Construction Feature

Greenstone Structural Solutions manufactures lightweight building panels composed of light-gauge steel frames that are pre-insulated with modified expanded polystyrene resin. James Kennedy was the first to bring the technology to Canada when his plant opened last year.
Greenstone plant producing building panelsThroughout his years in the construction industry, James Kennedy has seen his share of building materials. But it wasn’t until he attended a trade show in 2012 that he discovered a new system that measured up to his high expectations.“I was actively pursuing a better way to build,” Kennedy said. “I saw the new codes coming and realized that we’ve just got to do something, especially to stay ahead of the curve.”His find was a lightweight building panel composed of light-gauge steel frames that a...

Construction News

Work begins on Latchford Dam replacement
Work is now underway on the replacement of the water-control dam in Latchford.The announcement was made in 2012, but construction on the $25.7-million project just began this past spring. Montreal firms Dessau Inc. and Hydrosys Experts-Conseils Inc. were jointly awarded the $1.2-million design ...
Timmins business offering complete site services
Northern Industrial Services Group (NISG) wants to be the first — and only — call for Timmins businesses, whether it’s to collect their garbage or sweep their parking lot.Or, as chief operating officer Michael Perello puts it, NISG wants to be the Wal-Mart of site services.“The vision is to be ...
Steel plant embarks on multi-million-dollar upgrades
The provincial and federal governments are supporting Essar Steel Algoma as it undertakes a major retrofit of its Sault Ste. Marie steel plant.In July, the governments announced they would provide the steelmaker with $60 million in funding — $30 million each from the feds and the province — tow...
New construction coalition lobbying for changes to provincial Lien Act
A new construction industry lobby group is building its case toward tackling the issue of prompt payment in Ontario.With a provincial review of the Construction Lien Act underway, Prompt Payment Ontario (PPO) is compiling research to illustrate the negative impacts that late payments are havin...
Terminal expansion finally coming for Sioux Lookout Airport
It’s been an odyssey but the Sioux Lookout Airport is finally proceeding with an overdue expansion and upgrade to its main terminal building. The federal and provincial government joined the Town of Sioux Lookout in announcing an equal three-way funding deal on July 30 to proceed with a $12....
New Gold forges ahead with mine construction
Construction of the Rainy River open-pit gold mine in northwestern Ontario is progressing on schedule reported New Gold in its second quarter results. The Toronto and Vancouver-based miner said the first major earthworks for the processing plant started in May with completion scheduled for t...
Nominees sought for wood design awards
Ontario Wood WORKS! is seeking nominations for the 2015 edition of its awards program, which recognizes excellence in using wood in design.The organization, which leads a national campaign to increase the use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction in North America, ann...
Queen’s Park intends to pay contractors on time
Queen’s Park may be slow in passing prompt payment legislation for the construction industry, but it wants to hold up its end of the bargain on provincial contracts. That’s earned them praised from the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce who views a policy as a “win for small business.” The p...
Lafarge-Holcim merger to close in July
Lafarge and Holcim have received final approval for their proposed merger from the competition authorities in the United States and Canada.The two companies originally announced their intention to merge in April 2014. Since then, they have sought, and acquired, approvals from various global jur...
Labour shortage stunts construction
The skilled trades labour shortage is the greatest obstacle holding back the northeast's construction industry, says the executive director of the Sudbury Construction Association.“Some of our tradesmen are making six figures, but nobody seems to want to go in the trades,” said Denis Shank. “We hav...
Province reinstates Connecting Link program
After killing it off two years ago, Queen’s Park has resurrected the Connecting Links Program to provide municipalities with much-needed funding for main arterial roads that double as provincial highways. In an April 20 release, the province announced $15 million will be set aside annually t...
Hamilton issues Ontario’s first wood mid-rise permit
The City of Hamilton is the first municipality in Ontario to issue a building permit for a mid-rise wood-frame building.The changes to the Ontario Building Code allowing six-storey buildings, up from the previous limit of four, officially went into effect on Jan. 1.Congratulations went out from the...
After devastating roof collapse, Three H Furniture primes for expansion
One afternoon last spring, the world of Roy Dittman and his 80 employees at Three H Furniture Systems came crashing down.A winter’s worth of snow caused a collapse of a section of roof at the 40,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in New Liskeard. Fortunately no one was inside the plant that Saturd...
Province doles out infrastructure millions
The province announced funding for 78 projects to build and repair infrastructure across the province, including 26 projects in Northern Ontario.Funding comes from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF), which helps pay for bridges, roadways, water mains, and sewage treatment systems....
OPG throws switch on Lower Mattagami project
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced it has completed its $2.6-billion Lower Mattagami Hydroelectric Project, the largest of its kind in 50 years.Six new units and four generating stations on the Lower Mattagami River are now in service and producing 438 megawatts of power. OPG said that is ahe...
