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Investment in building construction, April 2019

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Released: 2019-06-21

Total investment in building construction

$14.8 billion

April 2019

2.6% increase

(monthly change)

Total investment in building construction increased 2.6% in April to $14.8 billion. Investment in the residential sector (+3.6% to $10.1 billion) led the growth, while the non-residential sector edged up 0.3% to $4.7 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction rose 2.9% to $12.5 billion.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in building construction
Investment in building construction

Investment in multi-unit dwellings reaches new heights

In April, total investment in residential building construction increased on the strength of investment in multi-unit dwellings (+7.1% to $5.1 billion), while investment in single-family homes edged up 0.3% to $5.0 billion.

Provincially, gains in multi-unit investment were led by British Columbia (+$205 million), Manitoba (+$94 million) and Quebec (+$75 million). The multi-unit increase in British Columbia was driven by investment in high-value projects like the mixed use Lougheed Town Centre project in the City of Burnaby.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Investment in residential building construction
Investment in residential building construction

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Investment in residential construction, April 2019
Investment in residential construction, April 2019

Non-residential investment edges up

Provincially, non-residential investment was up slightly in Quebec (+$19 million) and British Columbia (+$16 million). These gains were partially offset by declines in Alberta (-$11 million) and Ontario (-$11 million).

Of the three components in the non-residential sector, the institutional component posted the largest gain (+0.5% to $1.1 billion), due to projects such as the Greenfield Park Retirement Residence in Longueil, Quebec.

Investment in the commercial component edged up 0.3% to $2.7 billion in April, as the growth in British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba was greater than the declines in Ontario and Alberta.

Investment in the industrial component edged up 0.1% from the previous month.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Investment in non-residential building construction
Investment in non-residential building construction

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Investment in non-residential construction, April 2019
Investment in non-residential construction, April 2019

  Note to readers

As per standard Statistics Canada practices, this release includes revised data for January 2015 through January 2019. In addition, data for January 2010 through December 2014 have been added to the current series.

Data presented in this release are seasonally adjusted and are expressed in current dollars unless otherwise stated. Using seasonally adjusted data facilitates month-to-month comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Monthly estimates for constant dollars are calculated using quarterly deflators from the Building Construction Price Index (18-10-0135-01). Typically, the first two months of a quarter use the previous quarters' price level and are revised when the new quarterly price index becomes available.

Detailed data on investment activity by type of building and type of work are now available in the unadjusted current dollar series.

As a result of data source constraints, the total value for "type of work – all" may not equal the sum of its parts (new construction, renovation, conversion, and other). The component required to complete the summation is "type of structure, minor."

In the type of work series "conversions total," one or more residential dwelling units are created from an existing structure. Deconversions, garages and carports, as well as in-ground swimming pools, are grouped together in the "other types of work" category.

Prior to January 2018, building permits for cottages with a value greater than $60,000 were automatically reclassified to structure type Single. Beginning with January 2018, regardless of value, building permits received from municipalities coded as cottages remain classified as a cottage.

Effective November 23, 2018, table 34-10-0175-01 contains data on both the residential and non-residential sector. It replaced tables 34-10-0010-01, 34-10-0011-01 and 34-10-0012-01.

Next release

Data on investment in building construction for May will be released on July 22.


Statistics Canada has a new Housing Market Indicators Dashboard. This web application provides access to key housing market indicators for Canada, by province and by census metropolitan area. These indicators are automatically updated with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.

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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