On-Site Magazine

Busy year projected for Ontario

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional

Annual Ontario Construction Secretariat survey finds contractors are expecting to see business growth in 2024.

(Graph courtesy of Ontario Construction Secretariat)

With an abundance of current work and more projects on the horizon, Ontario contractors are expecting 2024 to be a busy year, the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s (OCS) annual contractor survey found.

While concerns remain about rising costs for materials and labour, there has been a noted improvement in the supply chain and growing interest in innovation and technology to increase productivity and lower costs. Roughly two-thirds of the contractors surveyed had positive outlooks for the coming year; among unionized workplaces, that number is even stronger at 71 per cent.

“There is a massive project pipeline in Ontario that is fuelling positivity about business prospects,” stated OCS chief executive officer Robert Bronk. “Power generation, transit and healthcare facilities are leading the list of projects currently under construction or slated for construction over the next few years in every region of the province.”

Regionally, prospects are most positive in Northern Ontario, in response to increased mining and institutional projects, while contractors in Eastern Ontario anticipate a bit of a breather in 2024.


There is also a strong support for the adoption of new technologies; 83 per cent of those surveyed feel adopting new tech is important to the future of their business, and 15 per cent have created a budget to invest in new technology. The most commonly used technologies were BIM (44 per cent) and jobsite data collection apps (43 per cent).

Ongoing labour challenges remain a concern. Sixty-five per cent of those surveyed reported that they expect recruiting skilled workers to be more difficult in 2024 and nearly half (48 per cent) cited the availability of experienced skilled labour as the top concern in 2024. But that isn’t tempering expectations for job creation in the sector, with 34 per cent of respondents expecting their workforce to be larger this year, against only eight per cent who expect the number of people they employ to drop.

If there is one projected drag on the outlook for 2024, it is rising costs. One in five open-ended responses to the survey cited increasing prices, whether it was for labour, materials, or higher interest rates. Following availability of labour, material costs (28 per cent), labour costs (27 per cent) and transportation costs (25 per cent) were listed as the top concerns of the year.

“Despite a mostly positive outlook for ICI construction in 2024, the rising costs we are all facing remain a concern,” said Bronk. “But it is encouraging that despite this worry, there are still strong expectations for growth and expansion over the coming year, with many contractors implementing new technologies to help create efficiencies and support business success.”





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