While non-essential construction is put on hold, Toronto still takes the number one spot for most cranes in North America, for the second year in a row.
According to the most recent RLB Crane Index, a report on the number of construction cranes in 14 major North American cities, showed that Toronto had more than double the number of cranes than the city in second place.
The report found that Toronto had 121 downtown cranes, which is one more than the last index when Toronto also finished on top.
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The city’s numbers represented 27% of the 455 total cranes participating in 14 metropolitan areas.
Coming in second was Los Angeles with 10% of the total cranes, and in the third-place count, Seattle experienced a 27% decrease in its cranes from its previous count.
Most of the cranes in Toronto are servicing residential projects, followed by mixed-use towers that contain both residential and commercial office space.
“Although residential pre-construction sales have been strong, COVID-induced economic uncertainty precludes a positive market forecast,” the report said.
Overall in the 14 cities residential and mixed-use projects continue to take the lead in sectors; combined, they make up 70% of all cranes.
With the coronavirus halting most construction in Toronto the development of the city’s real estate is likely to be impacted.
“Given the significant impact that COVID-19 and the governmental mitigation measures that have been applied to contain it are having on the economy as a whole, it is probable that this pandemic will drive a recession which will have an impact on future crane counts,” The report said.
“Current construction projects may also be affected due to shutdowns, or workers not reporting to job sites for a variety of reasons including illness, illness of family members, or even fear of taking public transport.”
While Ontario put a temporary moratorium on non-essential construction, the province is ramping up hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day.
Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites.