UrbanToronto is celebrating 20 YEARS throughout October with stories and images looking back over the last two decades. Today we look to the skies to consider that rather common sight on Toronto's various horizons: the crane.

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The world's cities are rising, and nothing symbolizes the upward growth of a city like the number of cranes you'll see on each skyline. It just happens to be one of the areas where the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) can crow with the best of them too; no other city or urban region in North America can match the number of cranes on the sky here, although Vancouver in the mid-200s comes close. For the enthusiast, you'll find the big numbers below, both across the total area of the GTHA that we track, and broken down by region…

…but we have some figures for the statistician and the industry players too. This is why UrbanToronto, your go-to platform for comprehensive insights into the GTHA's urban development, is thrilled to unveil an expanded service in our 20th year: welcome to our Quarterly Crane Count, this one covering Q3 2023.

Cranes lifting the city higher. Image courtesy of mburrrrr

UrbanToronto began tracking the number of cranes in the GTA in Spring 2021, with our first report being published in June, 2021. While we have not featured the updates on our front page again until now, we continually update our forum with the latest crane counts on a project-by-project basis across the Toronto area.  This summer, we expanded our coverage of crane counts to include Hamilton as well. Moreover, UTPro users now have access to the crane count for each project Database File, recorded in a new field. This expansion in scale and scope of our capabilities now allows us to regularly report on this feature quickly and reliably. 

Digging Without Tools: The Need for Accurate Construction Data 

In the dynamic construction landscape of the GTHA, with 619 projects currently under construction and nearly another 2,500 getting ready in pre-construction phases, the importance of precise and current information is crucial to many. Developers, investors, and urban planners are tasked with navigating this intricate framework, seeking reliable data to inform their strategies and decisions. Knowing the amount of crane activity can also help you to gauge the relative demands on and health of the local construction industry. 

Assembling Insights: Crane Count’s Detailed Analysis

For UTPro users, the addition of the Crane Count feature enhances its structural integrity, allowing you to assemble a wealth of detailed insights. Now users can track cranes on a region or project-by-project basis. Along with UTPro's other data and analysis tools, this feature can be leveraged for lead generation, research, and analysis. No one else is or can provide these level of granularity to data. 

Scaffolding Knowledge: Quarterly Reporting for Informed Decision-Making

UrbanToronto is committed to reporting on the construction industry, which is why we will be providing crane statistics to the public on a quarterly basis. 

Elevating Industry Standards 

With the unveiling of the Active Cranes Report, UrbanToronto cements its commitment to excellence, striving to elevate industry standards through the provision of reliable and comprehensive urban development data. We extend an invitation to industry professionals and enthusiasts to explore the myriad benefits of UTPro and leverage the Crane Count for unparalleled insights into the GTHA’s evolving construction landscape.

The Q3 2023 Crane Count

Fast facts: 

  • as of October 1, 2023, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area has 357 cranes across our skylines
  • out of 619 projects under construction in the GTHA, 238 projects boast at least 1 crane (36.5%) — this is normally a sign of mid- or high-rise projects
  • of those projects with at least 1 crane, 142 have exactly 1, 71 clasim 2 cranes, 14 have 3 cranes, and 6 boast 4 or more cranes 
  • these cranes are constructing projects which will add 55,526 new dwelling units to the GTHA 
  • within the City of Toronto, Ward 10 has the most total number of cranes, with 23 

Map of the regions of the GTHA, and the number of cranes within each. As of Q3 2023. Data from UTPro.

Summary table of GTHA projects with cranes as of Q3 2023. Data from UTPro.

Pie chart for the total number of cranes by region, for Q3 2023. Data from UTPro.

Historical chart of cranes in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, October 2021 to October 2023. Data from UTPro.

You will see in the final chart above, that while the number of cranes in the areas we were tracking before this quarter has actually dropped from what we believe was an historic high at this time last year. The addition of Hamilton to our tracking, indicated in light blue atop of the Q3 2023 column, shows a higher total however, with it added in. Despite the slight drop in the GTA without Hamilton, the number of cranes is relatively stable: note that baseline for the chart is 300 cranes, not 0!

We'll be back at in January with the changes over three months, but in the meantime, you can always check on the situation though our cranes thread, or by checking in on individual project threads.

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UrbanToronto will return soon with another story celebrating 20 YEARS. In the meantime, check back often to our front page and Forum to keep an eye on all the current and emerging trends, and you can always leave your comments in the space below.

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Thank you to the companies joining UrbanToronto to celebrate our 20 years in business.