.

Supply chains

Supply issues have been one of the top concerns for the construction sector since the beginning of the pandemic. While Ottawa has yet to release its National Supply Chain Strategy, officials are proposing millions to bolster the system. 

Budget 2023 would allocate $27.2 million over five years to Transport Canada to establish a Transportation Supply Chain Office to work with industry and other orders of government to respond to disruptions and better coordinate action to increase the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of supply chain infrastructure.

$25 million over five years would go to Transport Canada to work with Statistics Canada to develop transportation supply chain data that will help reduce congestion, make our supply chains more efficient, and inform future infrastructure planning. This measure will be advanced using existing Transport Canada resources. 

Officials plan to introduce amendments to the Canada Transportation Act to provide the minister of transport with the authority to compel data sharing by shippers accessing federally regulated transportation services.

They also want to introduce amendments to the Canada Transportation Act for a temporary extension, on a pilot basis, of the interswitching limit in the prairie provinces to strengthen rail competition and launch a review of the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act to improve marine shipping competition. 

The budget called these measures are a “down payment on Canada’s National Supply Chain Strategy” which is expected to be released in the coming months. 

Elsewhere in the budget, officials focused specifically on rail, proposing to provide $210.0 million over five years, with $117.4 million in remaining amortization, to VIA Rail to conduct maintenance on its trains on routes outside the Québec City– Windsor Corridor and to maintain levels of service across its network.

The MV Algoma Discovery docks at the Port of Toronto. – PortsToronto)

Indigenous participation

The budget states that more effort must be made to include Indigenous people in consultation on major projects and they should have more opportunities to benefit from such projects. 

The budget would allocate $19.4 million over five years to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada for the Northern Participant Funding Program. The funds would be used to increase the participation of Indigenous Peoples and other Northerners in environmental and regulatory assessments of major projects. $1.6 million would go to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency for the Northern Projects Management Office to increase capacity for federal participation in environmental assessments and consultation with Indigenous communities on major projects in the territories. 

The budget also calls for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide loans to Indigenous communities to support them in purchasing equity stakes in infrastructure projects in which the bank is also investing. These loans will be sourced from the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s existing funding envelope.


Need tools? Ottawa wants to double the employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses  from $500 to $1,000. 

Officials also intend to introduce tax changes to facilitate the creation of Employee Ownership Trusts. They believe this would make selling the business to employees a more attractive proposition for owners looking for an exit. 

The budget would provide additional $625 million in the Labour Market Transfer Agreements to ensure Canadians continue to have access to the supports they need to get their next job. 

To ensure the success of the Work Sharing program, the budget would provide Employment and Social Development Canada with $5.4 million over three years. The Work-Sharing Program helps avoid layoffs during temporary decreases in business activity by providing income support through the Employment Insurance program to eligible employees who work a reduced week while their employer recovers.

Officials are proposing labour requirements for the Clean Technology and Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credits. To be eligible for the highest tax credit rates, businesses must pay a total compensation package that equates to the prevailing wage. Additionally, at least ten per cent of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades. 

The government also intends to apply labour requirements related to the prevailing wage and hours worked by registered apprentices to the Investment Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage, and the Investment Tax Credit for Clean Electricity. Further details will be provided at a later date. In all cases, the requirements would begin on Oct. 1

The budget would change the way strikes work. Officials plan to table amendments to the Canada Labour Code this year that would prohibit the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout, and improve the process to review activities that must be maintained to ensure the health and safety of the public during a work stoppage. 

Quebec transit 

One of the few projects specifically highlighted by the budget was renewing the Bonaventure Expressway. Officials are looking to spend $47.8 million over nine years with $225.5 million in remaining amortization, with Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated to redevelop the federal portion of the Bonaventure Expressway into an urban boulevard. Budget 2023 also proposes to providing $576.1 million over five years, with $192.3 million in remaining amortization, to operate, maintain, and repair infrastructure in the Greater Montreal Area.

Lights brighten the sky over Montreal.

Procurement measures

The government plans to undertake targeted engagement with provinces and territories, industry stakeholders, and workers and unions on “concrete reciprocal procurement measures”. The proposed measures will include placing conditions on foreign suppliers’ participation in federally-funded infrastructure projects, applying strict reciprocity to federal procurement, and creating a preference program for Canadian small businesses.

Vancouver is emerging as one of Canada’s most innovative cities. In 2021, the B.C. government invested more than $700 million in its technology and innovation sectors, helping to acquire top talent, allowing start-ups to grow and providing the necessary infrastructure for communities to participate in technology and innovation; it’s this type of investment that has allowed the life sciences community in B.C. to prosper. 

In 2020, B.C.’s life sciences industry raised more than $2 billion in market capital, and now, the province is home to the fastest-growing life sciences sector in Canada. Educational centers, like the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia, are contributing to this growing industry by developing innovative thinkers to further the industry. 

At Low Tide Properties (Low Tide), one of the city’s largest landlords of technically complex life science buildings, we recognize that this growth is continuing, especially in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats, as this area has become the perfect ecosystem for the life sciences industry. With the new St. Paul’s Hospital, research centers, purpose-built labs, education and learning opportunities, this region has all the ingredients to become the country’s top health science hub. 

The development of the False Creek Flats

The False Creek Flats will play a vital role in the region’s economy, providing an exciting opportunity for the life sciences industry and the City of Vancouver. Home to what will be the new St. Paul’s Hospital, set to be completed by 2026, the area will be anchored by this world class facility, attracting a robust portfolio of health science talent. This region is also becoming more accessible with the introduction of rapid transit made possible through the extended Broadway Subway Project. In more recent years, the False Creek Flats has already started to draw in innovative thinkers through the Emily Carr Campus, the Center for Digital Media, the Vancouver Community College expansion, and the new Electronic Arts office. As this area continues to grow in creativity, innovation, and life science development, it’s critical to provide enough infrastructure to house all these opportunities.   

Adding to the momentum and keeping top talent

As Vancouver’s life sciences hub continues to expand, it’s important that developers and landlords build and manage projects that will successfully support and facilitate growth within this community. Converting available office space to life science space will not be enough to move the ecosystem forward in a meaningful way. These companies need space that is purpose-designed with functionality to their technical needs as the first consideration.

Expected to be completed by mid-2026, Lab 29 will provide a new opportunity for life science tenants within the False Creek Flats. Purposefully built with critical infrastructure to make the building as functional as possible, Lab 29 will incorporate key life science design considerations, including increased floor-loads, 15-foot ceiling heights, high load/capacity freight elevators, double-wide corridors and access doors for easy materials movement, and full backup power integrated into the building systems. These considerations will allow tenants to continue developing new innovations with minimal interruptions or roadblocks. While functionality for life science use is at the forefront of the design, Lab 29 will also include sought-after amenities that will appeal to tenants and their employees. A 10,000-square-foot rooftop sky garden, 6,000 square feet of ground-floor food service and retail space,1,300 square feet of rooftop conference space and a 2,500-square-foot gym will entice and support the growth of innovative companies within the life sciences industry.

A unique hub, and an essential part of our growing economy 

Compared to other key life science hubs in Canada, the False Creek Flats has the unique advantage of not only becoming a workplace hub, but also a well-rounded community with diverse amenities, modern, rapid transit, residential areas, and beautiful views. As the third largest life sciences community in Canada, the False Creek Flats also provides the opportunity for this industry to continue to grow through the False Creek Flats Plan, which will create 8,000 to 30,000 new jobs, support existing programs, help develop key infrastructure, and ultimately contribute positively to the city’s economy.

