A new housing construction development is shown.

How Key Materials Fuel Housing Construction and Economic Expansion

A new housing construction development is shown.

The construction sector is a foundational pillar of the economy, playing a pivotal role in fostering the expansion and prosperity of Canadian communities. The crucial materials handled at our ports not only power the construction industry but also help meet the demand for a greater housing supply.

Below are five materials commonly used in the construction of housing developments and infrastructure projects:


Asphalt, a versatile material derived from petroleum, serves as the backbone for roadways and roofing systems. In the context of housing construction, asphalt plays a pivotal role in creating durable and weather-resistant surfaces.


Re-bar, short for reinforcing bar, is a crucial component in the construction of foundations. Typically made of steel, re-bar reinforces concrete structures, imparting strength and resilience to the foundation of buildings. High-quality re-bar ensures that the foundation of housing projects is robust, capable of withstanding the test of time and environmental challenges.


Cement is the glue that binds construction projects together, serving as the primary ingredient in concrete. Foundations, sidewalks, walkways, and various structural elements rely on the strength and durability of cement. Cement allows construction projects to access a diverse range of formulations, each tailored to meet specific structural requirements.


Steel, with its exceptional strength and versatility, is a staple in the construction industry. Steel is used for a myriad of purposes in housing construction, including doors, hardware, and support beams. The quality and reliability of steel contributes to the overall integrity and safety of buildings and structures. Additionally, the use of steel in construction provides economic benefits by creating jobs in manufacturing and fabrication industries both locally and abroad.


Gypsum, commonly found in the form of drywall, is an essential material for interior construction. Gypsum allows builders to access high-quality drywall products that contribute to the aesthetics, insulation, and fire resistance of housing interiors.

As we build the homes and cities of the future, ensuring robust supply chains for these materials is key to sustaining a thriving and resilient regional and national economy.

These essential commodities are some of the 10 million tonnes of cargo that transit HOPA’s port network each year.

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