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June 2011 (Previous release)

Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.6 billion in June, up 2.1% from May, when growth was 20.9%. The increase in June was largely attributable to higher construction intentions for industrial and institutional buildings in Ontario and multi-family dwellings in British Columbia.


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The value of permits in the non-residential sector rose 3.0% to $2.8 billion in June, following a 51.1% increase in May. Industrial and institutional buildings in Ontario and Quebec were behind much of the advance in the non-residential sector.

In the residential sector, municipalities issued $3.7 billion worth of permits in June, up 1.5% from May, when intentions had increased 5.2%. The gain in June was primarily the result of higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in British Columbia and single-family dwellings in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The total value of building permits was up in seven provinces, led by Ontario and British Columbia. In contrast, Alberta, New Brunswick and Manitoba posted declines in June.

Non-residential sector: Industrial and institutional components up

In June, construction intentions rose in the industrial and institutional components for a second consecutive month.

Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations.

The Building Permits Survey covers 2,400 municipalities representing 95% of the population. It provides an early indication of building activity.

The communities representing the other 5% of the population are very small, and their levels of building activity have little impact on the total.

The value of planned construction activities shown in this release excludes engineering projects (for example, waterworks, sewers or culverts) and land.

For the purpose of this release, the census metropolitan area of Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario/Quebec) is divided into two areas: Gatineau part and Ottawa part.


Preliminary data are provided for the current reference month. Revised data, based on late responses, are updated for the previous month.

In the industrial component, the value of permits increased 78.7% in June to $615 million, following a 22.8% advance in May. June's gain came from seven provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec. In Ontario, the gain was attributable to higher construction intentions for transportation and utilities buildings. Quebec followed with increases in a range of industrial buildings, such as utilities buildings and manufacturing plants.

Construction intentions in the institutional component rose 23.1% to $647 million in June, following a 7.1% increase in May. The advance in June was primarily the result of higher construction intentions for medical facilities in Ontario and social housing in Quebec.

In contrast, the value of commercial building permits fell 16.5% to $1.6 billion in June, following a significant increase in May. In Ontario, laboratories and retail establishments posted the largest declines. In June, six other provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, also registered decreases in commercial construction intentions.


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Residential sector: Higher intentions for single-family dwellings

The value of building permits for single-family dwellings rose 3.4% to $2.2 billion in June, following a 4.8% decline in May. June's increase was attributable to gains in eight provinces, led by Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings decreased 1.0% to $1.5 billion in June, following a 22.6% advance in May. Ontario, Quebec and Alberta accounted for much of the decline. Conversely, British Columbia registered the largest gain, followed by Nova Scotia.

Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 17,227 new dwellings in June, up 1.5% from May. The increase came from single-family dwellings, which rose 4.7% to 6,946 units. Multi-family dwellings edged down 0.5% to 10,281 units.

Ontario and British Columbia post the largest gains

The value of building permits was up in seven provinces, led by Ontario and British Columbia.

Ontario posted its second consecutive monthly increase in June. The advance was largely attributable to higher construction intentions for industrial and institutional buildings. British Columbia followed, as a result of an increase in the value of residential permits, particularly permits for multi-family dwellings.

In contrast, Alberta posted the biggest decline, mainly as a result of decreases in permits for commercial and industrial buildings, which had increased in May.

Higher permit values in most census metropolitan areas

The total value of permits was up in 22 of the 34 census metropolitan areas in June.

Vancouver, Calgary and London had the largest increases. In Vancouver, the advance was largely attributable to permits for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings. In Calgary, the gain came from higher construction intentions in both residential and non-residential sectors. In London, the increase was mainly due to institutional buildings.

By contrast, the largest declines were in Toronto and Edmonton. In Toronto, the decrease was attributable in particular to permits for multi-family dwellings, commercial buildings and institutional facilities. In Edmonton, the decline originated primarily from lower construction intentions for commercial and residential buildings.

Available on CANSIM: tables 026-0001 to 026-0008 and 026-0010.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2802.

The June 2011 issue of Building Permits (64-001-X, free) will be available soon.

The July building permit data will be released on September 8.

To order data, contact Joanne Bureau (toll-free 1-800-579-8533; 613-951-9689; For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mariane Bien-Aimé (613-951-7520), Investment and Capital Stock Division.