OCS survey indicates bullish prospects for Ontario’s construction industry


    Ontario Construction Report staff writer

    The annual Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) survey indicates bullish prospects for the province’s industrial, commercial and institutional sectors.

    “Growth in the Greater Toronto Area is really fuelling optimism across the province in the non-residential construction sector,” says OCS chief executive officer Sean Strickland. “There are big projects on the books in all regions that are inspiring good feelings amongst our contractor partners.”

    Strickland was speaking at the fourteenth annual OCS’s State of the Industry and Outlook conference 2014 on March 5 in Toronto.

    He referenced the OSC Construction Barometer, up four points to 64 this year based on the numbers of construction contractors expecting an increase in business from 2013.

    A press release about the event explains that the “Construction Barometer gauges contractors’ perceptions of business conditions over the next 12 months. Measured on a scale of zero to 100, a reading above 50 indicates the amount contractors who expect to conduct more business in the coming year is greater than those who do not.”

    Data used in determining the barometer is collected from an Ipsos-Reid survey of 550 ICI contractors. The survey found 40 per cent of contractors expect more business this year and only 11 per cent expect a decline.



    The release says the greatest shift in perception came out of eastern Ontario where contractors are looking forward to an increase in commercial, engineering and highrise residential projects.

    “We expect all areas of Ontario will benefit from a more robust construction sector in 2014,” Strickland said. “Construction projects are helping drive Ontario’s economic recovery.”

    The event also featured keynote speaker Derek Burleton, deputy chief

    economist with TD Bank Financial Group, and Katherine Jacobs, director of research and

    operations with the OCS. Carl Gomez, chief economist at Bentall-Kennedy, shared his views on the current commercial market and a speaker from Metrolinxdiscussed the implementation of the “Big Move Strategy” and its implications on future commercial development in the GTA.

    The Ontario Construction Secretariat is a joint labour/management organization representing 25 unionized construction trades and their contractor partners in Ontario’s ICI sector.


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