Canadian Contractor

Editorial: Looking Ahead


February 8, 2021
By Patrick Flannery

Let’s start out 2021 with a look at the year ahead, since no one wants to dwell on the year behind us.

Here at Canadian Contractor we’ll be bringing you a new focus – literally. Look for the FOCUS series of features that isolate one aspect of homebuilding and offer technical articles, tips from
Steve Maxwell and a selection of new products relevant to the topic. Our first one is on page 20 – FOCUS: Building Envelope. This focus was particularly good to start with because I edit two
other magazines centred on this part of the building: Fenestration Review, for window and door manufacturers, and Glass Canada, for commercial glazing contractors.

Also coming up in 2021 is our collaboration with Women In Construction, a big cross-market initiative by our publisher, Annex Business Media, to promote, uh, women in construction. Working with several of our sister publications (Canadian Consulting Engineer, Rock to Road, On Site, Crane and Hoist, Canadian Rental Service, Fenestration Review and Glass Canada) we’ll be rolling out content all through the first week of March celebrating successful women in the construction industry and getting their stories and ideas for how to make this field more welcoming and attractive for female participation.

The week will culminate on March 8 (International Women’s Day) with a live event featuring an online keynote and two panels looking at the successes of the past and charting a path for the future. We talk a lot about labour shortages, both present and upcoming, in these pages. Getting the other half of the population into the game could be a big part of a solution. Look for registration information in your email and do join in to support this important effort. Our very own Stephanie Rota of Carmelin Design Build will be one of the panelists!

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More broadly, what does 2021 hold for the Canadian home renovation and custom homebuilding industry? The pandemic has become a way of life and most of us have found ways to continue business while keeping our staff and customers safe from the virus. Many of us have actually flourished, taking advantage of vacation funds redirected to home improvement projects. Supply chains are slowly adapting to the new realities as well and we can hope for more profitable times ahead as materials flow more quickly and at reasonable prices. Of course, no sooner have we adapted than everything is set to change again once a critical mass of the population is vaccinated and restrictions can be lifted.

I predict a massive boom of demand. I’ll also go out on a limb and say residential design may change to demand more indoor/outdoor spaces that can be opened up for increased air flow and spaced-out seating. My family Christmas get-together was an outdoor affair this year around a bonfire with hot chocolate on the barbeque. And it wasn’t half bad.

What do you see ahead in 2021?


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