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Building permits, November 2017

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Released: 2018-01-10

Building permits — Canada

$7.7 billion

November 2017

-7.7% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.L.

$36.8 million

November 2017

-33.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — P.E.I.

$33.6 million

November 2017

30.2% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.S.

$126.7 million

November 2017

22.7% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.B.

$88.3 million

November 2017

-27.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Que.

$1,224.8 million

November 2017

-28.3% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Ont.

$3,196.0 million

November 2017

-9.3% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Man.

$310.6 million

November 2017

42.3% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Sask.

$181.5 million

November 2017

24.1% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Alta.

$1,263.6 million

November 2017

25.6% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — B.C.

$1,180.3 million

November 2017

-13.8% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Y.T.

$4.2 million

November 2017

-56.3% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.W.T.

$10.7 million

November 2017

10.9% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Nvt.

$0.0 million

November 2017

-100.0% decrease

(monthly change)

The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 7.7% to $7.7 billion in November, the first decrease in three months. Nationally, the value of permits for all building components declined, with the exception of single-family dwellings.

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

Chart 2  Chart 2: Value of building permits for residential and non-residential sectors
Value of building permits for residential and non-residential sectors

Non-residential construction intentions in 2017 surpass 2016 total

The value of building permits for non-residential structures fell 12.3% to $2.9 billion in November, following two monthly increases. The decline was spread over the three non-residential components (commercial, industrial and institutional).

As of November, Canadian municipalities had issued over $100 million more in building permits in 2017 compared to the 2016 total, led by higher construction intentions for universities, hospitals and manufacturing plants. Initiatives such as the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, announced in the 2016 Federal Budget, may have contributed to the increase in the value of university building permits in 2017, while multiple high-value permits helped to drive up the overall value for hospitals and manufacturing plants.

Single-family dwellings hold steady

The value of permits for single-family dwellings remained at $2.6 billion in November. After falling from a peak of $2.9 billion in October 2016, the value of permits for single-family dwellings remained steady at approximately $2.6 billion throughout 2017.

In Ontario, the value of permits for single-family dwellings increased gradually over the previous five months. These gains were offset by slight declines in Alberta and Quebec over the same period. Ontario led the rise in November, as the value of permits issued for single-family dwellings in the province rose 4.3% to $1.2 billion, accounting for 46.0% of the national total.

Quebec down in November following a strong October

The value of building permits in Quebec declined for all building components in November, falling 28.3% to $1.2 billion, the lowest value since February. The decrease came after the province registered a record high $1.7 billion in October.

The decline in November mainly stemmed from lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, which fell 31.2% to $468.6 million, following eight consecutive monthly increases.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Month-to-month change in value of residential building permits, November 2017
Month-to-month change in value of residential building permits, November 2017

Chart 4  Chart 4: Month-to-month change in value of non-residential building permits, November 2017
Month-to-month change in value of non-residential building permits, November 2017

Residential update: Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver

Municipalities in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto issued $1.0 billion in residential permits in November, up 18.8% from the previous month and a second consecutive monthly increase. The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose 30.1% to $532.4 million and the value of permits for single-family dwellings increased 8.6% to $496.3 million.

Municipalities in the CMA of Montréal issued $481.5 million in residential permits in November, down 26.6% from the record high in October. Building permits for multi-family dwellings fell 34.8% to $348.1 million, while permits for single-family dwellings increased 9.4% to $133.4 million.

In the CMA of Vancouver, the value of residential building permits decreased 21.0% to $408.9 million in November, the second consecutive monthly decline. The value of permits for multi-family dwellings fell 29.5% to $260.3 million, while the value of permits for single-family dwellings rose 0.2% to $148.6 million.

  Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitate comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

The Building Permits Survey covers over 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the Canadian population. The communities representing the other 5% of the population are very small and their levels of building activity have little impact on the total for the entire population.

Building permits data are used as a leading indicator of activity in the construction industry.

The value of planned construction activities presented in this release excludes engineering projects (such as waterworks, sewers or culverts) and land.

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

Unless otherwise specified, the highlights refer to seasonally adjusted current dollars and are ranked in terms of dollar change rather than percentage change.

Building components

Single-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing only one dwelling unit (for example, single-detached house, bungalow, linked home (linked at the foundation)).

Multi-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing multiple dwelling units (for example, apartment, apartment condominiums, row house, semi-detached).

Industrial buildings: Buildings used in the transformation of goods or related to transportation and communication.

Commercial buildings: Buildings used in trade or distribution of goods and services.

Institutional and government buildings: Buildings used to house public and semi-public services such as those related to health and welfare, education, or public administration, as well as buildings used for religious services.


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

Trend-cycle estimates have been added to the charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. Both the seasonally adjusted and the trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be large and even lead to a reversal of movement, especially at the end of the series. The higher variability associated with the trend-cycle estimates is indicated with a dotted line on the chart.

For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Next release

Data for December 2017 on building permits will be released on February 7, 2018.


The November 2017 issue of Building Permits (Catalogue number64-001-X) will be available January 11, 2018.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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