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International Construction Forum in Canada, Toronto

About International Construction Forum in the City of Toronto, Canada,
held from November 27 to December 5, 2011

From November 27 to December 5 2011 in Canada within the program of Russian-Canadian Intergovernmental Economic Commission in order to exchange of experience between governmental branches in the area of construction industry and production of constructional materials, establishment of business contacts and attracting investments into national and regional projects, International Construction Forum was held. It was organized by the group of companies of International Business Corporation with the assistance of Canadian Government, Economic Development Ministry and Regional Development Ministry of the Russian Federation. The city of Toronto, the largest administrative center of Ontario, was chosen as a venue. It is considered to be “the economical engine” of Canada and acknowledged as one of the leading cities in the world and is highly valued either in regional or state and international level. About one third of Canada population lives within 500 km around Toronto. Here about one sixth of all workplaces are within the bounds of towns.

Russian delegation was represented by more than 100 managers of construction organizations, ministers of departments, association managers. The forum’s program was divided into 2 thematic professional sections: 1) Housing and Commercial Construction; 2) Road Construction; Road, Bridge, Tunnel Repair and Maintenance. Each of 5 forum’s workdays programs was absolutely filled with presentation in the biggest Canadian companies, visiting of construction sites and facilities, official visits to Canadian Ministries and Departments and other events.

The group of specialists in the sphere of Road Construction and Maintenance paid a call to the Largest Transnational Fugro Corporation, which deals with collection and interpretation of data concerning the condition of earth surface, prime coats and undercoats along with development recommendations in the area of gas and oil producing, mining, construction and transportation branches. Russian delegation was greeted by David Lowe, the President of Fugro Company. He briefly told about the facts that Fugro activities blanket more than 55 countries all over the world, its network consists of more than 250 departments, and the number of technical personnel is over 11000 people.

Then, Van Hai Nguyen the Manager of the production subdivision of the Company, Fugro Roadware Inc introduced to Russian delegation a mobile over-the-road laboratory ARAN 9000 (Automated Analyzer of Road Surface), which is of the unique own Company’s creation. This is a high-technology mobile complex, mounted on the chassis of the Mercedes truck and equipped with the range of professional high-resolution video cameras, laser scanners, GPS system and rough-service poles with computer facilities. ARAN is capable to fulfill the complex of works on collection of analytical data about road surfaces condition and their normality for exploitation. The Company deals with the software development for each specific country taking into account current norms, standards and road conditions. Within the frameworks of the visit Russian delegation displayed their interest in this mobile complex, examined the showcase and tested how it works. After that the consultations about delivery of the first complex to Russia in 2012 were held.

The delegation of Russian builders visited the construction site where the central railway station of Toronto is being reconstructed. (Union Station Revitalization Project). Rick Tolkunow, the chief engineer of the project, told about the technical peculiarities of the reconstruction as well as about the use of technologies. The main specificity of the reconstruction is in the fact that the station continues with its functioning in spite of large volume of constructional works. The main attention was paid to construction machinery and technologies used in the creation of the new underground level. The works on the lowering of the previous level of the floor 4 meters deep will be carried out for several years, right under the railway tracks which will remain in operation. This is the extremely labor-consuming process involving the strengthening of hundreds of concrete columns. After the presentation the delegation visited the building site where reconstruction is carried out.

Later on, James N. Parakh, the manager of the department of town planning and design of city hall of Toronto, showed the delegation around the unique structure named PATH. It is the underground heated town under the center of Toronto. Complex has its 13 years history, and during this time it increased to 12 levels with overall area of 370 thousand square meters, where there are a shopping gallery consisting of 1500 stores with overall length of 27 km, the recreation areas and small parks, about 20 parking lots, 2 department stores, 6 hotels, the exits to the bus depot, railway station and 5 subway stations. Besides, 50 high-rise business centers are connected by dozens of passages and galleries. While visiting the structure the delegation find out more about technological peculiarities of the care and maintenance of such constructions.

For lunch both delegations headed to the highest television tower in the world (CN Tower). The high-speed elevator with the glass floor and walls brought the participants to the point of 351 meters in 58 seconds at a speed of 22 km/h. One of the best restaurants of Toronto is here. It rotates around its axis and you can see the gorgeous sights of province of Ontario with its numerous lakes in 120 km around.

