Ottawa construction permits jump 22% in 2016

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Propelled by several large condo and apartment projects, as well as the ongoing work on the city’s light-rail line, Ottawa’s construction sector fell just shy of a record year in 2016, an analysis of municipal records shows.

The city issued building permits for projects worth a combined $2.61 billion last year. That’s up nearly 22 per cent from the $2.15 billion in construction intentions in 2015 and just off the eight-year high of $2.68 billion, set in 2014.

Some of the largest projects that received a building permit last year include a 15-storey apartment building at 1045 Vanier Parkway, just north of Hwy. 417 ($50 million), Claridge’s 47-floor mixed-use tower at 505 Preston St. ($43.2 million) and the city’s underground rail stations.

The priciest was the Lyon station, which needed three permits valued at $16.35 million each.

The construction industry was one of the bright spots for the local economy during a period of otherwise tepid growth from 2012-14 as large projects such as the $360-million renovation of the Rideau Centre helped to partially offset reduced government spending.

Late last year, the Conference Board of Canada said it expects the construction sector to continue to be an important economic driver in the coming years as work on the renovation of Centre Block and phase two of the city’s light-rail project gets underway.