Rock to Road

Report on key trends in Canadian construction

April 28, 2016  By  Andrew Macklin

April 28, 2016 – The construction industry in Canada contracted by 1.7% in real terms in 2015, following an average annual growth of 3.6% during the preceding four years. Weak economic conditions, low commodity prices, poor fixed-capital investments, public spending cuts and a high rate of unemployment contributed to this decline.

The industry’s value is expected to pick up in 2016, however, with investment in public infrastructure, renewable energy infrastructure and commercial projects, and improvements in consumer and investor confidence.

Several government programs, such as the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI), the New Building Canada Plan (NBCP) and Made in Canada, will continue to support growth in the industry over the forecast period (2016–2020).

The industry’s output value is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.13% in real terms over the forecast period, down from 2.29% during the review period (2011–2015).


Growing population and urbanization, and improvements in domestic manufacturing activities will continue to drive growth in the industry over the forecast period. Government efforts to enhance residential and public infrastructure will also support industry growth.

Timetric’s Construction in Canada – Key Trends and Opportunities to 2020 report provides detailed market analysis, information and insights into the Canadian construction industry, including:

– The Canadian construction industry’s growth prospects by market, project type and construction activity

– Analysis of equipment, material and service costs for each project type in Canada

– Critical insight into the impact of industry trends and issues, and the risks and opportunities they present to participants in the Canadian construction industry

– Profiles of the leading operators in the Canadian construction industry

– Data highlights of the largest construction projects in Canada

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the construction industry in Canada. It provides:

– Historical (2011-2015) and forecast (2016-2020) valuations of the construction industry in Canada using construction output and value-add methods

– Segmentation by sector (commercial, industrial, infrastructure, energy and utilities, institutional and residential) and by project type

– Breakdown of values within each project type, by type of activity (new construction, repair and maintenance, refurbishment and demolition) and by type of cost (materials, equipment and services)

– Analysis of key construction industry issues, including regulation, cost management, funding and pricing

– Detailed profiles of the leading construction companies in Canada

Key Highlights
– The federal government, in collaboration with CMHC, provides funds for new affordable, adequate and sustainable rental houses under the AHI program. AHI provides funds for homeownership assistance, accessibility modifications, new construction, shelter allowances, renovation and rent supplements in all territories and provinces in the country. Under the Economic Action Plan 2015, the government announced plans to invest CAD2.3 billion (US$1.8 billion) annually until 2019, to support the low-income Canadian population in gaining access to affordable housing.

– The government introduced the Made in Canada initiative as part of the Economic Action Plan 2014, in an aim to promote large-scale manufacturing activity in the country. The program seeks to encourage domestic and foreign manufacturers to improve their manufacturing bases in Canada, without offshoring manufacturing activities to other countries. The government’s initiative is expected to attract investments from local manufacturers over the forecast period to establish their own manufacturing plants in the country.

– To provide faster transit facilities in the region, the government of Ontario is implementing the Go Regional Express Rail (RER) program in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area as part of the Moving Ontario Forward program. The government will invest CAD13.5 billion (US$10.4 billion) between 2016 and 2019 for the project’s completion. Go (RER) will increase the number of weekly trips from 1500 to over 6,000, while providing a frequent service every 15 minutes a day.

– The government will provide CAD750.0 million (US$582.7 million) during 2017–2018 and CAD1.0 billion (US$784.7 million) from the following year as a new Public Transit Fund to PPP Canada Inc. as part of the Economic Action Plan 2015. The new Public Transit Fund, in combination with the government’s existing infrastructure support, will provide long-term assistance to public transit projects to enhance the mobility of people and goods across the country.

– The government of Alberta launched the Climate Leadership Plan in 2015, to reduce carbon emissions and increase power generation through renewable sources. Through the program, the government will phase out all pollution emittance from traditional energy sources by 2030. The scheme’s main aim is to tackle climate change. The government plans to generate 30.0% of Alberta’s electricity production through renewable sources. To achieve this, the government levies carbon taxes across all sectors. Accordingly, CAD20.0 (US$15.5) per ton carbon price will be levied across all sectors from January 2017, and CAD30.0 (US$23.5) per ton from January 2018. Tax revenue collected through this plan will be used to fund energy efficiency programs.

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