In Ontario, construction firms are building a second runway at the airport.
The provincial government has also opened an expanded $200-million regional aviation hub.
And construction crews are building homes for first responders.
“The boom in construction activity has been the best news for Ontario, especially in the last two years,” said Peter Daley, president of the Canadian Construction Association.
“We have had about 10 times more new work per person than we did a year ago, so it has been a very, very positive development.”
“Construction activity has now been going on for six years in Ontario, and we’re very happy to see that trend continue, but we are always concerned when there’s a significant downturn,” he added.
“So, I think it’s very important that we are careful to keep the recovery from happening.”
In fact, a downturn could spell trouble for the province.
Construction jobs are expected to drop by 1.4 per cent this year, the lowest annual decline since 2008.
And Ontario’s unemployment rate is forecast to hit 5.9 per cent by the end of next year, according to Statistics Canada.
“We are in a real transition in terms of the economy,” said Paul Martin, president and CEO of the Ontario Construction Association, adding that the recession will be felt most acutely for construction workers in the province’s west and central regions.
“Ontario has been able to get a lot of new projects done over the last four years, and now we have to find jobs in the industry.”
Construction companies in the western region, where construction has been particularly strong, have also been struggling.
According to the B.C.-based construction firm B.A. Associates, which tracks the sector, construction in the area has been declining since 2015.
In 2017, B. A. Associates reported that there were 1,879 projects that were delayed or cancelled due to construction.
The company attributes the downturn to increased costs, the loss of skilled labour and a lack of funding.
“I would say the situation in the west of Ontario is pretty bleak,” said Martin.
“The outlook for the west is really bleak right now.
We’ve seen it for a while, but I think the outlook is bleak for the entire region.”
The economic downturn has also affected the country’s other major construction industry.
According the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers, the downturn has impacted construction of all types, including highways, bridges, airports, highways, highways infrastructure and other infrastructure.
“There’s a lot more work to be done,” said Daley.
“There’s just not enough work to go around.”
While the industry has been hurt, the province is also facing some problems.
According a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Ontario’s overall construction employment fell by more than 25,000 people between 2014 and 2016.
Construction employment has fallen by about 11,000 since 2007.
In the east, construction jobs have increased by about 2,300 people since 2007 and construction of public buildings has risen by nearly 10,000.
The report noted that Ontario’s population is increasing, and there are more people in the construction sector.
In addition, there are many more young people entering the labour market, and the construction industry is hiring more women and minorities.
The Canadian Association for Public Service Employees (CPSE), which represents about 100,000 workers in Ontario and British Columbia, says it is worried about the construction boom.
In a recent survey, only 19 per cent of those surveyed said they would be willing to accept a job in the building industry, compared to 63 per cent in a similar survey in the U.S.
The union says it expects to see a drop in the number of construction jobs in 2018, while the Ontario government says it will continue to support the sector and support employers to hire more people.
“It’s a very challenging time for the industry and a difficult time for workers,” said Marty Smith, the union’s national president.
“Construction is a good industry.
It’s not going away, and it’s going to continue to grow.”
Smith said he hopes the downturn will give some people pause.
“But it’s not over,” he said.
“I don’t think it will be over anytime soon.”
With files from the Associated Press.