Opportunity alert: Construction in Ontario.

Ontario’s population is projected to increase by 35.8% (or almost 5.3 million) over the next 26 years, as per the province’s Ministry of Finance. It’s estimated that there will be over 20 million people in Ontario by July 1, 2046 – and all will need a place to live.

The Smart Prosperity Institute’s October 2021 report states that Ontario “needs to add one million new homes over next decade to keep up with population growth”. CBC News’ follow-up of that report indicates that while the province typically adds about 70,000 units of all types of housing annually (including detached houses, condominiums, and subsidized units), that number will have to increase to 100,000 to accommodate the additional 2.27 million people who will reside in Ontario by 2031.

Smart Prosperity’s report was designed as an impetus to all levels of government to facilitate more housing developments. Indeed, many Many Ontario regions are seeing growth in both residential and non-residential construction. Build Force Canada’s March 2022 report forecasts industry trends through to 2027, and predicts a sustained demand in residential and non-residential sectors through 2026. Ontario’s construction and maintenance sector experienced a slight dip in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but increased in 2021 thanks to a rise in new-housing construction and a significant increase (+5%) in non-residential projects.

The Ontario Construction Secretariat’s 2022 contractor confidence survey echoes Build Force’s own findings; Ontario contractors are confident in the construction economy’s future, despite last year’s challenging environment that featured project cancellations and postponements, largely attributed to supply chain and pandemic-related issues. Strategies the industry will employ to deal with these challenges include finding alternative suppliers (80% of respondents), purchasing materials more quickly (73%), identifying alternative materials and products (67%), and stockpiling (63%).

According to Statistics Canada, the total national value of building construction investment increased 9.2% to $59.7 billion in the first quarter of 2022; the residential sector’s Q1 growth was 11% (to $44.4 billion), while the non-residential sector increased 4.3% (50 $15.3 billion). Infrastructure construction is also burgeoning; ReNew Canada’s Top100 Projects report says the value of the country’s top 100 projects rose from $253 billion in 2021 to $273 billion in 2022.

Companies offering goods and services for the construction industry may find opportunities in the Canadian market.

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