When it was all said and done the hard work of the volunteers with the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) Canadian chapters paid off as 818 attendees made the trek to Toronto’s Beanfield Centre for the 2022 No-Dig North.

Taking place Oct. 17-19, No-Dig North featured a day of NASTT Short Courses – Municipal Grouting, HDD and CIPP – and two full days of technical sessions and networking opportunities.

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The conference is a joint effort between the NASTT Canadian chapters, NASTT and Benjamin Media Inc.

“Everywhere I looked people were engaged in visiting exhibitor booths, attending the technical sessions and networking event,” says NASTT executive director Matthew Izzard. “There are many installation and rehabilitation programs under way across Canada and the demand for knowledge, equipment and skills was evident in the feedback we received from exhibitors and sponsors.”

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Things unofficially kicked-off with a networking reception with exhibitors on Oct. 17. The official start to No-Dig North was the Kick-Off Breakfast on Oct. 18. This included a welcome from No-Dig North chair David Crowder, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited, and co-chair Gerald Bauer, Stantec.

Breakfast also included the official presentation of the No-Dig North Canadian Projects of the Year Awards. The winning projects were:

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  • Stamford Interceptor Phase II Trunk Sewer Rehabilitation — Rehabilitation Project of the Year
  • York Durham Sewage System Forcemain Twinning Project — New Installation Project of the Year
  • Groat Road Storm Trunk Rehabilitation — Honourable Mention

The breakfast culminated with a keynote presentation by Lou Di Gironimo, general manager, Toronto Water. He provided deep insight into the agency’s experiences with trenchless technologies. He noted that Toronto Water is one of the largest water, wastewater and storm water systems in North America.

No-Dig North 2022 group photo
From left, No-Dig North 2022 keynote speaker Lou Di Gironimo, Toronto Water; GLSLA Chapter chair Kevin Bainbridge, Robinson Consultants Inc.; No-Dig North 2022 Technical Program co-chair Bruce Yao, Paragon System Testing; program chair David Crowder, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited; program co-chair Gerald Bauer, Stantec Consulting Ltd.; and technical program co-chair Marya Jetten, Jacobs; Northwest Chapter chair Shane Cooper, AECOM; and Matthew Izzard, NASTT executive director.

In 2022 ,its capital budget is over $1.4 billion with approximately 38 per cent going toward its underground infrastructure. He then went on to discuss the tools in its toolbelt for repairs and new infrastructure, as well as some of the new technologies they are incorporating. All of this combines to make Toronto Water one of the most active utilities in North America when it comes to the use of trenchless methodologies.

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Following breakfast, attendees were able to visit with exhibitors before heading off to the heart of the show, the peer-reviewed technical presentations. Technical program co-chairs were Bruce Yao, Paragon Systems, and Marya Jetten, Jacobs, who were backed by a volunteer group of peer reviewers and track leaders.

Outside of the technical presentations, attendees were able to visit with 90 exhibitors that ran the gamut of the trenchless industry. These included local contractors and suppliers, as well as companies that operate across Canada, North America and globally.

Looking ahead, Izzard sees great things for No-Dig North. The 2023 No-Dig North will be in Edmonton, Oct. 23-25 and plans are already under way for No-Dig North 2024, Oct. 21-23, in Niagara Falls.

“The success and reputation of No-Dig North has been noticed internationally with the growth in overseas registrations,” says Izzard. “The International Society for Trenchless Technology council has recognized this by voting to award their 2025 International No-Dig Show as part of No-Dig North [Oct. 26-29] in Vancouver, further increasing the size and profile of the Canadian trenchless technology market.”

NASTT Municipal & Public Works Scholarship

A key aspect of No-Dig North is the municipal and utility owner attendees. Without their willingness to use trenchless technologies on infrastructure projects, there would be no trenchless industry. That’s why the No-Dig North Municipal Scholarship is so important to the vitality of the conference.

“The NASTT Municipal & Public Works Scholarship program enables the owners to develop their knowledge of trenchless technology and engage directly with the designers, contractors and equipment suppliers,” says Izzard.

Scholarship recipients who attended No-Dig North:

  • Bay de Verde Heritage Premises
  • City of Brandon
  • City of Calgary
  • City of Hamilton
  • City of Niagara Falls
  • City of Ottawa
  • City of Regina
  • City of Selkirk
  • City of Stratford
  • City of Sudbury
  • City of Surrey
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Winnipeg
  • EPCOR
  • Halifax Water
  • Region of Halton
  • Region of Niagara
  • Region of Peel
  • Region of York
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Town of Devon
  • Town of New Tecumseth
  • Town of Sylvan Lake

For more information on No-Dig North, including volunteer opportunities, the 2023 Project of the Year Awards and scholarship opportunities, visit nodignorth.ca.