Province introducing new working at heights standards
The province is making new training for those who work at heights mandatory as of April 1, 2015.The new Working at Heights Training Program Standard will ensure everyone using fall protection systems is consistently trained and better protected on the job. This standard applies to all constructi...
Pipeline consultations to take place in January
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will hold consultation sessions on the construction of TransCanada's proposed Energy East Pipeline in January, including several at locations in Northern Ontario.In part one of its consultation, the OEB met with residents in communities along the route of the prop...
Ontario invests in winter roads
Winter road construction to reach remote First Nations was announced with $5 million in capital spending by the Ontario government.The winter roads are vital links to send goods and services to isolated communities that otherwise have to be shipped by air during the warm weather months.With this fu...
Group advocating change following Elliot Lake report
Even before Justice Paul Bélanger released his report on the Elliot Lake Inquiry, which outlines recommendations for improving policies and standards related to the engineering profession, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) was already reviewing its own standards.Early on in the process, the PEO,...
Coroner announces inquest into North Bay construction death
The coroner’s office for the north region will conduct an inquest into the death of a North Bay construction worker.Perry Brooks, 50, died on Oct. 9, 2012 from injuries he received while working on a construction site in North Bay. An inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act.The inquest will ...
Northern designs recognized with wood awards
Two Northern Ontario creations have been recognized by the Ontario Wood WORKS! program for design excellence.The St. Victor Catholic School in Mattawa was bestowed the Institutional Commercial Wood Design Award (under $10 million) sponsored by Resolute Forest Products. The architect was Larocq...
Sudbury homebuilder receives provincial acclaim
J. Corsi Developments Inc., a homebuilder based out of Sudbury, received an award of distinction at the annual awards gala hosted by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) in Ottawa on Sept. 21.In the architectural design category, J. Corsi Developments was recognized for Most Outstanding...
Temiskaming Shores plunges ahead on waterfront development
The municipality of Temiskaming Shores is closer to starting construction on its waterfront revitalization project.In mid-July, FedNor ponied up $999,000 for the rehabilitation and enhancements of the Lake Temiskaming waterfront shoreline structures in the two communities of New Liskeard and Hailey...
Kenora fabricator finds success in Western Canada
Ask James Fedirchuk why he decided to start a high-tech fabrication shop in Kenora and he’ll probably scratch his head and wonder why, too.“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense some days,” said the owner of Fero Robotic Welding Solutions, while driving to an early morning business meeting in Winnip...
Greenstone plant producing building panels
Throughout his years in the construction industry, James Kennedy has seen his share of building materials. But it wasn’t until he attended a trade show in 2012 that he discovered a new system that measured up to his high expectations.“I was actively pursuing a better way to build,” Kennedy said. “I...
Province increases annual highway funding
The province will invest $527 million in 2014 to support highway rehabilitation and expansion projects across the North."Our government is delivering on our commitment to increase funding for transportation infrastructure in Northern Ontario ‎through the Northern Highways Program because we reco...
Proponents named for provincial construction contracts
MHPM Project Managers Inc. and SNC-Lavalin O&M have been jointly selected to deliver infrastructure construction projects for the province over the next five years.The pair has been contracted under Infrastructure Ontario, which oversees construction and improvement projects on properties owned ...
Architecture school advocate to be conferred degree
Sudbury’s Laurentian University will confer an honorary Doctorate of Laws on Blaine Nicholls, an early proponent and influential force in the establishment of the Laurentian University School of Architecture.Nicholls was chair of the original Northern Ontario School of Architecture community com...
Sudbury biosolids program gets national nod
Sudbury has been recognized by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) for its biosolids management plan.“CAMA is pleased to recognize the administrative excellence demonstrated by Greater Sudbury and its ability to rise to changing environmental standards,” said CAMA presiden...
Northern architects merge with national firm
PBK Architects, a firm with locations in Timmins, Sudbury and Thunder Bay, has merged with five other companies into Architecture49.The new, national firm amalgamates PBK, Arcop (Montreal and Toronto), AE Consultants (Newfoundland and Labrador), North46 (Prince Edward Island), Smith Carter (Win...
First Nation construction company takes to the road
Wally Bannon has an interesting dilemma on his hands.The economic director for Fort William First Nation said there’s no shortage of contracting jobs in the pipeline for the band’s contracting company, Fort William Construction, but he’s facing a critical shortage of skilled manpower.Two years afte...
Timmins developing housing plan to address shortage
When the preliminary results of a housing study for the City of Timmins were released earlier this year, Mayor Tom Laughren admits there weren’t any big revelations, but they still made him sit up and take notice.“I don’t want to say there are any real surprises,” Laughren said, “but the first draf...
