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Building permits, October 2019

Released: 2019-12-09

Building permits — Canada

$8.3 billion

October 2019

-1.5% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.L.

$53.6 million

October 2019

-19.5% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — P.E.I.

$48.3 million

October 2019

8.7% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.S.

$172.2 million

October 2019

5.3% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.B.

$81.9 million

October 2019

-7.5% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Que.

$1,690.6 million

October 2019

12.3% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Ont.

$3,359.5 million

October 2019

-3.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Man.

$438.0 million

October 2019

74.3% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Sask.

$136.6 million

October 2019

22.0% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Alta.

$960.2 million

October 2019

-6.6% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — B.C.

$1,296.9 million

October 2019

-21.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Building permits — Y.T.

$32.4 million

October 2019

204.2% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — N.W.T.

$4.5 million

October 2019

85.3% increase

(monthly change)

Building permits — Nvt.

$0.5 million

October 2019

-88.4% decrease

(monthly change)

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 1.5% to $8.3 billion in October. Declines were reported in five provinces, with the largest decrease in British Columbia (-21.2% to $1.3 billion). Quebec offset some of this decline, with the value of building permits in that province rising 12.3% to $1.7 billion.

For more information on housing, please visit the Housing Statistics Portal.

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

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

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Building permits, October 2019
Building permits, October 2019

Residential permits down

The total value of residential permits fell below $5 billion in October for the first time since March 2019. The value of permits declined for both single (-2.9%) and multi-family (-3.4%) dwellings.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Month-to-month change in the value of residential building permits
Month-to-month change in the value of residential building permits

Increase in the value of institutional permits

The value of institutional permits rose 24.9% to $765 million in October, largely due to gains in Manitoba (+$79 million) and Ontario (+$72 million).

The value of commercial permits decreased 5.3% to $2.0 billion. Gains were reported in eight provinces, led by Quebec (+$161 million), but this was not enough to offset a sizeable decline in British Columbia (-$317 million).

Industrial permits decreased 1.1% to $604 million.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Month-to-month change in the value of non-residential building permits
Month-to-month change in the value of non-residential building permits

Manitoba permits reach record high

Manitoba reported gains in all categories of permits in October, with the total value increasing 74.3% to a record high of $438 million. This increase was largely attributable to high value permits issued in Winnipeg. The mixed-use development True North Square drove gains in multi-family and commercial permits. Institutional permits reached their highest value since April 2003, largely due to an expansion at Red River College. Major upgrades to a water treatment plant in Brandon significantly contributed to the value of industrial permits, which more than doubled compared with September.

  Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitate month-to-month 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 permit 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 and 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 condominium, row house, semi-detached).

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

Commercial buildings: Buildings used in the 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.


Unadjusted data for the current reference month are subject to revision based on late responses. Data for the previous month have been revised. Seasonally adjusted data for the previous two months have also been revised.

Trend-cycle estimates have been added to the charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. Both seasonally adjusted data and trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be large and could even lead to a reversal of movement, especially at the end of the series. The higher variability associated with 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 on building permits for November 2019 will be released on January 9, 2020.

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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