With the development of the False Creek Flats through key initiatives like St.Paul’s Hospital, the Broadway Subway Project, and Lab 29, the region is cementing itself as an emerging leader in the growth of health science innovations. It’s time we celebrate this, and put Vancouver and its booming life sciences industry on the map. 

What does it take to grow a company from nothing into something in today’s competitive construction market?

These three companies have it in spades. SiteNews sat down with leaders from ETRO Construction, Tahltan Nation Development Corporation, and Inferno Solar to see what their keys to success are and what their journeys have been like.

Inferno Solar

Inferno Solar president Curtis Craig was green from the start.

He was raised in Alberta with an appreciation for the land, visiting grandparent’s farm every week. They grew just about everything that would in the prairies: peas, carrots, potatoes, dill, strawberries and more.

“One thing my grandpa did that always stuck with me, is that he was a steward of the land,” Craig said. “There was land he farmed and land he voluntarily set aside for recreation so people in the community could use it for free. Those things were important in shaping who I am and what I value and gave me an appreciation for the environment.”

After high school, Craig’s father got him a job sweeping floors and doing general labour on construction sites. 

“It clicked for me and I progressed rapidly in that role to being a siding installer by the end of the summer,” said Craig. “It felt like a big change for me. I had found something I liked and I was good at.”

Craig was soon able to line up an electrician apprenticeship, which he enjoyed even more. His hard work and aptitude propelled him forward and at 21 he had apprentices of his own that were decades older. When Craig began to plan his next career move, a carpenter and civil engineer steered him towards engineering. He applied to the University of Calgary and was accepted. 

“It was not a really enjoyable time. It was a really difficult program and a pretty hellish time but after coming out, I realized he had been right,” he said. 

After school he worked for an electrical consulting company. While doing his day job he always kept his eye out for other opportunities on the side to get experience. He got into designing solar systems for schools and became a subject matter expert at the firm. 

“I dove in wholeheartedly and did a pack of three schools with solar on them,” he said. “I also had set up a corporation to do consulting or start my own business. A family friend had presented an opportunity to put solar on a Telus project but I would likely have to quit my day job or work evenings and weekends. I felt that I couldn’t advance as quickly as I would like at the engineering firm.” 

So Craig went for it and quit his job.  

“I thought ‘to hell with it’,” he said. “Renewable energy, generating power, living a sustainable life, leaving the planet better than I found it – it was a cool opportunity. I quit my job, got my business license.” 

The move has since grown into Inferno Solar, a turn-key approach to solar systems that includes everything from project management, design, and engineering, to procurement, construction, and installation.

“It has stretched me personally and professionally and I have grown in ways I never expected,” said Craig. “It’s exciting and we are starting to see the fruits of our labour.” 

He explained that while Inferno has focused on rooftops,  the solar sector, more broadly, is taking off right now with ground mounted work. This is because that is where the energy is needed at the end of the day, without the need for additional transmission infrastructure, and it’s where Inferno’s expertise is as commercial electricians and commercial electrical engineers. 

Inferno Solar says it has found a niche in rooftop solar projects. – Inferno

“Plus it looks terrific and lowers operating costs,” he said, adding that Alberta also has an open mind when it comes to power. “Anybody that wants to generate power can do so. We are ground zero for power purchase agreements for companies that want renewable energy because, as far as I know, we are the only jurisdiction that allows these big deals.” 

Labatt Brewing, for example, is procuring all their electricity through clean energy. RBC, Amazon, Microsoft and Telus all have power purchase agreements for solar. 

Craig added that there is also very favourable legislation around generators large enough to match loads on these sites. Crews can build up to 5,000 kilowatts of solar on a site. 

“While B.C. allows you to do this, you can’t export,” he said. “Saskatchewan is similar and they have less red tape to do larger scale solar projects. Saskatchewan is very limited in their appetite for rooftop solar and as very restrictive on what can be installed, and protective of their market.”

Craig noted that this reduction in red tape has resulted in billions of dollars in solar investment in Alberta. To take advantage of this boom, Inferno has found its own niche. 

“There are guys out there that do panels on top of piles in farmland to connect to a grid,” he said. “That’s good to a point. But what about getting energy where people need it? If I’m a company with 50 fleet vehicles and I want them all EV, why can’t I generate power right where I need it and charge my vehicles?”

Craig explained that this opens the door to Inferno’s  third product, battery storage. He believes that the sector is close to a point where on-site solar and on-site EV charge and on-site battery storage will have such an economic benefit to a business that it would be foolish not to do it. 

Last fall, Exro Technologies Inc., a clean technology company that has developed new generation power control electronics, announced a strategic development and distribution agreement with Inferno. They plan to work together to bring economical battery storage to Western Canada. 

Craig believes a major part of Inferno’s success has been its people, speed and expertise. 

“We have some great people and all of us are aligned on values and mission,” he said. “Our values are do what you say, stand by your word, give a price and know the scope. We say that we are the experts so the price shouldn’t change. Not once have we asked for a change order on a solar contract.”

Tahltan Nation

Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) was founded in 1985 by Tahltan Nation leaders to be the business arm of their community. The Nation wanted to ensure the Tahltan Nation benefits from the economic activities and development occurring within Tahltan Territory and to provide employment, training, and contracting opportunities to Tahltan members.  

Today it is one of the biggest Indigenous businesses in B.C. 

Early on, major mining projects helped propel it forward. Between 1990 and 2008, TNDC and its JV partners secured more than $200 million in contracts at the Eskay Mine with Homestake Mining, North American Metals, and Barrick Gold. Between 2007 and 2009, TNDC established additional joint ventures to secure contracts on Novagold’s Galore Creek project and provide employment opportunities for Tahltans.

From its roots in residential construction, TNDC’s services have expanded to heavy construction, earthworks, camp services, air support, aviation, forestry, transportation, and fibre-optic communications services. To achieve this expansion, TNDC has partnered with more than 20 industry leaders.

“This enables us to combine our respective strengths and capabilities, benefitting TNDC, our partners and our clients,” said corporation officials. “With each achievement, TNDC and our employees gained experience, grew our reputation, and built our equipment fleet.” 

In recent years, new TNDC ventures like the Airport Services division, the Fibre Optics Division and Forestry Division, are providing new revenue streams as well as year-round employment and emerging career opportunities for local Tahltans.  While TNDC continues to diversify its business, exploration and mining remain the primary industry it serves, and heavy construction and camp services are its core operations.

TNDC crews work at the Red Chris mine in B.C.

Recently, TNDC and its partners have been helping to advance Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project and Skeena Resources’ Eskay Creek Revitalization Project. Its largest client is Newcrest Mining Limited, which operates the Brucejack and Red Chris mines. At the Brucejack Mine, TNDC is delivering underground tunnel development, ground support and production services. 

Together with its partners, the scope of services TNDC is providing at Red Chris includes crew transportation by air charter and highway coach, camp services, tailings impoundment area construction, underground mining portal exploration, underground explosives, geotechnical and exploration drilling, and concentrate hauling.

In 2021, TNDC began operating the Dease Lake Airport, responsible for inspections, maintenance, and ongoing operations. TNDC is serving mining charter and medevac flights, providing air freight bulk diesel sales to exploration companies, and established a heli-base to operators needing local logistical help.

As the business arm of the Tahltan Nation, TNDC is owned by its shareholders – Iskut Band, Tahltan Band, and Tahltan Central Government. A portion of profits are returned to the shareholders through annual dividends for initiatives to benefit Tahltan members.

