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Nearly Half of Canada’s 100 Most Expensive Infrastructure Projects are in Ontario

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Of the 100 most expensive infrastructure projects currently underway in Canada, 42 can be found in Ontario.

ReNew Canada released its annual Top100 Projects report on Monday, outlining the largest public sector infrastructure projects under development across the country.

The majority of the projects included in the 2023 iteration carried over from last year, although a number of newer projects were added. Others were removed due to substantial completion or cancelation.

The 11 new projects that debuted on this year’s list total nearly $10B, the magazine said, with the complete list of 100 projects valued at approximately $273B.

The transit sector dominated the 2023 report, with 25 projects valued at $120.6B. It was followed by the energy sector, with 11 projects valued at $50.7B, while the buildings sector accounted for 30 projects valued at $45.5B. The transportation sector (19 projects valued at $28.2B) and the water-wastewater, communications, and remediation sector (15 projects valued $28 billion) rounded out the top five.

In Ontario, transportation dominated the list, with commuter rail and Toronto subway projects ranking high. Below is a look at the 10 most expensive infrastructure projects underway in Ontario, with a total value of over $100B.

GO Expansion – On-Corridor Works

2023 Rank: 2
Project Value: $15.7B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2032

expensive infrastructure projects ontario

For the second year in a row, the On-Corridor Works project was deemed the most expensive in Ontario and the second-priciest in all of Canada.

The largest project in Metrolinx’s GO Rail Expansion program, On-Corridor Works will transform the rail network in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Infrastructure upgrades will include additional tracks, expanded stations, electrification of the rail network, and new train control systems.

Currently in the development phase, the project will help to deliver two-way, all-day service every 15 minutes or sooner over core segments of the GO rail network upon completion.

Bruce Power Refurbishment

2023 Rank: 3
Project Value: $13B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2033

expensive infrastructure projects ontario

Bruce Power initially announced its plan to refurbish six of its eight nuclear reactors in 2015, but the start of the project was postponed from 2016 to 2020 based on the usable life of the reactors.

As of October 2022, the refurbishment of the first reactor was progressing on time and on budget, with refuelling — a key milestone for the project — expected to start in Q2 2023. Construction is scheduled to begin on the second reactor early this year.

Located near Kincardine, the eight reactors produce 6,550 megawatts of power annually — approximately 30% of Ontario’s energy usage. The privately-funded project will extend the life of the units through 2064.

Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment

2023 Rank: 4
Project Value: $12.8B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2026

Ontario Power Generation began refurbishment on Darlington’s four nuclear reactors in 2016. Work was competed on the first unit in 2020, and refurbishment on the fourth and final reactor is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023.

The project will extend the life of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station by 30-plus years, taking the equivalent of 2M cars off Ontario’s roads each year and creating 14,200 jobs annually.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT

2023 Rank: 5
Project Value: $12.5B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2023

expensive infrastructure projects ontario

Initially slated for completion in 2020, construction on the long-awaited, highly delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT began in 2011.

Running from Mount Dennis to Kennedy Station, the light-rail transit line will span 19 km of Eglinton Avenue, 11 km of which will be underground. At street level, the LRT vehicles will carry passengers in dedicated right-of-way transit lines separate from regular traffic.

Upon completion, the 25-stop transit line will link to 54 bus routes, three subway stations, and multiple GO Transit lines. The LRT vehicles will be capable of carrying 15,000 passengers per hour, per direction.

Sidewalk restoration, track work, and duct bank installation are some of the projects underway as of January 2023.

Ontario Line

2023 Rank: 6
Project Value: $10.9B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2031

expensive infrastructure projects ontario

The Ontario Line is a 15-station, 15.6-kilometre subway line that will run from Exhibition Place, through downtown Toronto, and up to the Ontario Science Centre. New underground tunnels will comprise more than half of the route, with the remainder running along elevated and at-grade tracks.

The new line will connect to more than 40 other travel options, including the TTC’s Line 1 and 2 subways, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, three GO Transit rail lines, and numerous bus and streetcar routes.

The project reached major procurement milestones in November 2022, including the awarding of the Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel (South) contract to Ontario Transit Group and the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and maintenance (RSSOM) contract to Connect 6ix.

The former includes, in part, designing and supplying the trains, while the latter covers construction of a 6-km tunnel and seven stations. Work on both contracts will begin in early 2023.

GO Expansion – Early Works

2023 Rank: 7
Project Value: $10.5B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2025

expensive infrastructure projects ontario

The Early Works portion of the GO Expansion program includes more than 50 individual projects, including the Davenport Diamond Rail Grade Separation Project, the Highway 401 Rail Tunnel, and the Union Station Enhancement project.

Smaller projects include station improvements and utility relocations. Together, the Early Works projects will help to accommodate two-way, all-day transit throughout the GTHA corridor.

TTC Vehicles Program

2023 Rank: 9
Project Value: $7.1B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2022-2036

The TTC is undertaking a number of projects to upgrade its fleet, including the procurement of 264 new streetcars (valued at $1.6B), more than 100 new Wheel-Trans buses ($363M), and hybrid and electric buses ($4.4B).

An electrification program ($766M) will cover the infrastructure needed to support the charging of electric buses. The TTC aims to have installed 60 e-charges at three garages by 2024, and plans to have electrified its entire fleet by 2036.

Gordie Howe International Bridge

2023 Rank: 12
Project Value: $5.7B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2024

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is the largest and most ambitious bi-national border infrastructure project along the Canada-US border. The project includes a new six-lane bridge across the Detroit River, as well as the associated border inspection plazas and connections to freeways in Ontario and Michigan.

Work is being conducted simultaneously on each of the project’s four components: Canadian Point of Entry, US Point of Entry, the Michigan I-75 Interchange, and the bridge itself. Recent work has included the installation of building utilities at the points of entry, and rebar installation on the bridge.

Hurontario LRT

2023 Rank: 13
Project Value: $5.6B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2024

Running along its namesake corridor, the Hurontario LRT project will bring 18 km of rapid transit to Mississauga and Brampton.

Dubbed the Hazel McCallion Line, LRT vehicles will travel in a dedicated lane, serving 19 stops and offering connections to GO Transit’s Milton and Lakeshore West rail lines, Mississauga MiWay, Brampton Züm, and the Mississauga Transitway BRT.

The majority of construction has been completed at the operations, maintenance, and storage facility, which will act as the hub for the new line, and track installation will get underway in early 2023.

Included in the Moving Ontario Forward plan, the Hurontario LRT was funded through a $1.4B commitment from the provincial government.

Scarborough Subway Extension

2023 Rank: 14
Project Value: $5.5B
Estimated Date of Substantial Completion: 2026

Running from Kennedy Station northeast to McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue, the Scarborough Subway Extension will add three stops and 7.8 km to the TTC’s Line 2. Intended to replace the existing Scarborough RT, the new stations will offer connections to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Durham Region Transit, and GO Transit.

Construction began in June 2021, and recent milestones include the selection of a development partner for the project’s stations, rail, and systems in December 2022.

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