10 megaprojects underway in Canada

When it comes to construction, it may seem the higher the cost, the more interest the development generates from stakeholders and the media. Dubbed megaprojects, these developments cost more than $1 billion and attract public attention, generally due to community impact and cost.

At the 32nd annual CanaData East Conference in Toronto on Sept. 22, Craig Roberts, vice president of marketing and business development at ConstructConnect, highlighted 10 Canadian megaprojects in various stages of planning or completion.

10. Woodfibre LNG Project

  • Location: Squamish B.C.
  • Cost: $1.6 billion
  • Timeline: 2018 to 2020

Located on a former pulp mill site 7 km southwest of Squamish, B.C., the Woodfibre Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will process natural gas shipped via pipelines from northern British Columbia. With planning underway, the facility will have a storage capacity of 250,000 cubic metres and will produce about 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year. Instead of natural gas, Woodfibre will be powered by electricity from BC Hydro, reducing its emissions by more than 80 per cent.

9. Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation

  • Location: Toronto, Ont.
  • Cost: $2.3 billion
  • Start: 2018 to 2025

Planning is underway to rehabilitate the expressway from Highway 427 to its eastern limit at Logan Avenue in Toronto. The road refurbishment includes the 11 km at-grade section that runs from the 427 to Dufferin street, which includes 32 bridges and structures. The 7 km of elevated highway, from Dufferin Street to Logan Avenue, which includes 335 spans, will also be rehabilitated.

8. CIBC Square

  • Location: Toronto, Ont.
  • Cost: $3 billion
  • Timeline: 2017 to 2023

EllisDon has been contracted to construct the two-building, one-acre development in Toronto’s Financial District. Located on Bay Street, south of Front Street, the development will include a GO Bus terminal, office space and urban park. The first building, located at 81 Bay St., will stand 782 ft. tall, and include 1.5 million square feet of rentable floor space. Construction is scheduled to finish in 2020. The second building, located at 141 Bay St., will reach 797 ft. and add 1.4 million square feet of floor space. Construction is expected to conclude in 2023.

7. Ottawa LRT, Stage 2

  • Location: Ottawa, Ont.
  • Cost: 3.6 billion
  • Timeline: 2019 to 2023

The Ottawa Stage 2 LRT will add three rail extensions in the east, west and south regions of the city. The Trillium Line South will create 12 km of of new rail and seven new stations. The confederation Line East adds 12.5 km of rail and five stations, while Confederation Line West will see construction of 15 km of rail and 11 new LRT stations.

6. New Champlain Bridge Corridor

  • Location: Montreal, Que.
  • Cost: $4.2 billion
  • Timeline: 2015 to 2018

Montreal’s Champlain Bridge in one of North America’s busiest bridge routes, with about 50 million vehicles crossing it each year. The project will see construction of a second bridge spanning 3.4 km as well as a 470 metre bridge for Nun’s Island. The bridge will have a 125-year lifespan.  The project also includes the widening of Highway 15 from the Atwater interchange to the new bridge.

5. Gordie Howe International Bridge

  • Location: Windsor, Ont.
  • Cost: $4.8 billion
  • Timeline: 2018 to 2023

The Gordie Howe International Bridge will cross the Detroit River between Southwest Detroit and Windsor, Ont. With a total length of about 2.5 km, the bridge includes three Canadian-bound lanes, and three lanes heading into the United States. The project includes a clear span of 850 metres about the river, without constructing piers in the water. Once complete, the structure will be among the top five longest bridges in North America.

4. Eglinton Crosstown LRT

  • Location: Toronto, Ont.
  • Cost: $5.3 billion
  • Timeline: 2016 to 2021

Construction is underway on Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT, a 19-km light rail line comprising of 15 underground stations and 10 at-grade surface stops. Running along Eglinton from Weston Road to Kennedy Station, the Crosstown will run underground for more than 10 km. The transit service will link to 54 bus routes, three TTC subway stations and GO Transit. The Crosstown is the largest transit expansion project in Toronto’s history.

3. Réseau électrique métropolitain

  • Location: Montreal, Que.
  • Cost: $6 billion
  • Timeline: 2018 start

Planning is currently underway for the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM), a 67-km electric, driverless train system in Montreal. The REM will consist of 27 stations on four branches that link downtown Montreal, South Shore, West Island and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Upon completion, REM will be the fourth largest automated transportation system in the world.

2. Muskrat Falls Generating Project

  • Location: Badger, Nfld.
  • Cost: $12.7 billion
  • Timeline: 2013 to 2018

The first phase of the Muskrat Falls Generating Project includes construction of an 824-megawatt hydroelectric generating facility, more than 1,600 km of transmission line across Newfoundland and the Maritime Link between the province and Nova Scotia. The four-turbine facility, located on the lower Churchill River, also includes two dams, a spillway and a powerhouse. When complete, the project will be Newfoundland’s second largest hydroelectric facility.

1. Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment

  • Location: Clarington, Ont.
  • Cost: $12.8 billion
  • Timeline: 2016 to 2026

Ontario Power Generation is refurbishing four steam turbines, generator units and associated auxiliary equipment at the Darlington site. More than 100 Ontario-based companies are involved in the refurbishment project. The project will extend the lifespan of the CANDU pressurized heavy water nuclear generating station by 30 years. The Darlington power plant produces about 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity.