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Amusement and recreation industry, 2018

Released: 2019-12-12

Amusement and recreation industries generated a combined revenue of $11.7 billion in 2018, up 4.6% from 2017. Nevertheless, this increase was more modest than what was observed in recent years. In general, industry performance can be influenced by a number of structural and transitory factors, including seasonal weather conditions, household purchasing power, and investments in new rides and attractions.

This industry comprises establishments that operate recreation and amusement facilities and services, such as fitness centres, golf courses, skiing facilities, amusement parks, amusement arcades, marinas and bowling centres.

Businesses operating fitness and recreational sports centres accounted for the largest share of the industry's total operating revenue (36.0%).

Expansion in the range of facilities continues to boost revenue in the fitness industry

The fitness and recreational sports centres industry benefited from the expansion in the range of facilities offered to Canadians, from budget to luxury options, which contributed to the 6.7% increase in operating revenue in 2018 to $4.2 billion. This increase occurred despite the fact that fewer Canadians self-reported weekly physical activity on the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey, which provides insight into the behaviours of the Canadian population. Businesses in Ontario (+$105.6 million) accounted for most of the national revenue gain.

The increase in the number of establishments affected the industry's profitability, with the operating profit margin declining from 2017 (5.2%) to 2018 (4.6%).

Golf revenue in Quebec recovers from the impact of record rainfalls in 2017

Following a 0.9% increase in 2017, operating revenue for golf courses and country clubs in Canada grew by 1.8% to $2.6 billion in 2018. The industry is dealing with waning interest among millennials. Businesses in Quebec (+5.5%) and Alberta (+4.2%) led operating revenue gains in 2018. Operating revenue in Quebec recovered from the record spring rainfalls of 2017 in Montréal and western Quebec.

Nationally, the operating profit margin for the industry remained low at 0.1% in 2018.

Good snow conditions in 2018 help boost ski revenue across Canada

The ski industry had an operating revenue of $1.2 billion in 2018, up 5.1% from the previous year. This increase reflects a good snow season across Canada. Operators in British Columbia posted the largest gain (+$27.7 million), followed by Quebec (+$18.8 million).

The operating profit margin for the ski industry grew 0.4 percentage points to 13.4% in 2018.

Amusement parks and arcades revenue propelled by new rides and attractions

In 2018, the amusement parks and arcades industry reported $675.2 million in operating revenue, an increase of 7.1% from 2017. The largest revenue gains were in Ontario (+$26.9 million), Alberta (+$8.3 million) and British Columbia (+$5.9 million). Investments in new rides and attractions bolstered growth in the industry. By contrast, operating revenue was down in Quebec (-$0.4 million).

The operating profit margin edged down 1.0 percentage point to 14.0% in 2018, reflecting faster growth in operating expenses (+8.3%) relative to revenue.

E-commerce sales by amusement parks and arcades operators on the rise

E-commerce in the amusement parks and arcades industry accounted for 18.9% ($115.0 million) of total sales, up 1.4 percentage points compared with 2017.

Businesses that reported e-commerce revenue in 2018 identified their websites as the most common method of e-commerce sales (89.8%), followed by third-party websites (37.1%), mobile applications (13.4%) and electronic data interchange (1.7%).

  Note to readers

This release covers all industries classified to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industry group 713 amusement, gambling and recreation industries, with the exception of NAICS 7132, gambling industries.

Information on self-reported physical activity was taken from table 13-10-0096-13.

Data for 2016 and 2017 have been revised.

Contact information

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