TNDC also provides community donations, hosts an annual Christmas Party, and provides equipment services in-kind. The other significant contribution is employment and training opportunities for Tahltan members and Tahltan-owned businesses. 

Going forward, TNDC said it wants to focus on people, partners and clients. 

“We are implementing strategies to attract, retain and develop the talent we need and investing in our people through training, development and mentorship, helping our employees grow their careers, and into leadership roles,” said officials.   

A key goal in 2023 is achieving WorkSafe BC Certificate of Recognition (COR), a voluntary and coveted benchmark of corporate health and safety excellence.

Another key goal is to be the Indigenous partner of choice to clients and business partners. The company explained that working with tier 1 mining companies requires TNDC to have tier 1 practices, processes and governance across every area of the business. 

Collaboration will continue to be an important strategy to help drive TNDC’s growth. 

“TNDC’s goal is to be an integrated full-service provider and trusted partner to clients,” said officials. “TNDC brings value to our clients with local knowledge, operations, personnel, and equipment. But to secure new contract opportunities and expand our capabilities, we have partnered with several providers who are leaders in their sectors.”

One area of opportunity in mining is the implementation of advanced technologies like equipment automation, digital tools, and battery powered equipment in operations. TNDC’s new partnership with Swedish multinational engineering company Sandvik will be at the forefront of bringing these innovations to the sector. 

“TNDC’s future is incredibly bright. TNDC is on a transitional journey from a small community-owned business into a sophisticated powerhouse Indigenous business that is charting a new course to long-term growth, prosperity and new opportunities for the Tahltan Nation,” said Carol Danielson, chair of its board of directors. “TNDC has the right leadership and strategy in place to ensure its long-term sustainability for generations to come. Working together as one team and in collaboration with our clients, partners, employees and shareholders, TNDC will achieve its goal to be the Indigenous Business Partner of Choice.”

ETRO Construction

When Mike Maierle started at Ledcor as a junior estimator he was just 19 years old.

He worked his way up in the Vancouver office and moved to the Bahamas to run a major airport project for the company. 

His time there was a turning point that sent his career in a completely different direction. 

“Down there I got a case for being independent,” he said. “I was left alone in some ways with a lot of autonomy. It opened my eyes to maybe trying something on my own.”

He got home and reacquainted himself with the Vancouver market for several years as director of pre-construction. Opportunities were ahead of him.

“My career was whatever I wanted it to be, maybe even president, but that didn’t interest me,” he said. “It meant taking over a cruise line versus starting my own little ship that could be more dynamic. Ledcor is an amazing company but it was changing from the company I started at. I wanted a small, dynamic organization that could change quickly without navigating the corporate world.”  

On Canada Day in 2015 he woke up and put in his notice, shocking the company. 90 days later, he was starting ETRO in his basement doing one small project with his friends. 

“For the first few months I delivered lumber, I was site superintendent, the accounting clerk – I wore all hats,” he said.  “I got on the phone and started to see who had opportunities and as those opportunities came my way, we slowly started to build out the team.”

One of ETRO’s earliest employees was director of construction Dan Chyzowski who spent time with Maierle working on Ledcor’s airport project in the Bahamas.

“When Mike started it was really under this vision of building stuff differently with a focus and foundation of people, leveraging technology, and automating what you can so we can focus on building relationships,” said Chyzowski. “We’re tired of saying ‘this is how we have always done it’ and we are focused on finding newer, better, more sustainable ways to build projects and building a team of like-minded people. I think that’s really at the foundation of growth.”

The next year, ETRO had eight employees and enough small projects to get things rolling. This freed up Maierle to focusing on growing the businesses and developing its own way of doing things. He had to prove to the industry that his success in the past wasn’t just because he was at a large, sophisticated company. This meant going from doing billion dollar projects to one’s well under a million dollars. 

And early on, Maierle wanted to make sure the small company could implement structures and processes that would contribute to employee success. 

Each new project proved themselves a little more and led to more projects. Their first few residential projects led to a large credit union project north of $50 million with PCI. This led to a major retrofit in English Bay and then the complex 411 Railway project. They also were tapped to do a series of challenging specialty projects at Parq Vancouver which earned ETRO a Gold Award from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA).

“So many projects led to the next one and today we are in a position where we have dozens of projects in front of us,” said Maierle. “We have the trust of the market and compete with the big guys now.”

ETRO has almost 100 people, $350 million in work underway and more than $300 million in backlog. 

“We have gone from using a folding table at work to one of the top general contractors in Vancouver,” he said.  

A major part of this growth has been forging strong relationships with owners, partners and trade partners. Maierle added that ETRO’s story and culture has also contributed, attracting talent. He praised ETRO’s pre-construction and planning department, which is so good that clients will pay more for it. 

“We are very open and transparent about our story, showing people what we are up to and talking about it,” said Maierle. 

An ETRO employee checks the ETRO Milestone App. – ETRO

And he believes the company is only partially done evolving. 

“We are evaluating every aspect of our business and how it can be exceptional. There is no status quo. There is no process that isn’t evaluated regularly.” 

To stay on top of projects, ETRO created its own application for milestone tracking. It features a dashboard that identifies where projects are in the schedule and if they are falling behind. This dashboard is displayed prominently in the office for transparency and so issues can be found early. It was so successful it earned them a Groundbreaker awards from Procore Technologies.

“It’s all about simplification,” explained ETRO’s strategic initiatives manager Karina Delcourt. “ETRO has an enormous amount of data.”

She has a myriad of projects underway to streamline systems and connect the team. 

“We need to reduce the amount of work we do to get a project done, so can we simplify meetings or the time needed to produce reports by automating it? That’s what we are looking at. We need to grow and scale but there’s a labour shortage so we can’t just hire everyone. So we have to do more with less people.” 

The strategy going forward is to execute projects with discipline, attract incredible talent and look at better ways to build. 

“Whatever projects others think are too hard or challenging, let’s focus on being the builder of choice for those and focus on supporting our primary client base. We don’t have a business development department. We have amazing relationships that we nurture and treat well. This creates a good pipeline and as we have grown they have allowed us to take on larger projects in that pipeline.” 

Key Takeaways:

  • B.C. Real Estate Association say 25% more homes need to built above historical averages to impact prices. 
  • The association argued that population increases, rather than foreign buyers, will have the most impact on affordability in the coming years. 
  • The federal government recently relaxed restrictions on foreign buyers. 

The Whole Story

Realtors in B.C. are warning that home completions need to increase massively for affordability to be achieved. 

A new report from the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) found that new home completions in B.C. need to increase 25 per cent above their historical average level for the next five years to fully offset the deterioration of housing affordability. This would require a record level of about 43,000 completions per year.

According to the latest Market Intelligence report from the association, two significant federal government policies – the Foreign Buyers Ban and record-high immigration targets – will shape housing demand in BC over the next three years.

The association said it found weak evidence that Canada’s Foreign Buyers Ban will achieve its objective of lowering home prices, with an estimated reduction in home sales of 2,400 units in BC over the two-year ban.

The report noted that B.C. will welcome an estimated 217,500 new permanent residents from 2023 to 2025 or 100,500 more new permanent residents than would be expected based on historical average immigration levels. This translates to a 20,500-unit increase in housing demand from new permanent residents.

Impact of immigration

The association added that the demand impact of the increase in immigration is approximately five times as large as the Foreign Buyers Ban and is estimated to place significant upward pressure on home prices. 

