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Building permits up 1.3% overall in October 2021

December 1, 2021 | By Anthony Capkun

December 1, 2021 – Statscan reports the total value of building permits increased 1.3% to $10.3 billion in October, led by gains in British Columbia (+15.0%) and Ontario (+4.5%).

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector were up 4.2%, while the residential sector edged down 0.1%.

Residential construction intentions edged down 0.1% to $6.9 billion, with Ontario (-2.2%) and British Columbia (-4.9%) pulling down the sector.

Multi-family units fell 8.8% at the national level, following a strong September, mostly due to fewer higher-valued permits issued in Ontario and British Columbia, Statscan notes.


Conversely, New Brunswick (+123.8%) reported its second-highest value on record, stemming from high-value apartment permits in the cities of Saint John, Moncton and Shediac.

The value of permits for single-family homes rose 10.8% in October, led by Ontario (+15.1%). Saskatchewan was the only province to report a decline (-8.6%).

Construction intentions for institutional buildings rose 63.2%, with a $254-million Mills Memorial hospital project in Terrace, B.C., helping construction intentions for the province to increase substantially (+528.9%) compared with the previous month, Statscan reports.

Commercial building permits rose 10.1% for the month, with Ontario in the lead (+36.8%) with projects in Toronto, such as the office renovation for the SickKids Foundation.

September’s growth in industrial building permits, which largely reflected the Calgary International Airport’s Airside Maintenance expansion project, returned to “more normal” levels in October.

Overall, the total value of building permits in the non-residential sector at the national level rose 4.2% to $3.4 billion, 16.7% above the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

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