🔬 Scientific showdown

Science Centre controversy, Cedar LNG greenlit, homebuilding drops

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Good morning! 🛰️How many of your projects make it past earth’s atmosphere? Brampton, Ont.-based space equipment vendor MDA just won a $1-billion contract to create a series of robotic arms to deploy, manoeuvre, and capture payloads.

⏰ Today’s read: 4 minutes

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Economy: At a time when Canada needs homes more than ever, homebuilding is dropping. According to Statistics Canada, the construction sector dipped 0.4% in April. Residential building construction was the main source of the decline in the sector, contracting 2.3% in April 2024, the largest decline since May 2023. The subsector's activity level in April was close to 24% below its peak observed in April 2021.


Peer review: Science Centre’s future uncertain

The Ontario Science Centre is at the centre of major debate in Ontario as officials, construction experts and the public discuss what will be the fate of the facility.  

Doors shut: The centre is permanently closed after an engineering report due to the building's deteriorating infrastructure, with particular concern about the potential for roof failure due to snow load as early as the upcoming winter.

Different hypothesis: Some, including the architecture firm that designed the groundbreaking centre, were quick to argue that the closure might be an overreaction to the engineering report and begged officials to repair the structure rather than abandon it. 

Footing the bill: Money isn’t an issue. Many have offered their services or millions in donations to help keep the centre in operation. They include Moriyama Teshima Architects, artificial intelligence pioneer Geoffrey Hinton and philanthropist Sabina Vohra-Miller. The City of Toronto has been also making moves to step in. They believe plans to relocate the centre to a smaller home at Ontario Place should be scrapped. 

Buildings matter: Construction does not just create structures of concrete, steel and wood. It builds communities. When it opened in 1969, the Ontario Science Centre was the world's first interactive facility of its kind. Here’s one story of how the centre has impacted someone’s life. While the building’s future is uncertain, officials should keep this impact in mind.


The week's headlines

✅ Cedar LNG, the world’s first Indigenous majority-owned LNG project, is moving ahead. The Haisla Nation and Pembina Pipeline Corporation, partners in Cedar LNG Partners LP, have announced a positive Final Investment Decision on the Cedar LNG Project, a floating liquefied natural gas facility in the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation, on Canada’s West Coast.

🏗️ WorkSafe BC is proposing changes to construction crane safety protocols following several fatal accidents, including a 2021 crane collapse. The focus will be on improved training and education for crane operators, riggers, and supervisors. They'll also be reviewing crane operator certification programs and potentially increasing the frequency of crane inspections.

🔋Canadian steelmakers are asking the government for help winning battery factory contracts against cheaper competition, especially from China. They say "Buy Canadian" rules are needed or they'll lose out in the long run. The government is worried about trade deals but pressure is rising as the US protects its own industries.

✍🏼 Ontario has signed a deal with four First Nations to upgrade roads in the north. This will improve connection to the provincial network and support resource development. The project includes training for First Nations people and infrastructure funding for their communities. However, six other First Nations in the area disagree and want more consultation and respect for their rights.


Centre for healing

The Diamond Bailey Healing Centre, named after harm reduction advocates, is a new emergency housing facility in Halifax designed specifically for the needs of the urban Indigenous community. It offers phased housing options from shared rooms to individual apartments, incorporates cultural elements throughout the building, and has space for community events.


Former residential school now a community building

Construction set to begin on VCC's new clean energy building

City will pursue other means of getting arena built

Toronto City Council approves affordable housing partnership

Ontario Breaks Ground on new long-term care home in Grey County

🏗 That’s just a taste of what happened this week. Unlock our FULL project update list, Project Pulse, by referring this newsletter twice (make sure to use your unique link at the bottom of the newsletter.)

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STUDY: ☀️ Americans sour on wind, solar projects

READ: 👷‍♀️ Ancient building techniques save Ontario home

WATCH: ⛏️ One of the world’s biggest excavators in action

READ: ⚓ Canada begins building new warship fleet


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