After lunch the delegation of builders visited the City Hall of Toronto. The staff of the City Hall numbers 56 000 people including the personnel of lower organizations. The municipal procurements are made for more than 2 billion dollars a year including 32% paid for constructional works and services. The consultations with Russian delegates were carried on by John J Humpries, the director of the Construction Department and by Nickolas Falkon, the coordinator of the control of the procurements quality in the City Hall. The main topics were: the organization of work of the city hall and the lower organizations management; the formation of the municipal budget, the tax policy; the intergovernmental relations; the labor resources management and the interrelations between different levels of management. Besides, there were: the presentation of City Hall’s work on the development of the city’s infrastructure; the examples of concessions in Toronto; the survey of city’s tenders. The results of the business conference in the City Hall of Toronto were very informative, fruitful and substantial. The discussions and meetings continued till late at night.

In the second half of the first forum’s day the delegation of road builders visited Solar Technology, Inc Company, the manufacturer of panels with roadway markers and display panels. The differential peculiarities of the production are the portability, durability, the cellular remote control, power supply from the solar panels, the convenience and simplicity of information input, long lasting autonomous work (22 days after complete charge). The Director of the Company showed all the main advantages of the offered products. First examples were ordered during the meetings as well as the consultations about conclusion of other agreements were held.

The second day of the Forum was devoted to Russian-Canadian Building Conference. The overall amount of participants was more than 200 people including 45% of Canadians. The participants of the conference were greeted by Ilya Ponomaryov, the Minister of Regional Development of the RF; Ed Fast, the Minister of International Trade and of Asian-Pacific Region; Georgi Mamedov, Russian Ambassador to Canada; John C. Sloan, Canadian Ambassador to Russian Embassy in Moscow; Konstantin Tropnimov, Russian Representative for Trade Negotiations in Canada.

In the course of the Conference the interchange of information between Russian and Canadian participants was held including the members of private sector and the representatives of governmental institutions. During the plenary session Russian and Canadian construction markets were discussed, their work features and avenues for cooperation in the sphere of construction. The presentations of investment attractiveness of Russian Regions were held and the innovative projects were shown.

The thematic panels were held:

  • The low-height housing construction
  • The road, bridge, tunnels construction and maintenance
  • The high-rise construction
  • The International market of construction materials, systems and equipments

Thanks to simultaneous interpretation, well-planned program and keeping accurately in time limits, the number of speaking engagements on the conference was more than 40.

The presentations were made by:

  • Christian Mandachescu, the Vice Presiden of the Global Risk Management, New Scotland Bank
  • Sue Rauth, the Vice Director, Regional Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ontario)
  • Terry Robinson, the Director, Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC)
  • Dmitri V. Shapoval, the Director of the Department of Architecture, Construction and Town-Planning Policy of the Ministry of Regional Development of the RF
  • Dmitri N. Sazhin, Vice Director of the Department of States of American Continent, the Economic Development Ministry
  • Alexey A. Struchcov, the Senior Vice Chairman of Yakut (Sakha) Republic Government
  • Carmen Foglietta, the Manager on International Relations and Operations (CMNC)
  • Douglas Pollard, the Major Analyst on International Relations and Operations (CMHC)
  • Michael von Hausen the President of MVH Urban Planning & Design
  • Ivan S. Androsov, the Director General of JSC Republican Planning and Surveying Institute “Yakutproject”
  • Greg Collucci, the Director, Diamond & Schmitt Architects
  • Mietca Zieba, the Chief Trade Analyst (CMHC)
  • Paul Tailor, the Senior Vice President of International Regulations, Hopewell
  • Roman Timokhin, the Director General, CGSC MRGroup
  • Peter Gabor, the Architect
  • Andrei A. Timoshenko, the Director General, Novaland Inc
  • Nikolai A. Shapov, the Director General, SpetcStroyReconstruction
  • Mari-Claude Erian, the Sector Advisor for the Infrustructure & Environment team at Export Development, Canada
  • Igor A. Urmanov, the Senior Vice Chairman of the Management Board of “Russian Automobile Roads” Company
  • Deiv Jull, the Senior Vice President, Project Management, МММ Group
  • Alexander V. Golovatcki, the Director General for the Construction and Reconstruction of Automobile
  • Roads, JSC “Dorstroy”
  • Usha Eliathambi, P.Eng., IBIGroup
  • Pyotr Teslenko, the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, Canadian Embassy
  • Alexander Ju. Uzkikh, the Chairman of the Management Board of “Kazakh International Universal Stock Exchange “El Kazyna” Stock Company
  • Andrei I. Komarov, the Director of the Deparment of Construction and Investment Projects of JSC “AK Transneft”
  • Igor G. Fyodorov, the Head of Administration of Nenetc Autonomous District
  • Zaur A. Kuchiev, the Minister of Economic Development of Northern Osetiya-Alania Republic
  • Marina A. Sovershaeva, the Vice Manager of Administration of Municipal Entity of the Town District “Vorkuta”
  • Aliya A. Dilebaeva, the Manager of JSC “KAPREMPROJECT”
  • Konstantin A. Romanov, the Director General of JSC “TP HONKO”
  • Dmitry A. Nefyodov, the Director General of JSC “ASTA group”
  • Victoria L. Ostanina, the Director General of JSC “Balker”
  • Ravil K. Karimov, the Manager of CJSC “SK GERMES”

