Major projects gradually resumed in the Québec City CMA in 2017. Their diversity and scale led to non-residential investments of $912.6M. The area showed an 11.3% increase compared to 2016, the second best performance among the eight main Canadian metropolitan areas, behind Winnipeg (+18.4%).
Several factors brought the industrial sector to invest a record amount of $129.1M last year, a 67.4% rise. Marine transportation and energy sectors maintained their expenses to realize major procurement contracts. Small and medium enterprises used this opportunity to acquire new equipment to meet growing demand. Moreover, the creation of new industrial spaces stimulated the establishment and expansion of businesses.
The construction of institutional infrastructures generated a total of $226.6M in expenditures in 2017, a 23.2% rise. Many projects were started in order to improve or increase the touristic services, education as well as health and social services offer. New office spaces were added in response to the growth of certain enterprises, although the gradual downturn in the rate of unoccupied spaces only appeared toward the end of the year.
The commercial sector spent $556.9M, a small decrease compared to 2016 (-0.3%). Major shopping centres in Sainte-Foy and Lebourgneuf continued their modernization. Also, IKEA, a new player, set its foundations in Québec City last year. This arrival should stimulate the commercial construction around the Duplessis axis for a few more years.
The Québec City area entered a more active cycle in its non-residential investment chapter, allowing it to get closer to the average invested in the last five years ($959M). However, the region must remain disciplined and structured to collectively carry out multiple major projects. Some of those should be seen by the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019, while the modernization of transportation infrastructures will follow its course.