Construction Feature

Manitoba’s East Side Road Authority has a mandate to build permanent roads and bridges to isolated First Nation communities in that province.
Help for isolated Ontario First Nation comes from ManitobaA plan is finally in motion to build a long-overdue 25-kilometre access road to an isolated and neglected northwestern Ontario First Nation community straddling the Ontario-Manitoba border.Prior to the Manitoba government recessing for a provincial election in April, the East Side Road Authority was given political approval to expand beyond its borders and take on the so-called Freedom Road project for Shoal Lake 40.The island community has received national attention for its forced isol...

Construction News

Northern presence included on Indigenous design task force
Three faculty members from Sudbury’s McEwen School of Architecture have been appointed to sit on a new task force created by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).Patrick Stewart, Eladia Smoke, and David Fortin will participate in the task force, whose goal is to “seek ways to fos...
Social media site guiding connections in construction
A new social media platform geared toward the construction industry is generating buzz around the globe, and it all started after two men from North Bay were left stranded after experiencing truck trouble.Hard Hat Hunter is an online construction-oriented forum that brings together employees, ...
North Bay building permits valued at $22 million in June
Eighty-two building permits valued at $22,099,945 were issued in June 2016 in the City of North Bay, bringing the city’s year-to-date total to $52.3 million.In particular, the city is seeing strong numbers in institutional, industrial and commercial building values; year-to-date these values ar...
Province awards $37 million in road contracts
 The province has awarded $37 million in roadwork for northeastern Ontario in 2016.A list of the projects and their value follows:-$16.995 million for 2.7 kilometres of Highway 6 south of Nairn Centre and 21.5 kilometres of Highway 17 east of Nairn Centre;-$10.926 million for 22.2 kilometres o...
Development charges are harming home builders, councillors told
Costs associated with building homes and apartments in Greater Sudbury are hurting the industry, city councillors were told June 21.At a public meeting held as part of the city's decision to freeze development charges this year, Laura Higgs, of the Sudbury Home Builders Association, said constr...
North Bay permits plenty of construction
The value of building permits issued by the City of North Bay reached more than $47 million in the first five months of this year. The tally of $47,420,958 represents an increase of 79 per cent over the same period last year, and 200 per cent over the year-to-date number on June 1, 2014. “I...
Second half of dam replacement getting underway
After a seasonal hiatus, construction of the Latchford Dam is set to start up again this June, and is on track to be completed by the end of the year.The $25.7-million project, which began last spring, involves the construction of a new dam with 14 gates with stoplogs to control water levels, a...
Province not moving fast enough on prompt payment
Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association manager Adam Pinder describes the prompt payment issue in Ontario as a “huge, epidemic” problem with far-ranging impacts on the province’s economy. After the city’s largest private employer, Essar Steel Algoma, went into creditor protection last fall...
Contractors hit the highway
Sudbury’s Interpaving has landed a $4.1-million provincial contract to replace a culvert at Jocko Creek on Highway 655, north of Timmins, starting this spring. The contract was one of four announced by the province on May 2, all worth a combined $11.3 million. To reduce construction time and...
Timmins awarded funding for industrial rail park
It may have arrived just in time for April Fools’ Day, but a funding announcement of close to $2.5 million for Timmins’ new industrial rail park was no joke.On March 31, the province announced it was providing the city with $2,485,650 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. to help comple...
Timmins receives $3 million for road upgrades
Notorious for its crater-sized potholes and heavy traffic, Algonquin Boulevard in Timmins — which doubles as provincial Highway 101 — will finally get some relief this summer with the start of a $95.5-million reconstruction project.In February, engineering firm AECOM presented city council with...
Help for isolated Ontario First Nation comes from Manitoba
A plan is finally in motion to build a long-overdue 25-kilometre access road to an isolated and neglected northwestern Ontario First Nation community straddling the Ontario-Manitoba border.Prior to the Manitoba government recessing for a provincial election in April, the East Side Road Authori...
Garden River recognized at Northern housing conference
When Anne Headrick took on the role of housing supervisor for the Garden River First Nation in 2011, the community was operating with an outdated housing policy that wasn’t serving the best interests of its members.The community, which has about 1,000 on-reserve members, wanted better, Headrick...
Aecon lands three highway contracts
It’ll be a great summer for Aecon Construction and Materials.The Toronto-based contractor landed a trio of provincial highway improvements valued at $34.5 million.The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines announced March 21 that Aecon has been handed the job to repave 30 kilometres of High...
Woe is us, on the construction front
Contractors in Northern Ontario aren’t expecting a flurry of activity across the region this year. A province-wide contractor survey, released March 8 by Ipsos Reid and the Ontario Construction Secretariat, indicates firms in the North expressed the least optimism in their economic outlook f...
Building optimism reigns supreme in North Bay
A slumping economy didn’t detract from a solid year of construction in the City of North Bay with $68.8 million recorded in the value of building permits for 2015. It was a slight $1.6 million increase over the $67.2 million posted in 2014. "At the beginning of budget process in 2015, it wa...
New Trans-Canada Highway bridge open to traffic
The newly constructed Nipigon River Bridge will be partially opened to traffic on Nov. 28. The Ontario government announced the westbound lanes of the $106-million cable-stayed span will open to two-way traffic as the first phase of construction draws to a close. Work on the eastbound lan...
Elliot Lake retail development aiming for spring opening
Pearson Plaza in Elliot Lake is on track to be completed and open for business in the spring of 2016.Three years in the making, the $3.5-million shopping centre development started in 2012 and was scheduled to be complete a year later.Site preparation for Pearson Plaza, named for the nearby Les...
Sault considers implementing charges on new builds
The City of Sault Ste. Marie is considering implementing development charges for new building projects in the city.Fees collected from developers go toward the cost of linking new residential, commercial and industrial buildings to amenities like roads, sewer, water, and hydro. The Sault is cu...
Trades college to undergo changes following review
The province says it will make changes to the Ontario College of Trades, following the completion of a review into its practices.In his report, reviewer Tony Dean, who was appointed to conduct the review in 2014, has made a number of recommendations that the province says will strengthen the co...
International Bridge marks end of U.S. plaza reconstruction
The new toll booth plaza on the American side of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge was officially opened Oct. 21. It marked the completion of a 16-month long, US$8.9-million project that involved the construction of a new administration building and seven toll lanes that were built i...
Province announces more highway investments
The province has announced $69 million in funding for the rehabilitation of Northeastern Ontario bridges, culverts and roads through the Northern Highways Program.Projects include:-Rehabilitation of the French River Bridge on Highway 69, which will become a service road for residents and tourist...
Essar lands steel contract for Montreal bridge
Essar Steel Algoma is supplying structural steel bridge plates to build the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal. The Sault Ste. Marie steel maker announced it has signed a contract with Canam-Bridges, a division of the Canam Group, to supply 20 per cent of the project’s total steel requirement. ...
Four-laning advances on Highway 69
Another nine kilometres of Highway 69 between Sudbury and Parry Sound has been four-laned.Completed at a cost of $55 million to the province, the new stretch of road between Highway 64 and the Murdock River is now in service.Since 2003, the province has invested more than $770 million to expand...
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...


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