“Lowering price growth so that income growth can catch up to prices is integral to improving housing affordability in BC,” says Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA chief economist. “In our simulations, an appropriate supply response can offset the negative impact on affordability from an immigration-driven demand shock and if sustained, can achieve a permanent improvement in affordability in BC.”  

Ogmundson explained that it is essential to create policies and programs that support and welcome immigrants while addressing the consequent pressures on an already stressed housing market.

“To ease the pressure on the housing market that arises from sudden changes in housing demand, governments can take steps to increase housing supply,” he said. “This can include zoning changes to allow for more housing construction, increasing funding for affordable housing programs, and providing incentives for developers to build more housing units.”

Only recently has the government started tracking foreign home buying. The Canadian Housing Statistics Program shows that non-residents only own about two to six per cent of Canadian residential properties in 2020.

Foreign buyer changes

The federal government recently announced revisions to foreign buyer restrictions including:

  • Enabling more work permit holders to purchase a home to live in while working in Canada. 
  • Repealing existing provision so the prohibition doesn’t apply to vacant land. 
  • Adding exceptions for foreign home developers.
  • Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%.

“To provide greater flexibility to newcomers and businesses seeking to contribute to Canada, the Government of Canada is making important amendments to the Act’s Regulations,” said Ahmed Hussen, minister of housing and diversity and inclusion. “These amendments will allow newcomers to put down roots in Canada through home ownership and businesses to create jobs and build homes by adding to the housing supply in Canadian cities. These amendments strike the right balance in ensuring that housing is used to house those living in Canada, rather than a speculative investment by foreign investors.”

The province of B.C. announced that two teams have advanced to the next stage of procurement to design and build stations for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain.

The teams that have been invited to participate in the RFP stage are:

South Fraser Station partners

Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc.

Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc.

Pomerleau BC Inc.

AECOM Canada Ltd.

SkyLink stations partners

Dragados Canada, Inc.

Ledcor Construction Investments Ltd.

SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies Inc.

IBI Group Architects (Canada) Inc.

The work also includes constructing cycling and walking paths around the new stations. The province anticipates the preferred proponent will be announced in early 2024.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is a 16-kilometre extension of the Expo Line from King George Station to Langley City Centre, the first rapid transit expansion south of the Fraser River in 30 years.

Once complete, the project will provide transportation for people in Surrey, Langley and across Metro Vancouver. Major construction on the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is expected to begin in 2024.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is being delivered through three separate contracts. On Jan. 3, 2023, the RFP for the first contract, which includes the elevated guideway, roadworks and utilities, and active transportation paths along the extension, was issued to two shortlisted teams. The contract award is expected in late 2023.

The third contract, for the design and installation of SkyTrain track work as well as the design, installation, and integration of electrical systems is in the RFQ stage. The list of shortlisted firms to advance to the RFP stage will be announced later this spring.

Surrey Langley SkyTrain station renderings:

Adam Drake has left his role as estimator at Orion Construction after more than four years. Drake announced that after over 20 years in the Lower Mainland construction industry the time has come for him to leave and start down a new path. 

Morgan McDonald has started a new role at Ledcor as director, corporate sustainability, covering all of Ledcor’s many lines of business. Morgan has over 20 years of experience with a background in renewable energy, carbon finance, and sustainability education. Morgan was a past B.C. chapter chair and national director with the Canada Green Building Council. He is also a Juno award-winning musician.

Tia Kjartanson, Tracey Hill, Tony Rodgers and Guy Bellis are new members on the board of directors for The Alberta Construction Safety Association. The association is an independent not-for-profit association governed by the board. The board is composed of members from Alberta’s construction industry. As the largest safety association in the province, it serves more than 55,500 members.

Jeff Provost has left his position as indigenous business relations manager at Bird Construction. Provost stated the he enjoyed the wise counsel and teachings of the many Elders he got to meet met, overseeing Indigenous Cultural Awareness training for 5,000 team members, developing the Bird Walk for Reconciliation that united 19 offices across Canada with one purpose, Truth and Reconciliation day, and managing the erection of a totem pole carved from a 1,000 year old tree that was gifted to Treaty 1.

“For these and many other memories, I say ‘meegwetch’ to everyone,” wrote Provost. “Stay tuned for my next adventure!”

Dani Ferenc has joined Essence Properties as the vice president of construction. Ferenc has over 20 years of industry experience, having managed projects throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. She is an Instructor and sits on the program advisory committee at BCIT School of Construction and the Environment, as well as president and co-founder of NEST Projects Foundation – Canadian Charity, a charity that aims to reduce barriers to education for children.

Brendan Nobes is returning for a second year as chair of the Canadian Construction Association’s board of directors. Nobes has spent more than 35 years in the industry. He is the director of major projects for rcs Construction, a general contracting firm building landmark projects throughout Atlantic Canada. In the coming year the CCA plans to continue its focus on building workforce capacity, advancing fair procurement and a long-term infrastructure plan, including trade-enabling infrastructure, while strengthening the bonds between CCA and partner associations.

David Redfern, CEO of Lafarge Canada (Eastern Canada operations), will serve as the chair of our board of directors for the Cement Association of Canada.

Redfern joined the association’s board in 2019 and will serve as chair for a two-year term. He has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the construction materials industry, both in Canada and globally. The association noted that Redfern will take over the role at a critical time in the cement and concrete industry’s history, as it seeks to accelerate implementation of its Net-Zero Action plan.

“I look forward to working together with our members and allies as we continue to promote and advance cement and concrete as key building materials to create thriving, sustainable, climate-resilient communities across Canada,” said Redfern in his announcement.  

Andy Baines, a real estate developer and investor, has joined Matthews West, the group partnered with the Squamish Nation to develop the Oceanfront Squamish and Cheekeye River projects. Collectively, these projects account for 3,725 new housing units and roughly 400 acres of commercial land.

Victoria Mancinelli has been awarded the 2023 Women of Distinction Award by Hamilton YWCA for tirelessly advocating for women and racialized people in the skilled trades. Through her work as the director public relations, marketing, and strategic partnerships at the Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA), she has helped to ensure that women have the support they need as they navigate a male-dominated industry.

Mingyuk Chen is Intelligent City’s new associate director of projects. The group noted that  with her extensive experience in mass timber construction, at Intelligent City, Mingyuk leads projects through all phases of design and execution.

Tim Loch has been appointed by Avison Young as their new principal and senior vice president and practice leader of  investment valuation and advisory services in Canada. The firm noted that for more than a decade, Loch has been delivering exceptional service to clients, creating value for some of the largest institutions in the country. Loch will be responsible for helping clients reach their goals with their real estate portfolio. 

Marnie Williams has been promoted to director of project services (Alberta) at RAM. Williams is a certified manager of quality/organizational excellence (CMQ/OE) from the American Society for Quality and has extensive construction experience specifically relating to quality management. Williams formerly held the role of senior manager, quality & inspections, overseeing RAM’s growing team in B.C.

Mia Papasotiriou has been hired as an estimator at Bird Construction. Papasotiriou has worked on jobs within the residential, commercial, healthcare, light industrial, and institutional sectors – experiencing projects through both trade and general contracting perspectives. Papasotiriou explained that she has gained a plethora of skills in her prior positions that have pushed her forward into this role.

Whitney White has started a new role as assistant marketing manager at Turner Construction Company. Prior to this, she was a marketing specialist at the company. Some of her specialties include writing, editing, creating unique marketing materials and photojournalism.

