construction covid

Toronto once again has the most construction cranes on the continent

As residents continue to take issue with the fact that Toronto construction sites are still permitted to operate despite the global pandemic that has led to some level of shutdown of nearly every other industry, construction projects continue to boom around the city — so much so, in fact, that we have more cranes than any place in North America right now.

According to the most recent Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index, which looks at the number of operating tower cranes in various parts of the world, Toronto tops the list of North American urban centres so far in 2020.

We held 27 per cent of cranes working across the entire continent between January and March, while the second city on the list, Los Angeles, only had 10 per cent.

That amounts to 121 cranes busy erecting Toronto skyscrapers versus only 47 in L.A., which has a population more than three times that of the GTA.

This is the largest number of cranes counted in the city since the quantitative survey company began assessing the 14 most major construction markets in North America.

The title is something  Toronto is certainly no stranger to, but is it is a little surprising and concerning given the current circumstances.

RLB said our growth is "almost entirely driven by the condominium market" when speaking to the Real Estate News Exchange, while the survey itself notes that "residential pre-construction sales have been strong" in Toronto — and residents have certainly noticed that condo construction hasn't seemed to slow at all due to COVID-19.

Construction workers are now allowed to crowd sites 24 hours a day, despite the fact that Doug Ford's revised list of essential businesses seemed to limit construction to services associated with the healthcare sector, provincial infrastructure, "critical" industrial needs and projects necessary for public safety.

Many rejoiced about the seeming restrictions before noticing that previously approved work on condo towers and other residential buildings started before April 4 were given the green light to continue on as usual.

Some city councillors and workers themselves have demanded a halt to residential construction due to the fact that it is nearly impossible to practice proper social distancing on many construction sites, which are also notorious for having substandard sanitation.

There is also the fact that ongoing construction work affects the quality of life of residents, most of whom are now home listening to the noise and disruption at all hours of the day.

Though Doug Ford has assured that he will be shutting down any sites that aren't making workers' health and safety a priority right now, we'll have to wait and see if he or the city takes any of citizens' other concerns about current construction into account.

Lead photo by

George Hornaday


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