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'Go to Canada now!', says Ingenium supremo

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UK architects have been urged to make the most of the Canadian market while it remains strong.

Victor Smith, chief executive of Toronto-headquartered Ingenium - which owns UK practice Archial - said the country held many opportunities for architects in the short-term.

Figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed housing starts were up 14 per cent in April on the back of a wave of condo projects.

But the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warned rates of condo building were ‘bound to feed into worries about possible overbuild in key metro areas’.

Smith told AJ there was nothing to fear: ‘Recent concern about overbuild in areas of the Canadian residential market are, perhaps, themselves overblown.’

‘[A slowdown] may be true in Vancouver, which boasts the highest prices in the country, but there is still a strong market for condominium apartments in other major cities, due to their relative affordability.’

Smith said there were positive signs across several sectors in Canada.

‘The residential market should be saturated, the industrial market should be stagnant and governments, at all levels, should be implementing austerity programmes to tackle their respective deficits,’ he said. ‘Yet this is not happening.’

But he told architects to make hay while the sun shone through the gathering clouds.

‘The short-term forecast remains very favourable. However, I suspect that Canada cannot remain immune to global economic trends forever. 

‘Ultimately, as the world goes, so will the Canadian economy.’

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