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Canadian business counts, December 2018

Released: 2019-02-07

Nationally, there were 1,283,789 active businesses with employees in December. Provincially, Ontario reported the highest number of active businesses with employees at 471,846, followed by Quebec at 261,002, British Columbia at 201,904 and Alberta at 175,346.

The three industry sectors in Canada with the most business locations were construction (148,006), professional, scientific and technical services (146,782) and retail trade (145,274).

In addition, there were 2,859,965 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 and territory, for many industry categories.

Food and beverage store density by census metropolitan area

There are 39,516 food and beverage stores in Canada. The three biggest census metropolitan areas in Canada in terms of population—Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver—also have the highest density of food and beverage stores per area. In Montréal, you can find on average 12 stores per 10 square kilometres; while Toronto has 11.35 and Vancouver has 8.73. Other notable census metropolitan areas such as Calgary, Ottawa–Gatineau, Halifax and Regina have lower food and beverage store densities, with 2.9, 1.82, 0.69 and 0.38 respectively.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Food and beverage store density by census metropolitan area
Food and beverage store density by census metropolitan area

Arts and sports by province and territory

In Canada, there are 40,522 businesses in the field of performing arts, spectator sports and related industries. British Columbia, Yukon and Quebec have the most per population with 15.75, 15.33 and 14.31, respectively, for every 10,000 residents. Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and New Brunswick have the least of these businesses per population.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries per population by province and territory
Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries per population by province and territory

  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.

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, 95% 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.

Products

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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

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