Editorial: April 2014
I attended a conference hosted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat recently and received a big download of information about industrial/commercial/institutional (ICI) construction intentions in Ontario and one of their biggest drivers, Toronto’s Metrolinx transit authority.
By Patrick Flannery
I attended a conference hosted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat recently and received a big download of information about industrial/commercial/institutional (ICI) construction intentions in Ontario and one of their biggest drivers, Toronto’s Metrolinx transit authority. Metrolinx is planning $16 billion of upgrades to that city’s transportation infrastructure over the next decade or so, and Jack Collins, its executive vice-president, gave an overview of the amazing projects in store: light rail lines, overhauls to Union Station, subway extensions and rapid bus routes. You could almost hear the room full of contractors drooling.
Seems to me rental operators ought to be drooling, too. The economists who spoke at the conference painted a generally positive picture of ICI construction intentions across the country, pointing to an accelerating economy in the U.S. and a weaker Canadian dollar as good things that will drive investment in commercial space and manufacturing facilities here. A lot of cities are being forced to face the realities that flow from years of insufficient investment in their infrastructure and authorize new construction, whether or not they know how they are going to pay for it. The OCS pegged contractor confidence at 64 per cent, which means most customers of Ontario rental stores expect to do more business this year than last. Maybe this is a good time to look at some of the bigger lifts or heavier rollers you have been thinking about.
If shopping is on your mind, you have come to the right place. This issue contains our annual Buyer’s Guide, with a roundup of suppliers offering rental-ready equipment. I think our print Buyer’s Guide still beats the internet in terms of how fast you can flip to a category and see all the main players in that sector, complete with accurate contact information and without having to go down numerous blind alleys. And it works in the back room, even when the computer is all way over there.
I want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate this industry at the Canadian Rental Mart in March. The show was well supported once again, drawing 407 rental operators to visit 91 exhibitors. Numbers were down slightly from our record-breaking 2012 year, which is hardly surprising given the extended winter that has delayed the start of spring landscaping. Our seminars sparked some great discussions, and the CRA Ontario’s banquet a big hit. Our exhibitors did their part to make this show a huge success with exclusive deals you couldn’t find anywhere else. You can read all about our very worthy ROOTY award winner, Special Event Rentals, right here on page 18. We were thrilled to have a winner from Alberta, which is a testament to the national nature of our show. Congratulations to Darren and Neil and the whole crew at Special Event Rentals. Enjoy your celebration party, courtesy of Doosan’s very generous prize.
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