Upon completing the Conference a welcome reception for its participants and the ceremony of diploma awarding were held.

The third day of the Forum started with visiting of the central office of the State Agency of Water Front Toronto. Edward Chalupka, the Manager for Relations with Government Institutions, introduced the project of reconstruction of the quay in Toronto (Water Front Revitalization). The revitalization of the quay (waterfront) of Toronto is the example of the largest town reconstruction projects in Northern America of recent time. The aim of the project is to turn 800 hectares of land in New Blue Edge into a beautiful, convenient and approachable place for dwelling, recreation and for holding the variety of events. After the fascinating presentation the delegation visited construction sites located on the waterfront along with other territories ready for construction and reconstruction.

After that, the business program of International Construction Forum in Canada continued in Metro Toronto Convention Exhibition Centre on the largest annual exhibition of products, services, systems and technologies used in construction, repairs, reconstruction and restoration of all types of buildings and constructions including ones for housing, industrial and commercial use, low-rise and high-attitude as well as all types projects for infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels and grade separation structures) «CONSTRUCT CANADA» 2011. 1 200 companies from all over the world took part in the exhibition. Within a framework of the exhibition about 450 seminars and 200 of presentations were held. It was the first time the exhibition had received such a big delegation from Russia. The catalogue of Russian participants of the Forum in Russian and English languages along with advertising materials prepared by the institutors and distributed among the participants were very popular among Canadian colleagues, and that fact was the indicator that Canadian businessmen are greatly interested in Russian construction industry. Summarizing the results of the exhibition, it must be said that several large contracts and exclusive international agreements were concluded.

Thursday, the first day of winter, became one of the most interesting and the richest in events days of International Construction Forum in Canada. The delegation of representatives of road-construction sector of Russia, led by Igor Urmanov, the Senior Executive Vice President of the Management Board of State Company “Russian Automobile Roads”(GK “RosAvtoDor”), paid a formal visit to the Ministry of Transport of Ontario province. Canadian party was led by Timea Tomi, the Manager of the Department of Strategic Policy of the Ministry of Transport of Ontario province. Igor Urmanov presented the project of the development highway construction in Russia and set out the priorities for the nearest future. Joe Buicik, the Manager of the Department of Road Project Standards introduced the project for the long-term planning of highway construction and development of the road infrastructure in Canada.


All in all, the structure of Ministry operates and maintains 16 525 km of automobile roads, nearly 2800 bridges, 8 ferry services and 29 airports. The Ministry controls the recourses valued in 52 billion dollars. In total, the annual budget comprises 2,435 billion dollars. It is divided into 5 regional services and 4 departments; the overall number of the personnel is 2000. In Canada the planning cycle of road construction takes 8 years but the construction takes only 2 years; the rest of time is occupied by the preparation of projects, purchasing of lands, survey investigations and the evaluation of the environmental impact. The presentation touched upon the issues of assignment of lands, certification, road codes and standards. Joseph Ponniah, the Senior Engineer of the Ministry of Transport for Road Planning and Construction delivered a report about the construction and maintenance of concrete roads in Canada. In his speech he surveyed the total work cycle which had been done in Canada on the concrete roads for 50 years. He analyzed the expenditures on each of stages of the maintenance and reconstruction of road surfaces. Heather McClintock, the Manager of the Department of Road Maintenance, told about the standards of road maintenance in province of Ontario. Besides, she presented the theme of winter road management including the use and storage of materials; the survey of machinery and equipment used for snow and ice control on the road surfaces was done. After the presentation the participants had dinner where the discussion of different topics was continued.

