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These are this week’s top stories, regarding the construction industry in Ontario, that you need to know.

August 28, 2020


ICI investment reaches record high in June

Recent data from Statistics Canada has shown that ICI investment reached an all-time high in Ontario in June. For the year so far (January-June), all three ICI sectors are up compared to the same period in 2019. The same can be said for 13 of Ontario’s 16 metro areas.

BuildForce released a new report recently, updating its construction and maintenance investment forecast. It is expected that non-residential investment will be down by about 3% this year but rebound in 2021 with an increase of about 6%.

Annual General Meeting & Conference 2020

The OCS AGM & Conference 2020 will be held on October 6, 2020 as a virtual event. Registration opens next week so keep an eye on your inbox!


ECAO releases anti-racism toolbox to assist member companies in light of recent incidents in Toronto

Racist actions, activities, tones, or remarks have no place in Ontario workplaces including construction sites! To assist and educate their member companies and their employees on what racism is, how to recognize it on construction sites, and how to eliminate it for the good of all; ECAO has developed the toolbox talks and accompanying poster which can be found on their website at

Record lumber prices adding thousands of dollars to new home building costs

Soaring lumber and wood panel prices are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of building a home in Canada as strong renovation and new housing demand outstrip supply. Homebuilders say increases this year to date will translate into $8,000 to $10,000 more to build a typical single-family house in Canada.

OCCA shifts focus amid pandemic to encourage students to pursue construction industry careers

Like many other groups, the Ontario Construction Careers Alliance (OCCA) has had to get creative to engage students during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mandate of the alliance is to promote construction as a first-choice career pathway in high schools, job fairs and other events, but COVID-19 has made that task challenging.

Autodesk CEO responds to criticism of its BIM software

Andrew Anagnost, CEO of software company Autodesk, has responded after many top architecture firms, such as Zaha Hadid ArchitectsGrimshaw Architects, and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, wrote an open letter citing their concerns and criticism related to the company’s Revit software.

OGCA addressed COVID-19 challenges for small and medium-sized general contractors in Standing Committee presentation

Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) president Giovanni Cautillo made a second presentation to the provincial legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs last Wednesday. In this presentation, he focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on small and medium-sized general contractors.


Keep construction sites open if second wave hits: Pomerleau CEO

Should COVID-19 cases start climbing once again, “the industry is ready,” the CEO said. “There is enormous collaboration, and if a second wave were to happen, we would quickly be able to react. We would do whatever is required to ensure the industry doesn’t stop.”

Canadian construction needs to be self-sufficient post-pandemic: Experts

Construction experts see a future for the industry that draws resources close but expands to different forms and functions.

Multiplex Canada president and managing director Terry Olynyk, Reliance Construction Group principal Bryan Kaplan and Bockstael Construction president and past Canadian Construction Association (CCA) chair John Bockstael all pointed to lessons learned from the initial rush to lockdown at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the way forward for both their firms and the industry.


Our response to the COVID crisis shows why labour unions are essential

Those who work in the industry have always known it, but COVID-19 made it clear to the public: construction is essential. Through thick and thin, the unionized construction industry remains the vital sign of America. These workers erect critical infrastructure — from highways and airports to schools, government buildings, and health-care facilities. During times of crisis, these construction workers possess unique skills to quickly transform non-traditional spaces into critical care centers.

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