Ontario Construction Report special feature
Proudly positioned on the eastern border of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) within the Region of Durham, the Municipality of Clarington is a growing lakeshore community. Home to more than 90,000 residents, 1,500 businesses and several major infrastructure and investment projects, Clarington encompasses a rich blend of urban and rural opportunities.
According to the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development (CBOT) everyone can find what they are looking for in the unique communities of Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono and various rural hamlets. Clarington is a community that has been experiencing no-table development and continues to prepare for exponential growth resulting from major infrastructure projects.
Development and job creation
Since January of this year, the CBOT have received several inquiries from realtors, the provincial government and companies to accommodate more than 600,000 sq. ft. of development ranging from 2,000 to 180,000 sq. ft. facilities. There has also been a notable increase in the past year in the existing manufacturing community who are looking to expand operations to accommodate their growth.
“We know of 10 manufacturers with a combined total of more than 475 employees, who have either expanded or are seriously considering it, or have site plan approval. These include Algoma Orchards (48,000 sq. ft.) and Detox Environmental (18,000 sq. ft.),” said Sheila Hall, executive director.
Between 2014 and the beginning of 2015, the community has seen more than $35 million invested in commercial/industrial development.
The Municipality of Clarington recently released a building report highlighting all building permits granted from April until the end of June 2015. It shows that construction is up by 103.6 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014. During that time period, the municipality issued 440 new residential housing unit permits as compared to 170 at the same time in 2014. These positive building permit numbers have increased the year-to-date construction value to 20.7 per cent higher than the same time last year with the majority of the percentage increase in industrial and commercial construction.
Local infrastructure improvements
Nearly $100 million has recently been, or will be, invested in local projects in the next two years. Approximately $2 million was invested in the 400 m. extension of Lake Rd., located in the South Bowmanville Industrial Park.
The project was complete in December 2014 and the new extension greatly improves the transportation network and public safety, as well as creating increased opportunity for development. The road extension increases accessibility to more than 100 acres of serviced industrial land.
Since the summer of 2014 CBOT has seen increased interest in these properties from several users needing property to accommodate more than 500,000 sq. ft.
The extension of the Courtice sewer trunk is a $30 million project that will extend from Energy Dr. to Courtice Rd., and from Courtice Rd. to Bloor St. within a few years. This is a Region of Durham project that will improve servicing to the Courtice area (and to Oshawa and north Whitby in the future). This work will provide much needed servicing to the employment lands in Courtice and additional residential capacity.
New Development Charge By-law
On May 11, 2015 Clarington Council approved changes to the Municipality’s Development Charge By-law – effective July 1, 2015. These changes provide new exemptions to help encourage growth and development in Clarington. “We have worked diligently, consulting with the development community to come up with a fee system that is fair, maintains services and also encourages growth and development,” said Nancy Taylor, director of finance.
To learn more about this, contact CBOT.
Existing small to mid-size industrial companies can double their footprint without paying any Clarington development charges. For new industrial builds, businesses only pay half the fee levied. “As development moves east, Clarington is well positioned for additional growth with more than 125 acres of serviced industrial land along the 401 corridor with an amazing price point ranging from $60,000 to $150,000 per acre. These new development charge exemptions will add to the advantage of developing these lands,” says Hall.
Mega projects and opportunities
Port Granby project
On July 30, 2015, the federal government announced the award of an $86,847,474 contract under the Port Hope Area Initiative to AMEC – CB&I Joint Venture to build the Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Facility in the Municipality of Clarington. The Port Granby project will re-locate the historic low-level radioactive waste and margin-ally contaminated soils from an existing waste management facility on the shoreline of Lake Ontario to the new, state-of-the-art facility about a kilometre north of the current site.
The contract includes facility construction, waste excavation, construction of a roadway to permit transportation of the excavated material without using municipal roads and restoration of the existing and new facility sites. The Port Granby project is part of the Port Hope Area Initiative, a $1.28 billion federally funded project.
The local economy will realize significant economic opportunities with the creation of hundreds of jobs over the project’s five to six-year duration. Requirements for con-tract-related work range from heavy equipment, trucking and excavation, to property maintenance, security, instrumentation, environmental monitoring and many other skilled trades. Spin-off opportunities such as accommodation, food, printing and signage will also result from the project.
The implementation phase of the Port Granby project began in 2012, and Clarington firms have already realized significant economic benefits from the construction of a state-of-the art wastewater treatment plant and roadway and site preparation activities.
Highway 407 East Phase 2 project
In January of 2015, Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Transportation selected Blackbird Infrastructure Group as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance and maintain the Highway 407 East Phase 2 project.
The project will include extending Highway 407 approximately 22 km from Harmony Rd. in Oshawa to Highway 35/115 in Clarington. It will also connect Highways 401 and 407 with a 10 km East Durham Link that will serve as a north-south freeway. Concrete is expected to be poured in 2016. This is a $1.2 billion contract, and completion is expected by 2020.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment
At the Darlington site, construction continues on 18 new or upgraded facilities and infrastructure projects that need to be in place to support Darlington’s refurbishment.
As of December 2014, OPG’s investments and actual costs for Darlington’s refurbishment was $1.6 billion and included the new Darlington Energy Complex, the Mock-up and Training Facility and progression of other work and projects. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 people working on the re-furbishment project at the site between OPG and contract staff.
OPG expects to have 3,000 contractors through its doors in 2015