*Editors note: do you have a hiring, promotion or retirement announcement you want to make? Let us know at hello@readsitenews.comBe the first to get People Moves by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Canada’s economy and its future prosperity are in jeopardy, no thanks to the federal Impact Assessment Act or Bill C-69. Even with a global energy crisis and the world pleading for Canada’s responsibly and sustainably produced natural resources, Canada, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is on track to have the worst performing economy of the G20 over the next ten years.  Perhaps this dismal forecast reflects the regulatory uncertainty, increased red tape, and resource opposition codified in Bill C-69.  Most disturbingly, as a country, we can no longer make the promise that the next generation will be better off than we are—unless things change significantly.

That is why our organizations – the Alberta Enterprise Group and ICBA Alberta – are in the Supreme Court of Canada, supporting the Government of Alberta and almost all other provinces and territories in their fight against the federal government’s Impact Assessment Act. Canada was already struggling to approve resource development projects before 2019 when the Act came into force; now it is even worse.  

This is most apparent in the case of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The USA and Canada stood together on the starting line in 2013, both considering how to launch an LNG industry in their respective countries. A decade later, the USA now stands as the largest exporter of LNG in the world, while Canada remains at least two years away from exporting any measurable volume of LNG. In the time Canada took to approve and build one LNG export facility – LNG Canada in Kitimat, B.C. – the United States approved and built seven LNG export facilities and has five more under construction with an additional fifteen approved. 

Canada has done such a thorough job of saying “no” and turning away capital and talent through regulatory uncertainty, red tape, and resource opposition—$150 billion in cancelled energy projects alone since 2017—that two years ago, the World Bank ranked Canada 64th in the world in the time it takes to approve a major construction project. Furthermore, in Canada, in every year since 2014, outbound investment has exceeded inbound investment.  This has had a very negative impact on small and medium sized businesses—including our members—who provide goods and services required by major projects. 

What precisely is it about the federal Impact Assessment Act that discourages capital investment and resource development?

The federal Impact Assessment Act or Bill C-69 replaced a streamlined National Energy Board with the bureaucratic multi-layered Canada Energy Regulator (CER), and the narrow-scoped Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with the broad-scoped Impact Assessment Agency. In addition, the Act essentiallyinstitutionalizes jurisdictional duplication and red tape. For example, a project may have to go through both a provincial review as well as a federal assessment; time limits for review may be suspended at the discretion of the CER, while stakeholder participation is expanded – meaning one no longer needs to be directly affected by a project or even be in the affected provinces to participate in the process. These changes, along with expanded discretionary practices, makes the major project approval process both vague and uncertain, in terms of the criteria to be applied and the time it will take to get a decision. 

Investors can be forgiven for thinking that Canada is focused on entrenching regulatory gridlock with the never-ending demands it places on project proponents. Thus, for investors, the risks are too high and the uncertainty too great; meaning, Canada is a bad prospect for investment. 

Canada’s long-term prosperity is at risk if investments are not made today for developing our incredible resources and improving our infrastructure.  Of course, investment should not come at the cost of a healthy environment. We believe we can do both. But robust regulations do not have to mean lengthy and uncertain timelines for assessments and project reviews, or unreasonable environmental and social requirements bound by sticky layers of red tape. Indeed, the current Impact Assessment Act puts everything—environment, social, and governance issues—ahead of economic or employment benefits rather than weighing the trade-offs carefully.

If we wish to establish a framework to strengthen Canada’s economy and future prosperity, then we need a better development regulatory process. This would be a process that appropriately balances the care for the environment we all want with the economic and resource development we need within appropriate constitutional boundaries to ensure prosperity now and for the future. That is why this week, we are standing in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, supporting the Government of Alberta and almost all of the other provinces and territories in opposing this legislation.

Key Takeaways:

  • The program originally focused on office to residential conversions.
  • It has been expanded to help convert empty office space to hotels, schools and performing arts spaces.
  • The city is also streamlining the program’s approval process by increasing the internal approvals threshold from $10 million to $15 million.
  • Two new incentive programs have also been created, supporting office conversion to post-secondary institutions as well as office demolition for buildings that are not suitable for conversion or reuse.

The Whole Story:

The City of Calgary has expanded its Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program beyond office to residential conversions.

The program now also provides grants to building owners who would like to convert empty office space to hotels, schools and performing arts spaces. Two new incentive programs have also been created, supporting office conversion to post-secondary institutions as well as office demolition for buildings that are not suitable for conversion or reuse.

City Council approved the expansion in order to encourage a more diverse mix of amenities and services downtown. Officials said the three incentive programs will support the revitalization of downtown through the creation of new housing, amenities, services and outdoor public spaces.

“What happens downtown has a direct impact on our city’s livability and economic success in terms of revenue, tax base and ability to provide services,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “The Downtown Development Incentive Program has been incredibly successful so far and we are already one-third of the way to our 10-year goal of removing six million square feet of empty office space. As the demand for urban living remains high, the natural next step is to expand the program to develop both more residential units as well as projects that create amenities and services for residents close by.”

The conversion inventive program is being broadened to include conversion projects for hotels, schools and performing arts spaces. The city is also streamlining the program’s approval process by increasing the internal approvals threshold from $10 million to $15 million. Officials explained that this speeds up the approval process for larger projects (up to 200,000 square feet) by removing the need for Council approval. Increasing this threshold reduces risk for applicants and speeds up project approvals.

The Downtown Post-Secondary Institution Incentive Program

This program has been created to provide financial incentives for post-secondary institutions to establish a greater presence downtown. This would bring an influx of students downtown, which would support downtown’s vibrancy during all hours of the day, support existing businesses and would encourage new businesses to be established. City Council approved $9 million in November 2022 for a pilot project to support the conversion of vacant office space to house the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL). The Downtown Post-Secondary Institution Incentive Program follows this pilot project and sets out program criteria for applicants, approvals process and funding sources for future office to post-secondary conversions.

The Downtown Office Demolition Incentive Program

This new program incentivizes the demolition of buildings that are deemed “end-of-life” and are not suitable for conversion or reuse. The program will support non-office redevelopment and the creation of new public amenity space. Currently, $3 million in funding exists for this program, and additional funding sources may be identified in the future pending grant interest and demand.

“The Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program was created to remove excess office space from downtown, support downtown vibrancy and ultimately support The City’s fiscal sustainability by restoring downtown property values,” said Natalie Marchut, manager, development & strategy for the city’s downtown strategy. “Supporting post-secondary institutions will bring more students downtown, breathing new life, activity and innovation into our downtown. Creating new public amenity space through demolition of empty buildings supports the initial intent of the program, making downtown more livable, vibrant, and more attractive for both residents and visitors.”

The Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program is a key initiative of The City’s Downtown Strategy. To date, 14 office-to-residential conversion projects are under consideration for program funding. Should all 14 projects proceed, they will remove two million square feet of empty office space from our downtown and create more than 2,000 homes. That’s one-third of the way to The City’s 10-year goal of removing six million square feet of empty downtown office space.

If you could own part of your employer, would you work harder, dig deeper and pay more attention to the details? These companies believe that employee ownership can be a significant motivator for success.

The benefits of employee ownership for employees can be staggering. A study of employee-owned companies in the U.S. found that median household net wealth is 92 percent higher for employee owners when compared to employees at other firms. Another suggests that low- and moderate- income workers at employee-owned companies built significantly more wealth than their peers and that the wealth benefits were even more pronounced for women and people of colour. 

It should also be noted that that these aren’t small, local organizations. Employee-owned construction companies make up the largest construction companies in the country. See for yourself below.

