Hamilton reaches $1 billion construction activity for the year despite COVID-19

Construction has begun next to Hamilton’s international airport on a plan to advance 551 hectares of "employment land" in the hopes of creating a major business park to integrate with the international airport. Nick Westoll / Global News

Hamilton has achieved an economic milestone for the tenth time in the last 11 years.

The city says it has officially surpassed $1 billion worth of construction activity for 2020, thanks to alternative service delivery options during the COVID-19 pandemic, including online building permits and virtual meetings with development applicants.

Read more: Hamilton breaks development record with more than $1.5 billion in construction in 2019

Through Sept. 30, residential building activity accounts for almost 70 per cent of this year’s construction value in Hamilton. Seventeen per cent of the total involves industrial construction, 11 per cent commercial and 3 per cent institutional development activity.

The city also confirms a 35 per cent increase in permit applications for swimming pool enclosures during the pandemic, and a 23 per cent increase between June and September in construction of decks, sheds and other small residential projects.

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Read more: More people doing home renos to relieve stress during COVID-19 pandemic

In 2020, the $1 billion milestone represents 4,718 building projects.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says reaching the milestone in the midst of a global pandemic “sends a strong message that the momentum in Hamilton is real and continues despite all the challenges we have faced this year.”

Read more: Hamilton’s airport runway modernization completed to accommodate larger aircraft

Jason Thorne, the city’s general manager of planning and economic development, says he’s “very proud of our city staff and thankful to our development community, for how quickly they adapted to new measures such as digital submissions and virtual meetings to keep development going in the city.”

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