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Canadian News Update 11th March 2019

Posted by: Chris Rocheleau
Industry News

Toronto & Montreal rail projects make global top 10 infrastructure list

Toronto’s Metrolinx Regional Express Rail project (RER) has made it into CG/LA’s Top 10 of the Strategic 100 Global Infrastructure List. The list identifies global projects with the most potential opportunity in the upcoming year, based on benefits and strategic importance. The Metrolinx Regional Express Rail came in at number 6.

The project has a $10.4bn investment and involves a massive overhaul and expansion of rail service in Toronto. It aims to improve train services by adding an all-day, two-way service to the Barrie line and the inner portions of the Kitchener line and the Stouffville line, and by increasing frequency of train service on various lines to as often as every 15 minutes on five of the corridors. This would be achieved with the full electrification of the Lakeshore East line and the Barrie line and the electrification of the inner portions of the Lakeshore West line, the Kitchener line, and the Stouffville line.

Also making the list at number 3 is Montreal’s Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM), which (once completed) will be the fourth-largest automated transportation system in the world, behind only Singapore, Dubai and Vancouver. The project is currently in the construction phase and has a price tag of $4.85bn.

The key positions in the Top 100 recognises Canada’s standing in the rail industry and have been referred to as “game changers”. CG/LA’s website noted that the projects are key “for job creation, business development, long-term investment and the critical inputs that citizens demand, mobility and health, along with opportunities.” The report also applauds the projects for being “catalysts for progress”. Full story.

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Canadian construction industry to create 300,000 jobs over next decade

A new report indicated that the construction industry will have nearly 300,000 jobs to fill by 2028. The report explains that the jobs will be created due a combination of new, large projects, as well as the number of retiring workers outweighing the number of new recruits entering the industry. 

The forecast indicates that the industry can expect a 4% increase in labour demands, which translates to 44,100 new positions in the next 10 years. This, combined with the retiree/new recruit figures, means that the construction industry will need to book just over 300,000 new hires over the next decade. This is very good news for civil engineers looking for jobs in Canada.

Bill Ferreira, the executive director who led on the report, said: “Maintaining capacity to meet construction labour force needs will require focused efforts on recruiting, training, and retaining young workers, even under a slower-growth scenario. Even if the full potential of interprovincial mobility is realized, industry will likely still need to expand recruiting efforts for new workers from local sources.” Full story.

Toronto sees investments in rail & infrastructure industries

The Ontario government and transit agency Metrolinx have greenlit a huge new train station in Toronto. The station will be located along Highway 27 at the north end of Etobicoke and is expected to cost between $75m and $90m. It will serve the GO Transit’s Kitchener line, which runs between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Kitchener and will replace the Etobicoke North stop.

Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said: “Bringing mass transit to the Woodbine property is a big part of a larger vision to develop and unlock the value of our land to create new revenue streams that will help grow and sustain the horse racing industry for decades, attract millions of visitors to our site annually, and serve the surrounding community.”

Meanwhile, the city of Burlington has allotted more than 50% of its spending for roadways in its 2019 capital budget. In this year’s total planned expenditures of $96.4 million, the largest component of $49.5 million is earmarked for roadways.

The spend is part of Burlington’s $819m budget which plans for the next 10 years. Waterdown Road North Rehabilitation and Capacity Improvements is the most expensive projects, with a $25.4m price tag.

Jeff Thompson, City of Burlington project manager, said: “The project will transform Waterdown Road. Our schedule has utility relocations starting in 2020 and finishing in 2021, with the main construction project contract beginning in 2021. We anticipate the main project tendering to take place in early 2021.” Full story.

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