(Source: Ottawa Sun

The steady pounding of jack hammers and grinding of power saws continues as commercial and residential developments rise out of the ground in the city’s core.

The economic slowdown has done little to ease the pace of construction as projects that have been in the works for years continue to go ahead.

Commercial developments that have felt the pinch — and in some cases been cancelled or fallen dormant — are those that are smaller in scope.

Public works monitors responses to requests for more than 360,000 square metres of office space in newly constructed or existing sites in Ottawa and Gatineau, and demand is for 10 times more office space than the 34,000 sq. m. currently under construction.

Calgary has 740,000 sq. m. under construction and there is 300,000 sq. m. of commercial space scheduled for completion this year in Toronto.

“We are still busy, there are still a lot of applications, and there’s still a lot of volume,” said Alain Miguelez, the city’s acting program manager of development review. “But to say that there have been no cancellations or postponements would be untrue.”

The residential housing market continued to defy glum economic forecasts as members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2.2% more properties in April then in the same month the previous year.

Read Laura Czekaj’s full article “Construction continues despite feeble economy” in the Ottawa Sun (May 5, 2009).

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