On-Site Magazine

Looking down: Toronto remains comfortably on top in latest North American construction crane count

By David Kennedy   

Construction Equipment

A voracious appetite for new towers has allowed Toronto to extend its lead over its North American rivals in the key construction indicator

Steady building activity across the city continues, with many projects reshaping the Toronto skyline both in and outside the core. Towers around Yonge and Bloor streets seen here

TORONTO—A voracious appetite for new residential, office and mixed-use towers has allowed Toronto to extend its considerable lead over its North American rivals in a key construction indicator.

104 cranes are at work throughout the city, according to Rider Levett Bucknall Ltd.’s latest North American Crane Index. The count is seven higher than the consulting firm tallied last August and places Toronto far above the dozen other cities included in the study.

The demand for housing and work space continues to push development in both Toronto’s downtown core and other high density areas, such as Humber Bay Shores, Liberty Village and several pockets along Yonge Street. As the calendar turned over to 2019, RLB said increased infrastructure spending would fuel further construction. It pointed to 400 high-rises currently on the development docket in the report released earlier this month.

Seattle remains is second place in the crane rankings, though the Pacific city saw six of the heavy pieces of equipment depart its skyline since the last count. Los Angeles rounds out the top three after adding eight cranes over the past several months to reach a total of 44.


Lower on the list, Portland, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC and Chicago have between 26 and 30 cranes each. The index tracks building in 13 North American cities, but does leave out several sizeable urban centres, notably Mexico City, Houston, Montreal and Vancouver.

Calgary, meanwhile, the only other Canadian city included, ranks fourth in the January 2019 index with 33 cranes. RLB credited new standards regulating urban density for the jump from 26 previously.


Stories continue below