9. Strike Group

Strike Group is one of Western Canada’s leading infrastructure construction and maintenance service providers for energy, mining, and agriculture. Based in Calgary, Strike has more than 1100 employees in 24 locations throughout Western Canada. Strike has been named one of “Canada’s Best Managed Companies” since 2007 and was also an Alberta “Contractor of the Year” recipient.

8. Chandos

Chandos is 100 percent employee owned. It’s also the first and largest B Corp-certified national technical builder in North America. The company states that everyone who works for Chandos can become an owner and every owner has a voice because there’s only one class of voting shares. According to Chandos, over 200 of its employees are owners. Their website put it this way: “We’re driven to do better because we own a stake in the business success.”

7. Clark Builders

Clark Builders was founded by Andy Clark in Yellowknife in 1974 and soon expanded to offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. As one of Canada’s largest general contractors, Clark Builders specializes in projects for the commercial, institutional and energy sectors. Currently employing a workforce of approximately 850, Clark Builders says it has a “team-centred” ownership structure with 25 percent of the company owned by its employee shareholders. One of its major current projects is the Red Deer Justice Centre

6. Flynn Group

What started out as a Winnipeg roofing contractor has since grown into an international building envelope provider that employs roughly 6,000 people. Originally owned by the Flynn family, the Flynn Group now has dozens of employee owners. CEO Doug Flynn told the Globe and Mail back in 2012 that he doesn’t believe the company could have grown like it did without its equity program. 

5. Ledcor

The roots of Ledcor go back to Alberta in the 1940s.  Today the diversified construction company employs over 7,000 people across 20 offices. The employee-owned company has over 800 shareholders. The company recently celebrated its 75th anniversary with a $3 million donation over four years to support pediatric healthcare initiatives in Canada and the US.

4. Kiewit

Kiewit is 100% employee owned and any employee has the potential to become a stockholder through its employee–ownership plan. Company officials state that they cherish its reputation as a true meritocracy, so employees who stand out as the best of the best are individually reviewed and approved by Kiewit’s CEO and senior leadership for employee ownership opportunities. The company says that they believe this is a great way to drive the future of the company.

3. Graham 

Graham is 100% employee-owned by employee-owners from all levels of the company, not just the executive or senior-management. The company states that they believe this employee-ownership model fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and environment: “A workplace where people are accountable to both themselves and their colleagues and have a genuine vested interest in the success of every project.” 

2. EllisDon

In March 2020, it was announced that 100% of EllisDon’s equity would be transferred to the company’s employees. Family shareholders, who previously held 50% ownership, signed-off on an agreement which assures that over time, EllisDon will become entirely employee-owned. 

“I don’t think I can overstate how momentous this agreement is in the life of EllisDon; it is one of the most important days in our history,” said Geoff Smith, president and CEO, during the announcement. “EllisDon’s share structure and independent governance will ensure that we continue to strive together for complete fairness in equity of ownership across all employees, both present and future.”

1. PCL

With an annual construction volume of more than $8 billion, PCL is regularly cited as the largest construction company in Canada. All of PCL’s shares are held by employees and ownership is open to all salaried workers. More than 90% of eligible staff choose to become shareholders. Profits are shared with employees through dividends on owned shares. The company says that the high participation rate reflects its employees’ confidence in PCL’s leadership and ability to help employees, clients and partners create lasting and shared success.

Key Takeaways:

  • $224 million will go towards building and upgrading training centres.
  • The province also plans to invest $75 million over three years to support the operations and programing at new and existing centres.
  • Applications for the new Skills Development Fund (SDF) capital stream are expected to open in late spring.

The Whole Story:

To help tackle the province’s labour shortage and get more people into careers in the skilled trades, the Ontario government is investing $224 million more to build and upgrade training centres.

The province also plans to invest $75 million more over the next three years to support the operations and programing at new and existing centres to prepare workers for in-demand careers like electricians, welders and mechanics.

“As we build Ontario, we’re providing more women and men with opportunities to begin or advance their careers in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As our population grows, we’re working hand-in-hand with labour unions, business groups and our colleges and universities to train the skilled workforce that will build the roads, highways, houses, public transit, hospitals and schools our economy needs. It’s all hands on deck.”

Applications for the new Skills Development Fund (SDF) capital stream are expected to open in late spring and will provide eligible applicants, including unions, Indigenous centres, businesses and industry associations, with funding to build new training centres or to upgrade or convert their existing facilities into training centres with state-of-the-art design and technology. This includes facility renovations, retrofits, expansions, repairs and building construction.

“Ontario is facing the largest labour shortage in a generation, which means when you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “Today, we’re supporting employers, unions and other training providers so that they can build and improve the facilities we need to attract and prepare our next generation of skilled trades workers for better jobs and bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”

According to the province, nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled across Ontario, costing billions in lost productivity. To address this, the Skills Development Fund capital stream aims to create opportunities for unions and training providers to improve and expand their facilities.

“LiUNA! 183 fully supports the Ontario Government’s investment in upskilling and re-training our workforce through the Skills Development Fund (SDF),” said Jack Oliveira, business manager of Local 183. “The first three rounds of the SDF were tremendously successful and saw thousands of people receive skills for rewarding careers in industries such as the skilled trades. The newly announced ‘Capital’ stream will ensure that training providers in Ontario have the necessary tools and resources to continue their great work. We are proud to partner with Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton in this initiative.”

Officials added that Ontario’s 2023 Budget will be released on March 23 and will more details of the government’s approach,

After serving four years as Kingston and the Islands MPP, Ian Arthur announced he would not be seeking re-election. 

Ontario NDP leadership praised him for leading the battle to get more family doctors in Kingston, and by being an outspoken and purpose-driven advocate for action to address the climate crisis.

While he was proud of his political career, he wanted to do something bold in the private sector to solve some of the country’s biggest issues. 

“Serving as MPP was a huge honour and I am happy I did it but I wanted something else,” said Arthur. “I was interested in getting back into the private sector and working in an area with room for innovation where I could be disrupted.” 

When he saw the progress being made in robotics technology, he decided to tackle the issue of affordable housing and construction timelines. 

“I’d been watching the technology for years and found it interesting and saw it reaching a tipping point where it was in a viable place to get into the sector and start building,” he said. “I think the link started while I was a politician. We did a lot of work on housing to increase availability of affordable housing. But we were faced with the reality that while there are some provincial policy levers we can pull that do have an effect, the breadth of problems facing construction were not going to be addressed by policy alone.”

Finding a robot 

The same year he left politics he founded Nidus3D with Hugh Roberts. Roberts has worked in construction and development spaces for over a decade and has expertise in operations, R&D, sales, and strategy.

Their first step was building out a relationship with Denmark-based COBOD, the only company that manufactures a printer with the capability to match Nidus3D’s vision

The BOD2 printer’s modular truss structure presents several advantages for construction printing. The printer can be configured exactly to each project. It can also be upscaled and downscaled to suit larger and smaller projects that you may have in your pipeline. Nidus went to Demark to tour COBOD’s facility and watch the printers in action. The Nidus team then spoke with other COBOD customers about their experiences.

A ‘let’s get building’ approach 

After that, Nidus3D scraped together some capital through a small pre-seed round to buy its first printer. It arrived last February for commissioning and the team started building. Since then, they have been making Canadian history

  • In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex, and the University of Windsor, Nidus3D delivered North America’s first residentially permitted multi-unit 3D printed building. The build included four self-contained 560 square foot homes and was partially funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Innovation Fund. 
  • Near Kingston, Ont., Nidus3D constructed the first-ever 3D-printed, multi-storey, mixed-use concrete building in North America. The 2,300-square-foot, two-storey building has a workshop on the ground floor and a residence on top.

Arthur explained that they are pushing the young, 3D-printed building industry forward not just because they want to, but because they have to. 

“Hugh and I have driven a practical, ‘let’s get building’ approach’ while a lot of other groups in the sector bought the tech on a more experimental basis to play around a bit,” he said. “That is partially out of necessity. We did secure some small, pre-seed money, but we have to secure projects to secure revenue so it is a necessity for us to get out and deliver projects and that is a big factor pushing us forward.” 

While these small, one-off projects are proving the viability of the technology, Arthur noted that 3D printing is far better applied on a larger scale. 

“When we run our forward-looking numbers that’s where it really becomes cost competitive,” he said. “Our build costs on probably ten units and above per site is, I think, universally competitive with any technology in Canada and it’s only the beginning of this technology.” 

This year the company plans to demonstrate the true benefits of 3D printing by spending roughly three months building a small, eight-building sub-division of about 24 units. 

Addressing housing and labour issues

Arthur hopes that in the coming years, the technology can be used to address housing affordability and labour shortages. 

“We make buildings with hundreds of different materials, thousands of components, tens of thousands of different process steps,” he said. “While we have had incredible material advances over the years, none of it has solved the process problem. I think this is one of the first things I have seen that addresses that process problem.”

Arthur noted that while Nidus3D’s projects get larger and more complex, the number of people required doesn’t increase. 

“The best case scenario for training workers still won’t meet demand. This technology still has challenges, it still needs to improve and be optimized for efficiency, but it does begin to address that process problem,” he said. “When we do deploy a larger printer than we have now, it still only needs three people and as you scale that you begin to see what it could have a profound impact on the building sector and housing supply in Canada.”  

Arthur doesn’t want to stop at 3D printing. While the goal is to scale the 3D business, he wants to look at ways to optimize the rest of the construction process, including mechanical systems, lighting systems, door and window installations, flooring and more.  “How can we use technology to make these things faster to deploy? Maybe we rethink how we deliver those systems?” said Arthur. “We have to start thinking about building in new ways. The industry is scaling in inefficient, slow, complex and unpredictable ways. We can’t scale that, we will just fall further and further behind. If we don’t find groups and technology that break that down and rebuild from ground up will never solve these problems.”  

Video shows tour of Canada’s first 3D-printed home:

B.C. is providing $65 million to the City of Prince Rupert to replace crucial sections of its aging water-distribution system.

“The importance of reliable drinking-water delivery cannot be overstated. We saw first-hand the critical need for this funding last December when the city issued a state of emergency due to water-distribution concerns,” said Premier David Eby. “Crews worked tirelessly to keep potable water flowing to homes during the holiday season, and I want to thank them for their efforts. Together we are working to support the people of Prince Rupert, replacing aging infrastructure and ensuring that this valuable resource is available now and in the future.”

Officials explained that Prince Rupert’s water-distribution system is undergoing an increasing number of water-main and service-line failures, including the major line break on Dec. 15, 2022, which threatened the water supply for the community, which is home to Canada’s third-largest port.

“We know that old infrastructure can cause both public-safety and economic issues within communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Working together, this funding will help support the health and safety of the community, and ensure people have access to the services they rely on.”

Prince Rupert’s water-distribution system delivers drinkable water to approximately 14,000 people and the city’s port. According to the province, the port and B.C.’s northern trade corridor provides vital trade capacity and resiliency for provincial and national supply chains. The Port of Prince Rupert ships more than $50 billion worth of exports and imports every year, and provides economic and employment benefits in Prince Rupert and throughout B.C.

The funding, through the provincial Critical Community Infrastructure fund, is in addition to the $1-billion Growing Communities Fund, which was provided to all 188 B.C. municipalities and regional districts to support their local infrastructure and amenities needs.

Alberta is investing $30 million to expand the Red Deer Regional Airport, clearing the way to develop a national transportation logistics hub in central Alberta.

“Alberta’s airports play a critical role in strengthening and diversifying our economy by expanding access to markets, as we don’t have direct access to tidewater,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of transportation and Economic CorridorsThis investment will allow additional aviation cargo and logistics services, which will not only provide new travel options and get more products to market but also create jobs and help attract new investment to central Alberta.”

The expansion will support the growth of rural communities in central Alberta while enhancing the safety of local residents and airport users by creating an additional emergency access to the airport and the Hamlet of Springbrook. This new funding builds on a $7.5-million grant from Alberta’s government in 2022-23 for the airport to repair and upgrade its runway.

Funding through Budget 2023 will support north end road construction and civil works, including water sanitation, stormwater and fibre optics, to Township Road 374 to support new business opportunities for the north end land development. The development of the north end road will also create additional emergency access to the airport.

“The city and county recognize the Red Deer Regional Airport as an economic catalyst,” said Ken Johnston, Red Deer mayor. “The city, as a joint appointer for the airport with the county, is working together to be a key logistics hub based on our prime location. Thank you to the Province of Alberta for their investments in central Alberta.”

Key Takeaways:

  • 2Nations Bird is a partnership between Bird, Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation’s Willow Cree Developments General Partner Inc. and Fishing Lake First Nation’s Development Corporation, FLFN Ventures. 
  • The partnership was formed to ensure that Indigenous communities and businesses are given opportunities for training and employment during the project. 
  • Officials expect roughly 3,500 jobs to be created at during the entirety of the Jansen Stage 1 project.
  • 2Nations Bird will self-perform concrete foundations work for four main non-process buildings at Jansen.
  • 2Nations Bird also won a three-year site services agreement contract.

The Whole Story:

The 2Nations Bird joint venture is taking flight in Saskatchewan. 

The venture announced it has been awarded two contracts by BHP for works on the Jansen Stage 1 Potash Project. 

2Nations Bird is a partnership between Bird, Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation’s Willow Cree Developments General Partner Inc. and Fishing Lake First Nation’s Development Corporation, FLFN Ventures.  

“We are honoured to be chosen as a key partner for BHP’s Jansen project and are committed to delivering exceptional results through our 2Nations Bird partnership over the next three years. Together, our shared values of respect and collaboration will be instrumental in creating positive and sustainable impacts in the region,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO of Bird. “As a service provider in this vital sector of the Canadian economy, working on BHP’s world-class, sustainable potash project is an exciting opportunity.” 

Impacting First Nations communities

The venture explained that the 2Nations Bird partnership is rooted in culture, respect, collaboration and providing sustainable, positive impacts for the communities. It was formed to participate in BHP’s Jansen project, providing a full scope of construction and maintenance services. The partnership is focused on procuring goods and services from local Indigenous businesses and aims to maximize employment opportunities for local Indigenous people. Venture officials believe opportunities for specific training and employment programs will support long-term career employment and advancement opportunities. 

2Nations Bird will self-perform concrete foundations work for four main non-process buildings at Jansen, a contract valued at approximately $62 million. The partnership was also awarded a three-year site services agreement where 2Nations Bird has responsibility for general site services during the execution of Jansen Stage 1, as well as maintenance of a variety of facilities currently in operation to service the site. The three-year service agreement is valued at over $110 million.  

