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Canadian business counts, June 2017

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Released: 2017-08-14

Nationally, there were 1,259,812 active businesses with employees in June. Provincially, Ontario reported the highest number of active businesses with employees, at 458,387, followed by Quebec (256,678), British Columbia (195,887) and Alberta (175,634).

The three industry sectors in Canada with the highest number of active businesses with employees were retail trade (144,204), construction (142,485) and professional, scientific and technical services (141,515).

In addition, there were 2,770,234 active businesses without employees and with annual revenues greater than $30,000.

Canadian business counts can be used to compare the number of active businesses by province, territory and city, for many industry categories.

Newfoundland and Labrador has the most bars per population, followed by Quebec

In Canada, there are a total of 5,222 bars or 1.49 bars for every 10,000 Canadians. Newfoundland and Labrador has 3.87 bars per 10,000 population, followed by Quebec (2.66) and New Brunswick (2.26).

Looking at major cities, St. John's has the most bars per 10,000 population at 3.35, followed by Sherbrooke (3.21) and Saint John (2.85). Oshawa has the least, with 0.42 per 10,000 population, followed by Guelph (0.53) and Winnipeg (0.57).

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) density by province and territory, and for select census metropolitan areas
Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) density by province and territory, and for select census metropolitan areas

Telling Canada's story in numbers; #ByTheNumbers

In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.

In Canada, there are 3,285 business locations producing maple syrup. Quebec leads the way with 3.71 locations per 10,000 population compared to the national average of 0.93.

Nationally, there are 466 sports teams and clubs. Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa-Gatineau have the most sports teams among census metropolitan areas, with 46, 29 and 24, respectively.

In Canada, there are 300 history and science museums and 361 art museums and galleries.

  Note to readers

Canadian business counts—previously called Canadian business patterns—provide counts of active businesses by industry classification and employment-size categories for Canada and the provinces and territories. Canadian business counts are based on the same criteria that were used to calculate Canadian business patterns.

Data are available in CANSIM tables 552-0006 and 553-0006.

The counts are compiled from the Business Register, Statistics Canada's central listing of Canadian businesses. They are based on the statistical concept of "location"—that is, each operating location is separately counted, including cases where one business comprises multiple locations. For example, a retail business with 10 stores represents 10 businesses in the Canadian business counts. Generally, among all Canadian businesses, 99% are single-location enterprises.

Changes to the Business Register's methodology or business industrial classification strategies can bring about increases or decreases in the number of active businesses reported in the Canadian business counts. As a result, the data do not represent changes in the business population over time. Statistics Canada recommends that users not use the data as a time series.


Custom data products for other geographic levels can be ordered on a cost-recovery basis. Data prior to December 2011 are also available upon request on a cost-recovery basis.

Contact information

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

To order custom data, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Alex Côté (613-854-1676;, Statistical Registers and Geography Division.

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