Twice a year, in April and October, Rider Levitt Bucknall releases an updated North American Crane Index, giving their readers an idea of construction trends in many urban markets across the continent. In April of this year, RLB reported that Toronto had added 84 cranes to the skies compared to 6 months earlier, and that we had 43% of all cranes counted on the continent in this one city. The company, which describes themselves as “an independent global construction and property consultancy providing management and advice throughout the built environment,” covers many markets in North America, but they do not report on all markets in North America.
Cranes on the skyline, a montage by Jack Landau
In the April report where Toronto continued its rank at #1, the other markets reported on were Calgary (the only other one in Canada), Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Washington, New York, and Boston. That no doubt covers many cities where they skylines are quickly sprouting new tall buildings, but it leaves many out, including several in Canada such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax, while some of the largest American cities not making the list include Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.
It’s also unclear from a quick glance how far out RLB goes when they report on any city: is it just the city proper, or is development in the surrounding suburbs counted as well? We could have called to ask about RLB’s methodology, but we thought we would wait until we first took a look at what we could find through our own resource: UrbanToronto holds within it an amazing, up-to-date, photographic catalogue of construction sites, crowdsourced through the efforts of our many contributing members… so the first question was, could we find all 208 cranes that RLB counted in reasonably current photos of cranes posted to our Buildings threads, covering construction sites in Toronto and across the Greater Toronto Area?
Cranes at The Well in Toronto, image by UT Forum contributor ProjectEnd
We sure did find 208 cranes in Toronto, but there were still more threads to count, and that was just within the city proper. Compiling a list shortly after RLB’s April, 2021 Crane Index release and then tracking crane raising and disassemblies since, we found that Toronto proper averages about 220 cranes in the air at any given time (there are 223 up right now, to the best of our ability to track them), and a further 100 (exactly that number by our current count) in the 905 belt municipalities of Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Newmarket, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa. There may be other cranes in the GTA that remain uncounted by us—we have not checked through Milton nor Aurora yet—and depending on how large an area one wants to consider as part of Toronto’s sphere of influence, we know that more would be added to the total if we were to start counting in Hamilton, the K-W-Cambridge area, and Barrie. All we can say for now is… if Toronto was already leading the pack with 208 cranes in RLB’s list, then 323 cranes across the Greater Toronto Area, is an even greater result.
Want to run the numbers yourself? Here are our threads where you’ll find the cranes:
1 Crane: Parkland Ajax • Subtotal 1
Ajax Total 1
Brampton Total 8
2 Cranes: Valera • Subtotal 2
Burlington Total 4
3 Cranes: Gallery Square • Subtotal 3
4 Cranes: Vendome • Subtotal 4
Markham Total 16
3 Cranes: Parkside Village Avia 1 and 2 • Subtotal 3
Mississauga Total 17
2 Cranes: The Davis at Bakerfield • Subtotal 2
Newmarket Total 2
3 Cranes: Oak & Co Condos • Subtotal 3
Oakville Total 14
Oshawa Total 4
1 Crane: Pine Ridge Tower • Subtotal 1
2 Cranes: Universal City Condos • Subtotal 2
Pickering Total 3
1 Crane: 8888 Yonge Condos • Subtotal 1
Richmond Hill Total 9
1 Crane: 2 Queen West • 7 on the Park • No7 Rosedale • Eight Cumberland • 8 Haus • 12 Ossington • 19 Duncan • 36 Birch • Thirty Six Zorra • 55 Charles Condos • 57 Brock • 65 King East • 71 Redpath • Eighty One Wellesley • 89 Roehampton • 120 Sheppard East • 123 Portland • 200 Russell Hill • 260 High Park • 299 Campbell • 336 Queen West • 346 Davenport • 357 King West • 620 Avenue Road • Eight Forty on St Clair • 859 The Queensway • 900 St Clair West • 1181 Queen West • 2525 Bathurst • Avenue & Park • Azura Condos • B-Line Condos • Backyard Neighbourhood Condos • Bianca • The Cardiff • The Carvalo on College • Cedarvale Station • Central Condos • Chaplin Station • CIBC SQUARE Phase 2 • Danny Danforth Condos • E2 at E Place • East 3220 Condos • Eglinton Station • EQ Bank Tower • Evermore at West Village • Express Condos • Garden District Condos • Grand Hotel Redevelopment • Green Belt Retirement Residence • Halo Residences • Hyatt Place • Islington Terrace • The Ivy • Junction House • Kennedy Station • Kingsway by the River • Lake & Town • Leaside Station • Line 5 • Linx Condominiums • Lofthouse on Logan • Maverick • Merge Condos • Mount Dennis Station • Nordic Condos • Oakwood Station • The One • Panda • The Parker • Phoenix • Portland Commons • River & Fifth Condos • Riverside Square • The Rosedale on Bloor • Rush Condos • St Lawrence Market North • Scotiabank North Tower • Scout Condos • Social at Church + Dundas • T3 Bayside • The Tailor • The Taylor • TeaGarden Condos • Terraces of Princess Gardens • Terrasse Condos at the Hunt Club • UTSC: Student Residence • Winlock Towns • The Winslow • XO Condos • Subtotal 90
2 Cranes: 160 Front West • 543 Richmond Street West • 2376 Dundas West • Auberge on the Park • Casa Emery Village Phase 2 • Concord Canada House • Daniels Artworks and Artsy • Ellie Condos • Galleria 01 02 • Greenwich Village • K Square Condos • The Keeley • KING Toronto • The Kip District • ME Living Phase 2 • Mirabella Condos • Nobu Residences • Ontario Court of Justice • Peter & Adelaide • Pinnacle One Yonge • Plaza Midtown • The Ravine • Reunion Crossing • St Lawrence Condos • Saturday in Downsview Park • Scala • SickKids Patient Support Centre • The Stack at Bayview • Stockyards District Residences • Sugar Wharf Phase 1 • Theatre District Residence • Tretti Condos • UofT: Schwartz Reisman • Verde Condos • Via Bloor • Water’s Edge at the Cove • West Condos • Wonder • Woodbine Casino Resort • York U Quad Residence Phase 2 • Subtotal 78
6 Cranes: Mirvish Village • Subtotal 6
8 Cranes: The Well • Subtotal 8
Toronto Total 223
3 Cranes: Charisma Condominiums • Subtotal 3
Vaughan Total 21
1 Crane: 513 Dundas East • Subtotal 1
Whitby Total 1
Grand Total 323
If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in our dedicated Buildings Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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