Toronto continues to lead North America in tower crane activity

Tower crane stock photo

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Toronto continues to lead all cities in North America in tower crane activity.

According to the Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index for North America, Toronto accounts for 43 per cent of active tower cranes, followed by Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington D.C., which all account for nine per cent each of the total count.

The index is published by the real estate consulting firm biannually, to track the number of operating tower cranes in 14 major cities across the United States and Canada.

Toronto recorded a 68 per cent increase in its tower crane count since the previous index, adding 84 cranes. Toronto recorded significant jumps in commercial and mixed-use developments. As well, the projects were slated for the past few years and were not impacted by the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.

The Crane Index noted the pandemic has contributed to a reduction in people moving to the Toronto area, which will lower demand for new housing. In the near term, according to Rider Levett Bucknall, this could mean a reduction in condominium construction starts. Another possible consequence of COVID-19 is a shift toward permanent remote working, which may reduce the demand for commercial office space.

Overall, the survey reports an increase of tower cranes from its previous count, with the count increasing by 71 cranes.

Of the 14 cities surveyed, seven recorded an increase in tower cranes, four are holding steady; and three saw significant decreases in crane activity, ranging from reduction of 44 per cent to 54 per cent.

Rider Levett Bucknall notes tower cranes installed at residential and mixed-use projects increase to 69 per cent of the overall count. The commercial sector has also seen an aggressive increase since the previous Crane Index.


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