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Conversations about Construction
21 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
Peter Smith on CANCEA report
Thousands of good-paying construction jobs could be lost in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas between now and spring if senior levels of government fail to provide funding so municipalities can get working on state-of-good-repair infrastructure projects, says Peter Smith, chair of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) and executive director of the Heavy Construction Association of Toronto.
34 minutes | Aug 24, 2020
Sidewalk Labs. Whats Next?
In May, Sidewalk Labs, a Google-affiliated company, announced it was abandoning a plan to build a high-tech neighbourhood on Toronto's Port Lands. The so-called "smart city" dubbed Quayside was set to feature a range of cutting-edge technology, from residential towers made of timber to the use of autonomous cars and heated sidewalks. The company had initially claimed the project would create 44,000 jobs and generate $4.3 billion in annual tax revenue. The final straw for Sidewalk Labs is alleged to have been the economic uncertainty that made it difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable. Brian Kelcey, a public policy consultant and founder of State of the City who who actively spoke in favour of the Sidewalk Labs Quayside project as a VP of the Toronto Board of Trade, discusses the situation with John Michael McGrath, a staff writer at TVO who covers provincial politics and policy matters and has written extensively about Sidewalk Labs.
29 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
The Big Pipe – Project Plans for the Future
A combination of more extreme weather events and Toronto’s decades-old sewer system has exacerbated the threat of flooding. It’s expected there may be more occurrences in the coming years because of the effects of climate change. The City of Toronto is taking action and has several stormwater infrastructure projects included in a multi-year plan. Patrick McManus, executive director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, and Dennis Cancian, executive director of the Ontario Formwork Association, discuss the situation and the work that’s planned.
33 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
Wood is back as a building material – in a big way. Mass timber building has become a global movement and Canada is right in the middle of it. Buildings made of wood are now springing up across the country. A new precedent-setting campus building planned at Centennial College in Scarborough, for example, will be the first net-zero, mass timber higher education facility in Canada. Is it a fad or will it continue? Mike Yorke, president of the Carpenters District Council of Ontario and a director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, discusses the issue and benefits of using mass timber with Steven Street, a mass timber and wood products business consultant who does business development and project sales for Moses Structural Engineers.
25 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
Focus on Transit
Nearly 100 years ago, two street railway companies merged to form the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The TTC has come a long way since then and today provides a vital service to the citizens of Toronto – and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With an Ontario Line in the cards, senior transportation planner David Crowley discusses the future of transit with Ed Levy, an independent transportation planner, civil engineer and author of Rapid Transit in Toronto: A Century of Plans, Projects, Politics and Paralysis.
28 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Infrastructure Beyond Investment
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on Ontario’s economy and, as the province emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, the question of how to kick-start the recovery looms large. Strategic investments in state-of-good-repair projects will keep jobs and growth on track. Alternatively, efforts to rein in infrastructure spending would have devastating consequences. The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) recently commissioned a report on the situation, titled Navigating the COVID-19 Socio-economic Shock: How Infrastructure Investments Will Facilitate Future Growth in Ontario. It was prepared by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA). The report warns that employment and tax revenues will take a staggering hit over the next decade unless governments work together to maintain pre-COVID-19 infrastructure investments. RCCAO executive director Andy Manahan, CANCEA president and CEO Paul Smetanin, and Heavy Construction Association of Toronto executive director Peter Smith discuss their ideas.
16 minutes | Jul 20, 2020
Aggregate Reuse and Recycling
Every year in Ontario, millions of tonnes of reusable asphalt and concrete aggregate is generated from road building and other construction projects. Unfortunately, municipal policies and specifications often prohibit or severely limit the reuse of recycled aggregates in construction projects, and large volumes of recyclable aggregates end up in landfills. Rob Bradford of the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association discusses the issue with Kyle Martin, project manager at Fermar Paving.
25 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Infrastructure Ideas – Priorities for Ontario
Building new infrastructure for the future is a priority for Ontario. The province must replace and refurbish deteriorating structures as well as embark on new builds. Spending money on infrastructure is a wise choice. Studies have shown that spending on infrastructure has positive returns. Putting money into new infrastructure, especially after COVID-19, will create many new construction jobs and help boost the economy. So, what are the priorities for Ontario? Andy Manahan, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), discusses the situation with Stephen Wickens, a transit researcher and accomplished journalist who recently authored the report, Station to Station: Why Subway-building Costs have Soared in the Toronto region, that was commissioned by the RCCAO.
28 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Talking Trades – How to Attract Young People to Construction
Ontario’s construction industry faces a shortage of skilled workers. Reports show that the residential construction labour force is expected to expand by nearly 7,300 workers by 2029. Factoring in retirements, there’s expected to be a projected gap of close to 21,800 workers by then. So how do you attract more youth to the industry? Richard Lyall, a director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) and president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), discusses the situation with Jon Callegher, executive director of Job Talks, which recently launched a video series in conjunction with RESCON and RCCAO and other groups.
24 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Hallway Medicine – Cures for a Pending Crisis
Ontario’s healthcare system is bracing for a grey tsunami as baby boomers are increasingly relying on the province’s social and healthcare services. Overcrowding in many hospitals means that the province cannot properly accommodate all patients. A more practical approach to tackling the issue is needed. The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) commissioned a report on the matter called ℞ to Cure Hallway Medicine: Building Targeted Housing for Ontario’s Seniors which offers solutions to the crisis. Author of the report, Michael Fenn, a senior advisor at StrategyCorp who is a former deputy minister for Ontario and founding CEO of the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network, talks about the issue with Phil Rubinoff, a builder/developer and chairman of the RCCAO board of directors.
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