January 2017 – Central Ontario – Building Permits Update


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ICI permit values in Central Ontario increased by 21% in the third quarter compared to last year. While the industry had a good quarter overall, Central Ontario’s industrial sector had another bad quarter in what has become a bad year. Third-quarter industrial permit values declined 25% year-over-year, following declines in Q1 and Q2 as well. Overall for this calendar year so far (Q1-Q3), industrial permit values were down by over a third compared to this point in 2015. Furthermore, this was the second lowest Q1-Q3 period for industrial permits in Central Ontario since the recession. This year’s industrial decline was balanced between the two major economic sub-regions within Central Ontario: Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie and Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula. Both had 37% declines in industrial permit values compared to Q1-Q3 last year. Further decline may be coming in Central Ontario`s industrial sector in 2017 as CMD Group forecasted a 29% decline in manufacturing starts.

The good news for Central Ontario is that the commercial sector had an great third quarter. Commercial permit values were up 62% compared to Q3 2015. This was also Central Ontario`s highest commercial permit value total for Q3 since 2010.

Institutional permit values in Central Ontario increased by 11% compared to last year`s third quarter. This growth was confined solely to Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie, where institutional permit values doubled compared to Q3 last year. The other sub-regions saw declines. More institutional projects are coming soon in Central Ontario. The University of Guelph had two projects valued at over $10 million up for bid in November. Final bidding on the $50 million Groves Memorial Hospital in Wellington County closed in December. In the water/wastewater sector, a $90 million water treatment facility project in Hamilton will close bidding on January 12th.


The Central Region includes: Waterloo Region, Guelph, Hamilton, Brantford, Burlington, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Barrie, and Peterborough



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