2021 Building permits increase 9% above last year’s levels: OCS

Ontario Construction News staff writer

New building permit data from Statistics Canada shows that Ontario’s Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) building permit values so far in 2021 have increased by nine per cent compared to last year, the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) says in its Oct. 4 Economic Bulletin.

Other highlights include:

  • ICI permit values were down slightly in August month-over-month;
  • Commercial permit values have increased for the third consecutive month after a significant drop-off in May;
  • Permit values have increased by more than 20 per cent in both the industrial and institutional sectors so far this year; and
  • Commercial permit values remain lower than 2020 levels year-over-year.

Citing Statistics Canada data, OCS says that ICI permit values in Ontario fell by 1.1% in August compared to July. Year-to-date (January-August), Ontario’s ICI permit values were up by 9.0% over last year, while industrial permit values were up by 21.5%, and institutional permits up by 27.0%, the bulletin reported.

Commercial permit values in the January-August period were down by 0.5% in Ontario compared to last year. This is an improvement however compared to last month, when year-to-date commercial permit values were down by 7.4% year-over-year. Strong commercial permitting in Ontario in August helped to lift the year-to-date permit total closer to 2020 levels.

While compared to 2020, Ontario’s January-August ICI permit values were up by 9.0% this year, the province’s ICI permit values were down by 1.0% so far in 2021 (January-August) compared to the same point in 2019. Permit values in 2021 were also down in Ontario’s industrial sector compared to 2019. In Ontario’s commercial and institutional sectors, permit values in the January-August 2021 period were both above 2019 levels.

Ontario’s commercial permit values increased for a third consecutive month in August, reaching $892 million, the sector’s highest monthly permit total since November 2020. These month-over-month increases followed a 33.0% drop-off that occurred between April and May of this year. In Ontario’s institutional and commercial sectors, permit values fell significantly in August compared to July. Institutional permit values were down by 31.3% month-over-month, with industrial down 23.8%.


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