The Cities of Vaughan and Oshawa have each announced a record breaking year for construction value in 2017. The two Greater Tornto Area urban centres released information on their highest years for residential construction and number of building permits issued. Oshawa broke 10 building records including seven all-time records (mostly set in 2015), while Vaughan is seeing momentum with extensive development of the city centre, construction of a new hospital and the extension of the University Subway line.

Vaughan reported a 2017 construction value of $1.969 billion between the 5,328 permits issued in 2017, well surpassing last year’s value of $1.149 billion. In a statement issued by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, he notes that “the City's growth in the last eight years has been remarkable.” Construction values equal an amount of more than $5 million in construction activity per day in the city. Bevilacqua adds “these outstanding construction values represent a strong economy, a destination of choice and a prosperous place to live.” In a recent citizen survey conducted by the City of Vaughan, it was revealed that 97% of residents believe “life is good” in Vaughan, and enjoy their quality of life.

Vaughan Centre Station Entrance, image via TTC / Grimshaw Architects / Arup Canada

The announcement comes as no surprise considering the recent completion of the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension, which includes new stations up to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Recent announcement of the proposed Expo City 5, a 61-storey tower as the 5th phase of Expo City will add to this development boom in coming years. 

Aerial view of Expo City 5, image via Quadrangle

Further from Toronto, Oshawa announced the city had surpassed a $600 million construction value for building permits in 2017—a first in its history. Having issued 2,286 building permits, Oshawa reached just over $614.3 million, breaking a 2015 record by $56 million. Of this, residential construction dominated with $483.5 million in construction permits, $29 million more than the 2015 record. Oshawa constructed 555 residential dwellings in July alone, with $144.9 million worth of construction taking place that month. Topping the list is University Studios at 1900 Simcoe Street north, a new apartment complex with a construction value of approximately $24 million.

University Studios, 1900 Simcoe Street north, image via Podium Developments

Government and institutional construction was held the next highest value, at $60.2 million. Mike Leonard, Oshawa’s Chief Building Official notes, “not only has our construction volume increased, but also the types of buildings we are reviewing are larger and more complex.” Durham District School Board saw construction of a new elementary school at 2200 Bridle Road, costing $11.9 million and extensive renovations to Oshawa Central Collegiate with a cost of $10 million.

What is your take on the 2017 construction boom in either of these cities? Let us know by leaving a comment in the space provided below.