2003, Urban Land Institute, Urban Land, volume 62, number 7-12, page 44:
LCDC officials emphasize that the need for shovel-ready industrial sites in this case outweighs the goal of preserving prime farmland.
2009, Jennifer Lewington, "Battle brews over ‘shovel ready’ projects," The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Jan 15, p. A12:
With an eye to the imminent federal budget, Toronto business and civic leaders are set today to name $4.8-billion in "shovel-ready" projects that would stimulate the flagging local economy.
(by extension) Describing a project which is a candidate for economicstimulus spending, the one having a more immediateimpact on the economy as opposed to the project requiring a great deal of time that must elapse for architecture, zoning, legal considerations or other factors before labor can be deployed on it.