February 2017 – Southwestern Ontario – Building Permits Update


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ICI permit values in Southwestern Ontario increased by 40% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. The commercial and institutional sectors both increased by over 60% in Q4 compared to last year. One of the drivers of institutional permit activity was the $26 million building permit for Windsor’s New City Hall which was issued in December. The industrial sector had a slight increase of 3% year-over-year in the fourth quarter.

Overall for 2016, Southwestern Ontario’s total ICI permit values reached their highest level since 2011. Despite only seeing a 3% increase in Q4, the industrial sector in 2016 had its strongest year for permit values in nearly a decade. This is particularly good news because the industrial sectors in Central Ontario and the GTA have been struggling recently. The London and Windsor/Sarnia areas shared the sector’s activity, both seeing about $190 million in industrial permits. CMD Group has forecasted that construction starts in the manufacturing sector will increase in 2017, while warehousing starts will be flat.

2016 was the best year in some time for the other ICI sectors as well. The commercial permit value total for the year was the highest since 2012, while institutional permit values were at their highest since 2011. Both of these sectors were led by increased activity in London where the commercial sector has been driven by mixed-use developments, and the institutional sector by a variety of education projects. According to CMD Group’s forecast, education project starts will increase 2017 and continue to lead Southwestern Ontario’s institutional sector.


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