January 2017 – Northern Ontario – Building Permits Update


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ICI permit values in Northern Ontario increased by 18% compared to last year’s third quarter. While all three sectors had increases this quarter, the institutional sector’s was the most significant. Third-quarter institutional permit values increased by 44% year-over-year and reached their highest Q3 level in five years. Northern Ontario’s institutional sector will continue to be strong in the coming months, with post-secondary education projects as the key driver. Confederation College in Thunder Bay was issued $8.6 million worth of permits in Q3 for construction of its new Wellness Centre. Confederation College also closed prequalification in September for its new $20 million Technology, Education and Collaboration Hub. Laurentian University recently received federal and provincial investment towards its new $21.7 million Research, Innovation and Engineering Centre. Prequalification for trade contractors closed in early November and construction on the project is scheduled to be completed by April 2018. Canadore College closed prequalification for a $4 million project in December. CMD Group forecasts that in the educational sector in Northern Ontario will have seen $19 million in construction starts in 2016 but this figure will increase dramatically in 2017 to $68 million.

Northern Ontario’s industrial sector also had its best third quarter in several years. Industrial permit values increased by 13% year-over-year to their highest level since 2012. Commercial permit values were nearly the same as in Q3 last year, increasing by only 3%. Hotel construction which has been strong in Northern Ontario in 2016 is expected to increase substantially in 2017. CMD Group forecasts that hotel construction starts, which amounted to $20 million in 2015, and are forecasted at $51 million for 2016, and will increase to $83 million in 2017. Overall for the calendar year so far (Q1-Q3), Northern Ontario’s ICI permit values did not grow, they’re at almost exactly the same level as this point in 2015.


The Northern Region includes: Greater Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay



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