The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Study: Local Manufacturing Data: Manufacturing sales and employment for Canada's largest CMAs

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.

Released: 2016-11-14

Toronto, Canada's most populous census metropolitan area (CMA), is also home to the largest manufacturing sector among the country's CMAs.

The Toronto CMA accounts for nearly $100 billion in manufacturing sales per year, almost equal to Montréal and Edmonton, the next two largest CMAs in terms of manufacturing sectors combined.

The data come from a new study focused on the rising interest in local-level manufacturing data. The study analyzes manufacturing estimates by industry from 2007 to 2012 for 11 CMAs in Canada. Together, these CMAs accounted for over 50% of Canada's population and 59% of gross domestic product in 2009.

The predominant local manufacturing sector varied by CMA.

In Toronto, for example, the largest manufacturing industry, by far, is the transportation equipment industry, part of which is composed of the automotive industry, automobile parts and aerospace products manufacturing.

Montréal, in turn, has the second largest manufacturing sector in Canada. Transportation equipment is the largest manufacturing industry in the CMA, with over $10 billion sales in 2012. The aerospace industry is the largest sub-industry of transportation equipment in the city.

While Alberta is well-known for its oil and gas industry, there were differences between Edmonton and Calgary, its two largest CMAs. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing was Edmonton's largest manufacturing industry, and generated $17.7 billion dollars of sales in 2012, about 47% of total manufacturing sales for the CMA.

The size of the manufacturing sector in Calgary is smaller than in Edmonton because there are no large refineries in this CMA. In 2012, Calgary's main manufacturing industry (measured by sales) was machinery manufacturing (22.8%)

In British Columbia, Vancouver accounts for over half of manufacturing sales. Food processing was the largest industry in Vancouver and contributed over 20% to the total manufacturing sales in 2012.

Transportation equipment was the largest manufacturing sector in Winnipeg followed by the food industry. The share of Winnipeg's transportation equipment in total manufacturing sales in the CMA decreased from 24.3% in 2007 to 19.3% in 2012.

Individual sectors also varied in importance over time. The Ottawa–Gatineau CMA provides an example of how manufacturing has evolved in recent years at the local level, with sales in the computer and electronics industry falling 67.8% from 2007 to 2012. The significant drop in the share of computer and electronic industry in Ottawa–Gatineau was the result of lower sales in the communications equipment industry and computer and peripheral products.

  Note to readers

The estimates used for the study were compiled for the years 2007 through 2012 and were based on data from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing and Logging. The study includes a discussion of the methodology used to compile the local estimates along with an analysis of major trends for 11 selected census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

For more information, see the analytical paper "Local Manufacturing Data: A longitudinal analysis of manufacturing sales and employment for Canada's largest CMAs ."

The database developed for this study provides a great opportunity to study the role of CMAs in the manufacturing sector at the provincial and national levels. The data developed for this study also show the differences in manufacturing activities across CMAs that currently cannot be gleaned from other databases. As well, they demonstrate trends in manufacturing employment across cities and have great potential for advancing the understanding of the Canadian economy.

The database should be regarded as experimental in nature, and hence the local-level manufacturing data may not necessarily follow trends seen in other data sources.


The analytical paper "Local Manufacturing Data: A longitudinal analysis of manufacturing sales and employment for Canada's largest CMAs ," which is part of Analysis in Brief (Catalogue number11-621-M), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Michael Schimpf (613-863-4480;, Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade Division.

Date modified: