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Stats Canada building permits report: August 2021


November 1, 2021
By Stats Canada

The total value of building permits in Canada decreased 2.1% to $9.7 billion in August. Although most provinces reported increases, notable declines in Ontario and British Columbia pulled the national results lower compared with July.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits fell 1.3%.

Residential permits continue to trend down since March peak

Residential permits decreased 8.3% to $6.4 billion in August, the lowest level since March. Ontario and British Columbia drove most of the decline.

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Construction intentions for multi-family units fell 15.9%, largely reflecting Ontario’s decline (-24.3%). This was despite the approval of high value condominium projects in the city of Toronto.

In contrast, single family intentions were up slightly (+1.2%), led by a 15.7% gain in Quebec. Additionally, Newfoundland and Labrador (+0.7%) reported the first provincial increase in this component after six consecutive monthly declines.

Non-residential permits up in August

Non-residential building permits rose 12.3% to $3.3 billion, led by higher construction intentions in Quebec and Alberta.

Commercial building permits were up 14.9% nationally, supported by Ontario’s third consecutive month of growth. A 10-storey office building permit in the city of North York contributed to Ontario’s gains.

The value of institutional building permits rose 21.9% in August. Much of this growth came from Quebec (+78.0%), largely reflecting a $116 million permit for an expansion of a hospital building in the city of Verdun.

Construction intentions for industrial buildings decreased 7.3% to $543 million in August. Nova Scotia reported the largest monthly percentage decrease (-90.9%), following a strong July which included a $40 million utility building permit issued by the city of Halifax.