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Statistics Canada Presents First Release on Canada's Core Infrastructure Survey

Statistics Canada Presents First Release on Canada's Core Infrastructure Survey

Statistics Canada, in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, has launched its first-ever catalogue of the state of the nation's infrastructure to provide statistical information on the stock, condition, performance and asset management strategies of Canada's core public infrastructure assets. This includes a wide variety of assets owned and operated by provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments. These are bridges and tunnels, roads, wastewater, storm water, potable water and solid waste assets, as well as social and affordable housing, culture, recreation and sports facilities and public transit. Statistics Canada will carry a series of releases over the coming months, each addressing a sub-group of these assets. The first release presents findings on roads, bridges and tunnels.

Key Findings:

Municipalities own most roads

  • Over two-thirds (68.3%) of roads were owned by municipalities. Municipalities also owned 62.0% of collectors and 48.2% of arterial road assets as well as virtually all lanes and alleys (99.8%). Conversely, municipalities owned a small share of highways (2.7%).
  • Local roads were the most prevalent type of road asset, accounting for nearly three-fifths (57.5%) of total road length and over three-quarters of all municipally-owned roads. Highways comprised 14.8% of all roads, while collector roads accounted for 14.4%

Nearly three in four kilometers of roads constructed prior to 2000

  • With almost two-fifths (39.8%) of all publically-owned roads constructed between 1970 to 1999.

Just over two-fifths of bridges owned by municipalities

  • Over 40% of bridges were municipally owned, accounting for nearly 90% of footbridges and almost 60% of local road bridges. Municipalities also owned 48.6% of collector bridges, 38.7% of arterial bridges and 5.2% of bridges on highways. Just over half of all municipal bridges were in urban municipalities. Municipalities owned 45.6% of all tunnels. Urban municipalities owned 94.4% of all municipal tunnels.

Two-Fifths of owners have a road network asset management plan, while half of those without a plan intend to implement one

  • In 2016, over 40% of all road owners had an asset management plan, with Ontario road owners most likely to have a plan in place (88.3%). Among owners with an asset management plan, 22.7% updated the plan every year, 30.7% updated it every two to four years and 4.1% did not update their plan.
  • The average expected useful life of all road types ranged from 28 to 30 years. In general, a given type of road in an urban municipality had a longer expected useful life than the same type of road in a rural municipality.
  • Urban municipal owners of roads (52.0%) were more likely to have an asset management plan than rural owners (38.1%).


Consistent with the key findings of the survey, most provincial jurisdictions have outlined requirements for municipalities to implement an asset management plan in order to receive federal gas tax funding.  A typical asset management plan includes a comprehensive state of the infrastructure report, a level of service section, an asset management strategy, and a financial strategy to bridge the infrastructure deficit over the medium and long-term. Contact us here to learn how PSD can assist with the development and implementation of an effective asset management plan and ensure that your municipality can meet provincial requirements to receive funding.

The full release from Statistics Canada can be found here.