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Rising costs remain a concern, despite optimistic outlook in OCS’s 2024 survey

March 15, 2024 | By Anthony Capkun

March 15, 2024 – Ontario contractors are expecting 2024 to be a busy year, according to the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s annual contractor survey.

More than 2/3 of the contractors surveyed (66%) are feeling positive about the coming year; among unionized workplaces, that number is even stronger, at 71%.

“There is a massive project pipeline in Ontario that is fuelling positivity about business prospects,” says Robert Bronk, CEO, OCS. “Power generation, transit, and healthcare facilities are leading the list of projects currently under construction or slated for construction over the next few years in every region of the province.”

Regionally, prospects are most positive in Northern Ontario, in response to increased mining and institutional projects, while contractors in Eastern Ontario anticipate a bit of a breather in 2024.


The survey shows strong support for the adoption of new technologies: 83% of those surveyed feel adopting new tech is important to the future of their business, and 15% have created a budget to invest in new technology. The most commonly used technologies were BIM (44%) and jobsite data collection apps (43%).

Labour challenges remain a concern, with 65% reporting they expect recruiting skilled workers to be more difficult in 2024; nearly half (48%) cite the availability of experienced skilled labour as the top concern in 2024.

That said, 34% of respondents expect their workforce to be larger this year, while only 8% expect the number of people they employ to drop.

Concerns about rising costs persist into 2024. One in five open-ended responses to the survey cited increasing prices, whether it was for labour, materials, or higher interest rates. Following availability of labour, material costs (28%), labour costs (27%) and transportation costs (25%) were listed as the top concerns of the year.

“Despite a mostly positive outlook for ICI construction in 2024, the rising costs we are all facing remain a concern,” said Bronk. “But it is encouraging that, despite this worry, there are still strong expectations for growth and expansion over the coming year, with many contractors implementing new technologies to help create efficiencies and support business success.”

DOWNLOAD the report (PDF): OCS 2024 Contractor Survey REPORT

OCS’s contractor survey polls the province’s institutional, commercial, and industrial construction sector to gauge business expectations and present views on issues impacting the industry. The survey was conducted via phone interview with 500 contractors between November 2023 and January 2024, including union and non-union companies.

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