Working with First Nations subcontractors

2Nations Bird has engaged with KDM Constructors, as the designated subcontractor. KDM has been involved with the project with BHP for over seven years, providing contract services for the Jansen site. As a First Nations-owned industrial construction and maintenance service provider, KDM brings together Kawakatoose, Day Star and Muskowekwan Nations along with the Saskatchewan-based SECON Group of Companies. George Gordon Developments Ltd, the economic development arm of the George Gordon First Nation will also be a subcontractor on the site services agreement.  

“Indigenous and industry partnerships, such as 2Nations Bird Construction, create economic and employment opportunities for our Nation and its members. It allows us to develop capacity, learn from one another, and grow in tandem,” said Chief Edwin Ananas, Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation. “More importantly, these types of relationships are critical to advance economic reconciliation which allows us to develop long-term, meaningful, and sustainable outcomes,”  

Jansen to be one of the largest potash mines

BHP is investing $7.5 billion to build Jansen Stage 1, which will be one of the world’s largest and most sustainable potash mines and is located 140 km from Saskatoon. Jansen Stage 1 is expected to produce approximately 4.35 million tonnes of potash per annum, with the first production planned for late-2026.  

Jansen is 100 per cent owned by BHP. The group stated that its large resource endowment provides the opportunity to develop the project in phases. Jansen Stage 1 is the first of four potential phases. Officials expect roughly 3,500 jobs to be created at the peak of construction. 

“BHP is delighted to announce the partnership with 2Nations Bird and we look forward to building strong working relationships,” said Simon Thomas, president Potash, BHP. “The award of these contracts is a significant milestone for Jansen Stage 1 and one that will have positive impacts for the local community. We are committed to upholding the opportunity agreements we have with the six First Nations surrounding Jansen and to working with other Indigenous communities to help ensure Indigenous Peoples gain from our presence in the region.” 

Major work is being done to transform how Ontario residents move around the province and power their homes. Nearly all of biggest projects revolve around transit and two projects on this list are significant nuclear power upgrades that will impact the region for decades. Keep reading to see how the lives of Ontario residents are set to change in the coming years.

11. Ottawa LRT (Stage 2) – $4.6 billion

The nation’s capital will soon have 44 kilometres of rail and 24 new stations for its LRT system. Last year saw stations taking shape, rail installation advancing, and trains on track for testing. However, it hasn’t been without some snags. Reports to the city show the project is running a year-and-a-half behind schedule because of labour and cement shortages and is now expected to be delivered in late 2026. Construction is being carried out by Kiewit and Vinci. Design engineering services is being provided by WSP Canada Inc. and Hatch Ltd.

10. Eglinton Crosstown West Extension – $4.7 billion

The extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will run 9.2 kilometres from the future Mount Dennis LRT station to Renforth Drive and will operate mainly underground. Once complete, it will create a continuous rapid transit line that stretches from Scarborough, through midtown Toronto, and into Mississauga. In 2021, officials awarded a fixed-price contract of $729.2 million to West End Connectors (Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., Ghella Canada Ltd.) to design, build and finance the tunnels. Last month these tunneling efforts reached the halfway mark. plans are also being explored to extend the line to Pearson International Airport.

9. Centre Block Rehabilitation – $5 billion

Centre Block; House of Commons Foyer; Graham Forster assesses condition of stone frieze; Masonry Conservator; Capital Conservation Services (CCS); iPad.

Following an Auditor General’s report that predicted the Centre Block would experience “total failure” sometime between 2019 and 2025, officials embarked on the largest, most complex heritage rehabilitation project ever seen in Canada. The design lead is CENTRUS and the construction management is being done through a partnership between PCL and EllisDon. According to the latest progress report, the team aims to complete construction between 2030 and 2031. The Centre Block will reopen about one year later.

8. Hurontario LRT – $5.6 billion

Once in service, the 18-kilometre Hazel McCallion Line (Hurontario’s name once it is completed) will bring a new method of transportation to a rapidly growing region. The new transit system will feature 19 stops, travel through two urban growth centres and connect to major transit systems including GO Transit (Milton and Lakeshore West lines), the Mississauga Transitway, Brampton Transit, ZUM and MiWay. The Hazel McCallion Line will operate in its own dedicated lane. Mobilinx, a consortium of local and international companies, was awarded the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the system. Major construction began in spring 2020 and the expected completion is fall 2024.

7. Gordie Howe International Bridge – $5.7 billion

This January was an epic month for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, marking the beginning of the stay cable installation. In total, the bridge will feature 216 stay cables, 108 on each side. The structure will be a six-lane crossing of the Detroit River connecting Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ont. When completed, the 1.5-mile crossing will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, with a main span of .53 mile. The bridge will also feature a nearly 12-feet-wide pedestrian/cycling path. The project also includes building new ports of entry that will connect to both the American and Canadian bridge termini, as well as onward connections to I-75 in southwest Detroit. The project is being delivered by a consortium that incldues ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Fluor Canada Ltd. and Aecon Concessions.

6. GO Expansion Projects (Early Works) – $10.5 billion 

While the main work on the GO Expansion has yet to begin, over $11 billion of early works and off-corridor projects are already underway, including station renovations, expansions and improvements, grade separations, bridge and tunnel expansions and maintenance facilities.

5. Ontario Line – $10.9 billion

There is a strong argument that this project should be further down this list. While its original cost estimate is $10.9 billion, Infrastructure Ontario believes it could be much closer to $19 billion. Last fall, two massive contracts were awarded for the line: a $9 billion contract to the Connect 6ix team to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Ontario Line rolling stock, systems, operations and maintenance (RSSOM) package; a $6 billion package to Ontario Transit Group package to deliver the rail project’s tunnel, seven stations and other rail infrastructure. The subway line will bring 15 new stations to the city and will run from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, all the way to the Ontario Science Centre.

4. Eglinton Crosstown LRT – $12.5 billion

This work will create a midtown connection between east and west Toronto. With 25 stations along the dedicated route, officials say it will make getting across town will be up to 60 per cent faster. In 2016 Crosslinx Transit Solutions began work. The group has a $9.1 billion, 30-year alternative financing and procurement (AFP) contract to finance, build, and maintain the line. Its team includes EllisDon, Aecon, Dragados, SNC-Lavalin, IBI Group and many others.

3. Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment – $12.8 billion

In 2016, after years of detailed planning and preparation, Ontario Power Generation’s team shut down the first of four Darlington reactors scheduled for refurbishment over the next 10 years. Officials say the project continues to progress on time and on budget. The refurbishment and the subsequent 30 more years of station operation are expected to generate a total of $89.9 billion in economic benefits for Ontario, create 14,200 jobs per year, and boost personal income by an average of $1.6 billion on an annual basis. Work on the first four units is expected to wrap in 2026. Darlington will also be the site of a historic small modular reaction project.

2. Bruce Power Refurbishment – $13 billion

Another upgrade to the province’s nuclear infrastructure, this project will overhaul all eight of the units of the 6.2GW Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. The largest plant of its kind in the country, Bruce was originally constructed by Ontario Hydro between 1970 and 1987. Early project work began in 2016 and the refurbishment of unit 6 is expected to wrap in 2024.

GO Expansion (On-Corridor Works) – $15.5 billion

The On Corridor Works project is the largest capital infrastructure project in Ontario’s GO Rail Expansion program. On Corridor work includes all works that facilitate train service, such as track, civil infrastructure, signalling, electrification infrastructure and electric vehicles, as well as the operations and maintenance of the GO rail network. Last April, the project contract was awarded to ONxpress, a group that includes Aecon, ALSTROM, FCC Construction S.A, and DB International Operations. ONxpress is responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining all GO Rail infrastructure and trains for 25 years.