Building activity down in Minto due to drop in residential construction

MINTO – Construction activity in Minto during 2023 was down significantly from the previous year, but statistics are comparable to other recent years, local building officials report.

“2023 was a down year compared to 2022 which was a record setting year, so we kind of expected things to level off a little bit and let everybody catch their breath in the construction business,” deputy chief building official Dave Wilson told council during an annual review presented at the Feb. 6 meeting.

The building department issued 176 building permits in 2023 for construction valued at about $35.4 million.

While down substantially from 247 permits for about $77 million worth of construction in 2022, last year’s figures were similar to 2021, when 221 permits were issued for just under $40 million in construction.

“The main area that was in decline in 2023 from 2022 was in residential housing,” noted Wilson.

In 2023, 20 permits were issued for single family residences worth about $9.2 million, compared to 33 permits and $18.2 million the previous year.

Six permits were issued last year for multi-family dwellings valued at a total of nearly $1.5 million, down from 24 permits for $14.3 million in 2022.

Residential renovations, additions, accessory structures and additional dwelling units accounted for 62 permits for construction worth just over $4 million last year, compared to 100 permits for construction valued at nearly $6 million the previous year.

“We did see good activity in the commercial and institutional sectors. They were both up over 2022,”said Wilson.

Wilson added that other than one large industrial project in 2022, “The industrial sector was pretty much the same. 

“On the agricultural end of things we’re maybe down a little bit in project value, but the number of permits were almost identical from year to year,” he noted.

“We’re seeing a strong start to permit intake already this year. So we’re expecting a little bit of a bounce back in 2024.”

Among the major agricultural projects in 2023 were a new grain elevator near Palmerston, a 20,000 square-foot farm shop/storage building, a 13,600 square-foot hog finishing barn and Harriston Agromart’s  19,000 square-foot fertilizer storage building.

Commercial projects included a project by Moonfleet Poultry on the former Ontario Pork Producers’s property south of Harriston.

“It’s 150’ by 100’ with a repair garage, wash bays, as well as office and meeting space for their ongoing operation,” noted building inspector Wes Graham.

A major addition to the Palmerston Industrial Park is an office and storage facility planned by Well Initiatives Limited, a subsidiary of R.J. Burnside Associates. The company provides water well drilling and maintenance services, specializing in municipal water supply.

“They applied for a foundation permit last year,” said Graham. 

“This one’s going to be an 18,300 square-foot building. It will have 2,800 square feet of office space … they’ll have their own 9,500 square-foot warehouse/equipment storage and … a 6,000 square-foot industrial rental unit,” Graham explained.

Director of building and planning Terry Kuipers told council he is hearing a “consistent message” from building officials in other municipalities: that “residential is really slow, but a lot of institutional and commercial uses are seeming to keep things afloat.”

Kuipers reiterated the slow year in 2023 was an anomaly compared to other recent years and a time to  “catch your breath and get ready for when the interest rate drops and things pick right back up.”

North Wellington Community News