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City sets 2020 building records despite pandemic

Oshawa recorded nine building records in 2020 despite the pandemic.

Just as local businesses have had to pivot in 2020, Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter says the city faced its own challenges and had to change the way it conducts business.

He notes the city’s Building Permit and Inspection Services went fully digital and managed to “smash even more building records in spite of a global pandemic.”

“Oshawa is a strong and resilient city and our building services branch is a fine example of how we have risen to the occasion during these unprecedented times to meet the needs of our business community.”

The city recorded the highest March residential of $87,611,100, surpassing 2015’s record of $63.25 million; highest March apartment units of 505; highest apartment units issued in any month, surpassing 1976’s record of 455 units; highest April residential of $124,433,300, surpassing 171 units in 1981; highest April total residential dwellings of 452, surpassing 281 in 1981; highest June industrial of $62,930,400, surpassing 1986’s record of $16.47 million; highest November townhouse units of 98, surpassing 77 units in 1991; and highest December townhouse units of 94, which surpasses 2016’s record of 68 units.

Furthermore, 2020 was Oshawa’s fourth highest total construction value on record at $480,474,100.

Development Services Committee Vice-Chair Councillor Rosemary McConkey says the surge in building permits in the past year gives an “exciting boost to the city’s economic outlook.”

“During a time when there is so much uncertainty, fortunately the growth in all construction sectors around the city in 2020 indicates the strong potential or Oshawa’s healthy rebound from the pandemic,” she says.

According to the city, there were 1,434 permits issued in 2020 for a total of $480.47 million in construction value. Of that, $363.9 million in residential construction, $63.8 million in industrial, $38.96 million in commercial construction, and $13.8 million in governmental/institutional was issued.

An additional 52,434 square metres of new industrial floor space, 12,820 square metres of commercial and 682 square metres of institutional floor space were created last year. There were 1,561 new residential units consisting of 960 apartment units, 300 townhouses, 150 accessory dwelling units, 133 single-detached units, and 18 semi-detached dwelling units.

There were three major projects issued in 2020, according to the city.

The Bond & Mary Phase II Development Inc., at $95 million, project saw an apartment building with 370 units, commercial and underground parking, which will be located at 80 Bond St. E.

At a cost of $91.7 million, Tribute (Simcoe Street) Limited saw an apartment building with 504 units and a parking garage building at 2550 Simcoe ST. N, and the CSPAC Industrial Thornton & Wentworth project, at $49 million, saw an industrial building at 883 Thornton Rd. S.

“The year 2020 was challenging for everyone and I’m proud of how our building services branch answered the call to substantially step up our service model by introducing new, dynamic ways to serve Oshawa businesses,” says Tito-Dante Marimpietri, chair of the development services committee.

He notes with more new commercial and industrial construction permits coming in 2021, the city is “well-positioned as a community of choice in which to live, work and invest.”

Oshawa has kept monthly building records since 1965, while yearly records date back to 1964.