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StatsCan building permits report: December 2019


March 5, 2020
By Statistics Canada

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The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 7.4% to $8.7 billion in December. Increases were reported in five provinces, led by Ontario (+10.5% to $3.4 billion) and Quebec (+15.8% to $2.2 billion). For 2019 overall, municipalities issued $102.4 billion worth of permits, up 2.6% compared with 2018.

Increase in the value of commercial and institutional permits
The value of commercial permits rose 19.7% to $2.0 billion in December, largely due to plans for the multi-use commercial development, “Royalmount”, in the CMA of Montréal.

Meanwhile, the value of institutional permits rose to its highest level since September 2017 (+10.8% to $1.0 billion), largely due to permits for the redevelopment of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

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The total value of industrial permits declined 21.0% to $583 million following strong gains in November.

Annual review 2019
In 2019, municipalities issued $102.4 billion worth of permits, up 2.6% compared with 2018. Gains were reported in six provinces, with the largest increase in Ontario (+$2.8 billion). Alberta recorded the largest decrease (-$1.8 billion), with declines in all building types.

The value of permits in the CMA of Toronto increased 1.9% to $19.2 billion, while several other Ontario CMAs also reported notable gains. The CMA of Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo posted the largest increase in the country (+53.5% to $2.2 billion), largely due to an increase in the value of permits for multi-family dwellings.

The Edmonton CMA reported the largest decrease in the total value of building permits (-21.5% to $3.9 billion), accounting for more than half of the overall decline in Alberta. This was the fifth consecutive annual decrease in the CMA of Edmonton, reflecting the challenging economic environment in the province.

Building intentions in the non-residential sector increased 9.4% to $40.4 billion, with gains in seven provinces. All components reported increases, led by commercial permits (+7.5% to $23.2 billion).

Conversely, the value of permits in the residential sector declined 1.3% to $62.0 billion. The value of permits for single-family dwellings fell 4.9% to $26.5 billion, its lowest level since 2009. Permits for multi-family dwellings offset some of this decline, rising 1.5% to a record $35.5 billion.


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