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In a SNAP

Posted on May 2, 2016
Written by Cathrin Winkelmann

A neighbourhood-based approach to integrated infrastructure renewal.

In the face of climate change, communities across Canada are contending with the vulnerability of infrastructure to severe weather events and the ongoing challenge of keeping pace with infrastructure maintenance and replacement cycles. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates claims related to catastrophic [...]

Making Green Count

Posted on April 29, 2016
Written by Steven W. Peck

We cannot afford to neglect the need to recognize and invest in trees and other forms of living green infrastructure.

During the past decade, new thinking has emerged regarding trees and other forms of living “green infrastructure,” such as wetlands, bioswales, green roofs, and green walls. We have moved beyond their aesthetic appeal toward a better understanding of why it matters—and why it should count. A [...]

Excess Soil Handling

Posted on April 12, 2016
Written by Andy Manahan and Alan Durand

Implementing best practices for the construction industry.

Improvements to how excess construction soils are managed in Ontario will require coordinated efforts and the clarification of responsibilities by government and industry stakeholders. After a two-year consultation process, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) appears to [...]

Power to the Rails

Posted on March 23, 2016
Written by Saul Chernos

Ontario’s plan to electrify more than 280 kilometres of rail corridor in the GO Transit network stands to become the largest of its kind in Canada.

A planned decade-long project to electrify more than half the GO Transit commuter rail network in the Toronto area is in line with a global trend—and it stands to become the largest of its kind in Canada. In April 2015, the Ontario government announced $13.5 billion toward GO Transit electrification [...]

The Hardest Job to Fill

Posted on March 21, 2016
Written by James Careless

How Canada’s working to address the world’s ever-looming skilled trades shortage.

By 2025, Canada is on course to have a shortfall of 261,400 skilled tradespeople—and this is just for the residential construction market alone. Add the demand for skilled trades from other sectors like commercial/roads construction and manufacturing, and the resulting shortfall will likely be even [...]

Power Shift

Posted on March 16, 2016
Written by David Caplan, Pierre Alvarez, and Darrell Dexter

To switch its focus to renewable energy, Alberta can learn a lesson or two.

The dramatic shift in Alberta’s political landscape in 2015 was considered seismic at the time. Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party (NDP) came from seemingly nowhere to end 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule in the province. This change took place against a backdrop of equally seismic changes [...]

At the Speed of Light

Posted on March 11, 2016
Written by Gord McGuire

How Hamilton replaced 10,000 streetlights with LEDs on time and under budget—with the help of mapping technology.

If you pass through the main streets of Hamilton, you’ll notice that street lights have become much brighter. The city recently completed an extensive street light retrofit project that replaced 10,000 street lights with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology. City council approved [...]

Banking on Change

Posted on March 3, 2016
Written by Jean-Francis Strayer and David Rose

Scoping out the role and mandate of a federal infrastructure bank in Canada.

Over the past decade, several attempts were made to close the Canadian infrastructure gap. These were led at various government levels across Canada and favoured the emergence of now-successful organizations essential to the modern procurement approach to public sector assets: the P3 Canada Fund, the [...]

Not Making the Grade

Posted on February 19, 2016
Written by Tristan Simpson

The 2016 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card shows municipal infrastructure needs improvement.

The 2016 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) provided an assessment of the country’s municipal assets, including roads and bridges, public transit, buildings, sport and recreation facilities, stormwater, wastewater, and potable water infrastructure. The report concluded that one-third of municipal [...]

Flowing Funds

Posted on February 18, 2016
Written by Darren Sokoloski

Public-private partnerships can be an effective model for renewing critical water infrastructure despite challenges.

There is widespread consensus that Canada’s water systems are in urgent need of investment, replacement, and renewal. For many cities and communities, however, the upfront costs are prohibitive. Public-private partnerships (P3s) are gaining ground as a means for governments to achieve their infrastructure [...]
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