Building permits, June 2012

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Related subjects

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

PDF version

Previous release

The total value of building permits fell 2.5% to $6.8 billion in June, following a 7.1% increase in May. The decline was largely the result of a decrease in the non-residential and residential sectors in Alberta and British Columbia.

Chart 1 
Total value of permits
Chart 1: Total value of permits

Chart description: Total value of permits

CSV version of the chart

Contractors took out $2.5 billion worth of permits in the non-residential sector, down 12.3%. This decrease followed a 3.6% gain in May. Non-residential construction intentions declined in six provinces, with Alberta and British Columbia accounting for most of the decrease.

In the residential sector, the value of permits rose 4.2% to $4.4 billion in June, a second consecutive monthly increase. The June advance was mostly attributable to an increase in Ontario.

Non-residential sector: Institutional component down sharply

The value of institutional building permits dropped 45.9% to $519 million in June, following a 72.0% gain the previous month. British Columbia and Alberta led the eight provinces that posted declines. The decrease in British Columbia reflected lower construction intentions for government buildings, while Alberta's decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for medical facilities.

In the industrial component, the value of permits edged down 0.2% to $476 million in June, following a 17.0% decrease in May. This decline was attributable to a decrease in industrial construction intentions in most provinces. Gains in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick were not enough to offset the declines in the six other provinces.

The value of commercial building permits was $1.5 billion in June, up 6.8%, following a 12.9% decrease in May. The advance was largely attributable to construction intentions for recreational facilities in Ontario. Higher construction intentions for various types of commercial buildings in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec also contributed to the advance.

Chart 2 
Residential and non-residential sectors
Chart 2: Residential and non-residential sectors

Chart description: Residential and non-residential sectors

CSV version of the chart

Residential sector: Higher intentions for single-family and multi-family dwellings

Construction intentions for single-family dwellings rose 4.2% to $2.4 billion, a second consecutive monthly increase. The advance was attributable to higher construction intentions in five provinces, led by Ontario.

Municipalities issued $1.9 billion worth of building permits for multi-family dwellings in June, 4.2% more than in May. The increase was largely the result of higher construction intentions in five provinces. Ontario posted the largest gain, well ahead of Quebec and Manitoba.

Nationally, municipalities approved the construction of 19,605 new dwellings, up 4.1% from May. The increase came from both single-family dwellings, which rose 5.1% to 7,316 units, and multi-family dwellings, which increased 3.6% to 12,289 units.

Declines in most provinces

The total value of building permits was down in seven provinces in June, with Alberta and British Columbia posting the largest declines.

Alberta's decreases stemmed from lower construction intentions in both the residential and non-residential sectors. In British Columbia, the decline resulted from lower construction intentions for institutional and commercial buildings and for multi-family dwellings.

Ontario had the largest monthly increase, a result of growth in the value of building permits for residential and non-residential construction.

Permits value down in most census metropolitan areas

The total value of permits declined in 22 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.

Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton experienced the largest declines. In Vancouver, the decrease was primarily attributable to construction intentions for institutional buildings and, to a lesser extent, multi-family dwellings, which had recorded large increases in May. In Calgary, the decrease resulted from lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and institutional and commercial buildings. The decline observed in Edmonton was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for institutional buildings and single-family dwellings.

Toronto posted the largest advance, a result of increases in construction permits for residential buildings, mainly semi-detached houses, row houses and single homes, and, to a lesser extent, for non-residential buildings.

Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

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.


Data for the current reference month are subject to revision based on late responses. Data have been revised for the previous month.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table026-0001 to 026-0008 and CANSIM table026-0010.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number2802.

The June 2012 issue of Building Permits (Catalogue number64-001-X, free) will soon be available.

The July building permits data will be released on September 7.

For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mahamat Hamit-Haggar (613-951-0862), Investment, Science and Technology Division.