Semion Kronenfeld: Toronto’s Biggest Construction Projects Still Experiencing Multiple Delays

Toronto's Biggest Construction Projects
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 27, 2023
  • Updated On: April 27, 2023

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto is home to many large-scale construction projects. However, over the past few decades, the rapid growth of the city’s infrastructure and population has demanded more and more new developments, and these ambitious plans are now facing multiple delays due to a variety of challenges.

Experts in Toronto’s real estate industry, such as Semion Kronenfeld, understand that by examining each case individually, Canadians can gain a better understanding of why certain large-scale constructions remain incomplete even after many years since their inception.

Union Station Revitalization Project

The ambitious schedule and scale of the Union Station Revitalization Project have promised to transform an aging structure into a modern hub of activity. However, with multiple delays, this project is quickly becoming another disappointment in the city’s building woes.

Ever since its origin in 2010, the revitalization process has encountered several obstacles, from difficulties in obtaining permits to shortages of skilled workers and necessary funding sources. These setbacks have caused lengthy pauses between work periods, resulting in a slowdown in progress that affects everything from structural improvements to aesthetic ones.

The completion date for this project has been continually pushed back as deadlines for various segments are missed or re-evaluated due to unforeseen issues. With many stakeholders involved – all of whom have their own objectives and requirements – it is clear why there continue to be so many delays on this particular project.

Scarborough Subway Extension Project

The ambitious Scarborough Subway Extension Project seeks to alleviate traffic congestion and bring much-needed relief for commuters by extending Line 2 Bloor-Danforth from Kennedy Station all the way along Eglinton Avenue East, culminating at McCowan Road through Scarborough Town Centre.

Despite these setbacks, this project strives for its mission of providing reliable transportation services for those who rely on it daily. These issues include funding shortfalls compounded by rising costs due to inflation, land acquisition difficulties, engineering complexities associated with tunnelling underneath existing infrastructure, and resistance from local stakeholders over station locations.

As a result, the completion dates for this project are still uncertain, and further revisions are being made on a regular basis.

Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit Project

Constructed by Metrolinx, the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project is one of Toronto’s most ambitious projects to date, with the potential to completely transform the city’s transport landscape. However, the project has been beset with multiple delays due to its scale and complexity.

When complete, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT plans to span almost 19 km from Mount Dennis in the west end through downtown Toronto, all the way out to Kennedy Station in Scarborough. It will boast 25 stations along its route, and connect many communities across Toronto. It is also estimated that an unprecedented 200 million riders annually will be able to access the system within just 10 years of opening day.

Finch West LRT Project

The Toronto government launched the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in April of 2013, with the goal of improving connectivity and reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and creating economic opportunities for local businesses.

The 12-kilometre line is planned to run along Finch Avenue between Humber College and the new Keele Street Subway Station when complete, featuring 17 stops at various locations along its route.

Originally estimated at $1.2 billion CAD for completion by 2021, this major infrastructure project has been delayed multiple times due to unforeseen challenges during construction work causing an increase in funding up to $1.3 billion CAD with a 2023 completion timeline instead.

Metrolinx has taken action against these delays by introducing third-party inspections of each phase of the project, as well as regular monitoring of progress against established timelines for quality assurance purposes.

York University Subway Extension Project

The Toronto York University Subway Extension Project has been subject to numerous setbacks since its initial scheduled completion date of December of 2017.

Intended to facilitate better transportation between Line 1 (Yonge-University) and Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth), this extension was designed with the purpose of providing easier access for commuters travelling to and from the university. Unfortunately, construction has been delayed due to various issues including land acquisition complications, higher-than-expected costs, as well as changes in design plans prompted by safety considerations.

Furthermore, labour shortages and weather conditions have further contributed to these delays. As such, it seems that completing this important project will take much longer than originally planned.

What Are the Reasons Behind These Construction Delays?

The construction industry is a major source of activity in Toronto, and delays to projects can have serious financial implications.

The most frequent cause of delay is related to design changes made during or after the start of planning for a project. This may be due to increasingly complex building specifications, unexpected challenges with existing structures on site, or insufficient resources allocated by stakeholders.

In addition, inadequate coordination between subcontractors has also been cited as another common reason that contributes to long wait times before completion, and poor communication within the particular team working on a project can further result in costly errors and misunderstandings.

Moreover, external issues, such as weather conditions or material shortages, can also hinder construction progress if not taken into account when planning a project timeline.

What Is the Financial Impact of Delayed Construction Projects in Toronto?

A recent CBC news report highlighted the fact that the cost of a single local project – widening a section of Highway 401 near Milton, Ontario – had already risen from $90 million to more than $200 million due to numerous delays.

This increase in financial strain on the city has become a common theme for many Toronto construction projects, with costs often spiralling out of control as timelines extend indefinitely.

The economic impacts of delayed construction projects are far-reaching and can affect individuals, businesses, and municipalities alike, from higher taxes and decreased job opportunities to a general reduced quality of life.

Compounded on top of this is the added pressure on local governments who must now find ways to fund these projects without negatively affecting other vital services or increasing property taxes even further.

The Future of Construction Projects in Toronto

Overall, major delays to Toronto’s construction projects can be attributed to a range of factors, from weather disruptions to material shortages and labour disputes.

These delays cause significant disruptions for residents and businesses in the city, and it is clear that significant changes need to take place if progress on Toronto’s biggest construction projects is to resume.

Toronto’s biggest industry leaders, including Semion Kronenfeld, are among those with the skills and expertise needed to make a major change to the city’s construction delays for the better, clearing up congestion and setting up a more efficient plan for the future.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.