August 2016 – Southwestern Ontario – Building Permits Update


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Southwestern Ontario’s industrial permit values in Q2 reached their highest quarterly level since Statistics Canada began reporting regional permit data in 1998. These numbers were driven by Windsor-Sarnia which also had its highest ever quarter, and London which had its highest Q2 since 2003. There are several major solar and wind power projects ongoing in Southwestern Ontario which are likely behind these record permit numbers. It should be pointed out though that industrial building permit data notoriously underrepresents the true size industrial construction industry. These statistics should not be taken as an indication that the region’s industrial sector is experiencing its highest ever level of activity.

Commercial permit values also had their best second quarter in several years. The commercial sector was led by the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula region which shot up over 200% to reach a six-year Q2 high. London was unchanged compared to the second quarter of 2015 and Windsor-Sarnia fell 14%. Although London did not make any gains in this quarter, there are several major commercial projects in the planning stages which will likely lead to London driving Southwestern Ontario’s commercial sector in the coming months.

Second quarter permit values in the institutional sector fell 20% in Southwestern Ontario. The fall was primarily due to a 30% drop in permit values in London. London though looks set to drive the region’s growth in the institutional sector as well. The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College have several major projects in the works. Additionally, the Provincial Government has allocated funding for three new primary and secondary schools in London.

The Southwestern Region includes: London, Sarnia, and Windsor



Ian Worte
Research Analyst,

Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 241
F 416.620.5310