Canadian Infrastructure Projects to Watch in 2019

Posted by Steve Thomas on Monday, January 21, 2019

Investment in the top 100 infrastructure projects within Canada has reached nearly $200 billion CAD, an increase of $12.6 billion CAD since 2017. It’s clear that Canada has ambitious plans for growth over the next few years, as well as the will to make those plans happen. Building on their Public-Private Partnership (PPP or P3) expertise, several infrastructure megaprojects will get underway this year using this popular funding mechanism. Here are some of the most notable across the country.

Bridging the Border

In Ontario, the Gordie Howe International Bridge – the largest and most ambitious project along the Canada-United States border – began construction in October 2018. This $5.7 billion CAD P3 project, which will open to traffic in 2024, will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the seventh longest in the world. A new six-lane bridge will be built across the Detroit River between Windsor and Detroit, with new border inspection plazas and connections to the highway systems in Ontario and Michigan. For bridge engineers, project managers, and quantity surveyors who worked on the Queensferry Crossing – the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world – working on this bridge should be like deja-vu.

Ottawa Calling

Also in Ontario, the $3 billion CAD Ottawa Stage 2 Light Rapid Transit (LRT) project will add 44km of new rail and 24 new stations to the nation’s capital city, also via P3. With an expected 70% of Ottawa residents projected to live within 5km of the LRT once completed, this project will transform travel and commuting in the city. While longer in length than many of the UK light rail systems, many of the lessons learned on UK projects by rail engineers, project managers, and construction managers will be valued as the new project gets started this year.

Also starting in Ottawa this year is the Parliamentary Precinct Rehabilitation Project, a $4.7 billion CAD heritage restoration project on the Canadian Parliament buildings. Billed as the largest, most complex heritage rehabilitation project ever seen in Canada, the project echoes the repair works that are required on our own Houses of Parliament. They both share the same Gothic Revival architecture, which will require the same skilled care and dedication to repair and restore. Estimators, quantity surveyors, and construction and project managers – particularly those with heritage experience – will all be required on this prestigious project.

Cutting Edge Transit in Montréal

In Quebec, the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is a new automated light rail network through the heart of Montréal. Over 67km of new track and 26 new stations will be built, which will be served by new fully electric, driverless trains, at a cost of $6.3 billion CAD using the P3 contract. Once finished, it will be the fourth-longest automated transportation system in the world. The first trains are expected to run in 2021, with phased openings until 2023. This is the chance for rail engineers and signalling engineers – as well as quantity surveyors, commercial managers, and project managers with rail experience – to get involved on one of the largest and most innovative rail projects available.

Seize Your Opportunity

These are just a few of the infrastructure projects in Canada, with many more already underway or in the pipeline. In fact, Canada is experiencing an infrastructure spending boom on a scale not seen since the 1950s and 60s. Less than a decade ago, infrastructure investment was less than half of what it is at the moment, making it the perfect time to explore the opportunities that this vast country has to offer. If that sounds like something you want to investigate further, take a look at our current infrastructure vacancies in Canada, or please get in touch for a friendly discussion about your current situation and what you’re looking for.

About the Author

Steve Thomas
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
I am responsible for the Maxim Recruitment office in the UK where our team of recruitment consultants specialise in the recruitment of quantity surveyors, commercial managers, delay, dispute and claims consultants for civil engineering and building contractors and specialist construction consultancies.  I am also responsible for growing our recruitment operation in Canada and the USA where we are increasingly busy.  I have over 20 years’ experience in construction recruitment and enjoy working on both contingency and search/headhunting assignments for our repeat clients.
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