From Vancouver to Toronto, tower cranes are often seen in major cities punctuating the skyline. Though regarded by some as an eyesore, tower cranes are also a sign of economic growth and development.
After twelve years of operating cranes everywhere from northern Alberta to Alaska, Kelowna resident Dakota Dulyk is finally able to work where he lives.
"I've lived in Kelowna for eight years and this is my first crane job in the city," said Dulyk, who is operating a crane for Sawchuk Construction's U-Two project at UBCO.
"Working on this crane is a great opportunity because Kelowna is only getting bigger and seeing more housing development and I would like to continue to work close to home in the future."
Dulyk's tower crane at UBCO's U-Two is one of several in the city right now, which is a sign that developers are pushing to meet the housing demand created by Kelowna's historically low real estate inventory.
All of these high density, urban developments have one or more tower cranes currently working on site:
"There's a huge push for higher density developments, every time I go to a forum the city is talking density, but its also that more buyers are looking for a different type of life style," said President of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, Tanis Read.
"45-55-year-olds who have always had a yard are increasingly looking into the condo or townhouse lifestyle because this demographic often finds they start doing more recreational, cultural activities than they've ever done because they're not tied down with a full-size home."
With Kelowna's vacancy rate consistently sitting below 1%, the demand for high-density housing has a direct correlation to the influx of tower cranes.
"As a crane operator, you can feel the standard work in the oil fields slowing down but since working in Kelowna I can tell the development in this town is booming, it will be very interesting to see what the city looks like in five years," said Dulyk.
Residents will soon be getting used to another tower crane in Kelowna's downtown core. City Council approved the 20 storey Ella development in July that will see the construction of the 20-storey condominium complex Ella on the corner of Ellis and Lawerence Avenue.
What are your thoughts? Are tower cranes a sign of positive growth or a hindrance to the city's skyline?