Sept 9, 2021: Building Permits (July 2021)

September 9, 2021

Last week, Statistics Canada released building permit data for July 2021, revealing that ICI permit values in Ontario increased for the second consecutive month. July’s ICI permit values were up in Ontario by 17.3% over June and 21.1% over May.

Looking at 2021 so far (January-July), ICI permit values in Ontario have amounted to $8.9 billion, an increase of 5.2% compared to the same point in 2020. As 2020 permit data was disrupted due to the pandemic, it is also helpful to look at the 2021 numbers relative to 2019. So far this year, ICI permit values are up by less than a percent (+0.7%) over 2019.

At the sector level, Ontario’s industrial and institutional permit values were both up by 25.9% in the January-July period compared to 2020. Relative to 2019, industrial permits were down in the January-July period by 15.3%. Institutional permit values were up by 22.5% compared to the same period in 2019. Furthermore, institutional permits were at their highest point year-to-date since 2017.

Ontario’s commercial permit values increased for the second consecutive month in July, but the year-to-date total was down by 7.4% compared to 2020. Relative to 2019, the January-July 2021 commercial permit values were essentially at the same level (-0.02%; <$1 million).

It is also important to look back to both 2019 and 2020 with the metro-level permit data. ICI permit values for the Toronto metro area in the January-July period were down 3.3% compared to 2019, but equal to the 2020 January-July total (-0.01%; <$500,000). ICI permit values were up in the 2021 January-July period over both 2019 and 2020 in four of Ontario’s metro areas: Barrie, Greater Sudbury, Hamilton and Peterborough. Conversely, three metro areas (Brantford, Guelph and Oshawa) posted January-July ICI permit values lower than both 2019 and 2020. Six metro areas had January-July ICI permit values above 2020 levels, but below 2019 levels: Belleville, Kingston, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, London, Thunder Bay and Windsor. In Ottawa and St. Catharines-Niagara, January-July ICI permit values were down compared to 2020 but up compared to 2019.



Katherine Jacobs
Director of Research

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