Apr 5, 2021: Building Permits (Feb 2021)

April 5, 2021

Statistics Canada has released new building permit data, showing that Ontario’s ICI permit values totaled nearly $2.6 billion in the first two months of 2021. This is a greater figure than in the first two months of any previous year besides 2020 (based on seasonally adjusted data). Compared to the January-February period last year, ICI permit values are down by 6.7%. The commercial sector led the decline, with a drop of 16.9% compared to last year. Permit values increased in both the industrial and institutional sectors in the first two months of 2021 compared to last year. Industrial permits are up by 13.5% in Ontario, while institutional permits are up by 7.9%.

While Ontario’s commercial permit values and overall ICI permit values are down so far this year compared to 2020, permit values are up in all sectors compared to 2019. ICI permit values are almost 15% higher this year compared to the first two months of 2019. Commercial permit values are up by almost 20%.

At the metro level, ICI permit values are down in eleven of Ontario’s sixteen CMAs so far in 2021. Among the five metro areas with greater ICI permit values in the January-February period, the biggest increases were in Hamilton (+228.5%) and Kingston (+175.2%). Increases have also been observed in Peterborough (+70.0%), Belleville (+19.2%) and London (+3.4%). In the remaining metro areas, ICI permit values are down by percentages in the double-digits. It should be noted that despite being down compared to the first two months of 2020, ICI permit values in Ontario’s two largest metro areas – Toronto and Ottawa – are up compared to January-February 2019. Toronto’s ICI permit values in January-February 2021 are more than 22% higher than in the same period in 2019, while in Ottawa ICI permit values are up by more than 8%.



Katherine Jacobs
Director of Research

Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 222
F 416.620.5310