Next visit of Russian road builders was to the administration office of the only toll highway in Canada (407 ExpressTollRoute). The Limited Liability Company "407 ETR" is a manager and an operator of Highway 407, which length is 108 km. It is situated to the North of Toronto and runs from the West to the East, from Burlington to Pickering. 407 ETR is unique, and it is the only construction of its kind. It is justly considered to be one of the safest and the most comfortable highways in the world; it passes the stream of hundreds of thousands vehicles a day; its electronic auxiliary systems and systems of control contribute to successful coping with very intensive traffic. 407 ETR is thought to be a real wonder of scientific research and development. It is the first highway to use completely electronic maintenance system (entrance without stopping, absence of toll collect points except electronic toll collection at the entrance and at the exit and in strategic points of the main road, inverted payment profile depending on the time of the day and the distance). The highway provides the services to ordinary road users, neighboring enterprises and the points of loads distribution. Kevin Sack, the Vice President for Public and State Relations, received the group of Russians and told about the methods of coping with traffic jams in Big Toronto, highway’s history and the gadgets used at the entrance and at the exit. Then he gave the survey of the best automated electronic toll system in the world. The subject of toll roads is of a current concern in Russia, and Igor Urmanov has invited the main enterprise of 407 International Inc in Russia for team work.

On December 1 the delegation of Russian builders visited Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which is a national mortgage agency of Canada and was founded as a state corporation in 1946 for solving the problems of postwar lack of housing in Canada. The agency became the main national institution of Russia carrying out the insurance of mortgage risks, loans and mortgage-backed securities. The meeting was held by Mietka Zieba, the Director for Russian affairs, Alex Medow, the manager of Analytic center of Ontario CMNC, Alan Ballak, the Trade Representative of province Ontario, Andre Asselin, The Chief Operaion Officer of CMHC International. The issues of conditions of housing market, canvassing of customers and credit interest rates were discussed at the meeting. Besides, the participants were presented with corporation’s teaching programs and with the survey of Canadian technologies used in low-rise construction.

The second half of the day was devoted to visiting low-rise building sites at their different degrees of construction. All the used technologies, machinery and equipment were presented to the guests by experienced managers of the building sites.

The last day of the business program of the forum was spent on the meeting in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The delegation was received by Brent Whitty, the Manager of Housing Programs, John Iveson, the Manager of the Personnel Department, Victor Doyle, the Director of Planning Department. The meeting was devoted to the programs of the Ministry in the sphere of affordable housing and planning of land use, planning of the development of territories and districts. After the presentation the building site of IBI Group Liberty Village Corporation was visited. It was the multifunctional residential estate in Toronto.

The delegation of road builders visited Ontario Good Roads Association that represents the interests of large road-building companies in the state agencies; lobbies for legislative regulations; introduces innovative technologies; supports the companies producing construction materials, equipment and services; represents the interests of building owners in municipal and judicial agencies; fulfills teaching programs. The participants of the meeting discussed the issues of infrastructure management, cooperation with road administrations, road codes and standards, improvement of the road branches’ personnel qualification, electronic bid process procedures in Canada.

The other half of the day was devoted to visiting of IBI Group, the largest Canadian integrator. This is a group of companies providing integrated services in four main directions: town planning; constructional design and architecture; transport and logistics; intelligent systems and systemic integration. The main subject of the meeting was the introduction and the use of intelligent systems in the world, automated traffic control and engineering decisions in snow and ice control in winter. The newest technologies and development works of the Company were presented. Besides, the participants reached an agreement about cooperative work in Russia.

On Saturday Russian participants of the Forum visited Niagara, the most famous waterfall in the world; Clifton Hill, the street of museums and entertainments; the town of Niagara-On-The-Lake one of the most beautiful settlements of English Canada, which was once a capital of Upper Canada; the winery with wine tasting.

On Sunday, December 4, right before leaving for Moscow, Russian delegation in body visited the RF Consulate General in Toronto for participation in elections of State Duma of Federal Assembly of Russian Federation. Consul General personally greeted everyone and explained the rules of voting.

After that, the International Construction Forum in Canada organized by the group of companies named International Business Corporation completed its work.