January 2017 – Southwestern Ontario – Building Permits Update


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Each of the three ICI sectors in Southwestern Ontario are so far having their best year for permitting since at least 2012. The strength of all three sectors led total ICI permit values in for the calendar year so far (Q1-Q3) to their highest point since 2010. ICI permit values for Q3 overall were up by almost half compared to last year’s third quarter. Commercial permit values saw the biggest increase, up 82% compared to last year. Southwestern Ontario’s commercial sector has been driven by London where commercial permit values were strong all Summer. For only the second time since Statistics Canada records began in 1998, London accounted for over two-thirds of Southwestern Ontario’s commercial permit values in any quarter. This was also London’s second highest quarter ever for commercial permit values, with Q4 2011 being the only one that was higher.

Institutional permit values in Southwestern Ontario increased by half in Q3. London again led the region’s activity accounting for 60% of institutional permit values in the region. Institutional permits issued in London in Q3 include a $42 million permit for a municipal community centre, and several permits totalling $25 million for Western University. Post-secondary education has been a consistent source of activity in Southwestern Ontario over the past couple years, with multiple projects at Western University and the University of Windsor ongoing. This trend looks set to continue as CMD Group has forecasted that education starts in 2017 will increase by 63%.

Southwestern Ontario’s industrial sector saw permit values increase by 22% in the third quarter compared to last year. Although this was the smallest increase among the three sectors, the industrial sector remained the largest ICI sector in Southwestern Ontario as it has consistently been for the past two years. The industrial sector in Windsor received positive and negative news in November regarding the Gordie Howe Bridge. The long awaited RFP was finally released in November, but was accompanied by the revelation that the RFP process will take another 18 months. This will push the start of construction back from 2017 until mid-2018 at the earliest. With construction expected to take 48 months, this would mean the bridge won’t open until at least 2022.


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