Historical building seeing new life in Sudbury
Susan Thompson’s heart sank when, in 2009, she learned yet another heritage building in downtown Sudbury was facing the threat of demolition.Built in 1903, the Muirhead’s building was the city’s first brick block, and as head of the Downtown Sudbury Village Development Corp., Thompson had advocated...
Service roads, bridge contracts awarded
Teranorth Construction and Engineering has landed a $7.3-million contract for work on Highway 11 near Burk’s Falls.Service roads providing highway access are being upgraded to accommodate more traffic, which has increased since the four-laning expansion on Highway 11 was completed in 2012.Work begi...
Sustainability key feature of architecture school
Terrance Galvin takes a practical approach to architectural design. Principle number one? Don’t throw away the old for the new. Catalogue the available materials and repurpose them where possible.“These days you call it sustainable,” said Galvin, founding director at the Laurentian Architecture Lau...
Government infrastructure money found here
PPP Canada announced April 14 that it’s taking applications for “Round Six” of the P3 Canada Fund.PPP Canada is a federal Crown corporation with a funding program that supports the construction model involving public-private partnerships (P3s) in a number of categories.The $1.2-billion fund was fir...
FONOM all-in for mid-rise wood construction
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is pleased that changes are coming to the Ontario Building Code to allow for six-storey wood-frame buildings.FONOM said the regulatory change should help boost the North’s forestry industry by creating a demand for wood products.FONOM said t...
Province to consider six-storey wood building construction
The province announced March 20 it will review proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code that would allow the construction of six-storey wood-frame buildings.Under the changes, mid-rise wood-frame construction would be permitted for residential buildings and office buildings. The Ministry of...
Bridge contracts awarded
The Sharp Group has been awarded a $4.6-million contract to replace the Seven Mile Bridge on Highway 11, east of Fort Frances.The Ontario government said the bridge replacement will create 46 jobs. Work begins this spring with completion scheduled for the fall.Moncrief Construction Ltd. has bee...
Campus contract awarded
Sudbury-based Capital Construction was awarded a $2.09-million contract to modernize Laurentian University’s iconic Great Hall this summer.The university said it’s the “first major step in a sweeping modernization” of the Sudbury campus.“Our planned renovations to the Great Hall will create a warm,...
Work to start on phase two of Sudbury architecture school
There will be work for roughly 100 local labourers and tradespeople when construction begins on phase two of the Laurentian School of Architecture building this March.Laurentian announced Bondfield Construction of Concord has been awarded the $23.9-million contract for the project. Construction...
Construction bill could bring relief to shortchanged suppliers
Ontario's construction sector is waiting on a provincial private member’s bill to create a level playing field when it comes to subcontractors and tradespeople getting paid on time.While most employers pay their workers on a regular basis, things aren’t as clear in Ontario's construction industry w...
Pickle Lake bridge to undergo repairs
LH North has been awarded a $2.1-million contract to repair the Medcalf Lake Narrows Bridge on Highway 599 in northwestern Ontario. The road is a critical link to Pickle Lake that supports mining and forestry development in the area and hooks up to the winter road that serve many remote First N...
Cement industry raises alarm on wood mid-rises
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is raising concerns about wood-framed mid-rise buildings after a massive fire ripped through downtown Kingston in December.The fire destroyed a wood student residence building under construction and threatened other nearby buildings.The association is reit...
Sudbury biosolids plant wins national P3 award
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Or, if you live in Lively, something smells rotten. For more than 30 years the City of Greater Sudbury has used tailings ponds in Lively, on the city's outskirts, to dispose of sewage sludge from its wastewater treatment facilities. Residents hav...
Province takes stock of its highway work
The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines released a year-end statement on Nov. 29 of the $2.2 billion pumped into highway projects and the 20,000 construction jobs created across Ontario.Among the highlights in the northeast are reconstruction and resurfacing projects on Highway 144 north...
Wood mid-rise bill heads to committee
Construction of mid-rise wood frame buildings in Ontario could soon become reality.Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli announced that his private members’ bill -- Bill 13, the Ontario Forestry Industry Revitalization Act -- passed second reading at Queen's Park with all-party support.“This is a huge step...
Sudbury chamber seeking trades college reform
The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Government of Ontario to undertake serious reform to improve the College of Trades, Ontario’s new regulatory body for the skilled trades.The chamber, in co-operation with its provincial counterpart – the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - relea...
Bill 73 seeks open tendering fairness
A private member’s bill is proposing changes to the tendering process for the construction of publicly funded infrastructure, which currently requires municipalities to tender the work out to unionized contractors.“For more than three decades, certain unions have been able to exploit a loophole...
Thunder Bay business park ready to host miners, light industry
The City of Thunder Bay expects the coming mining boom to fill up a largely vacant but high-profile light industrial park. Finding occupants for the municipally-owned Innova Business Park has been a source of frustration since its inception in 1997.But should a dozen or so mining projects in...


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