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Investment in building construction, January 2020

Released: 2020-03-23

Total investment in building construction

$15.6 billion

January 2020

0.5% increase

(monthly change)

Total investment in building construction increased by 0.5% in January to $15.6 billion, with gains in both the residential and non-residential sectors. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction was up 0.9% to $12.9 billion compared with December 2019.

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

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in building construction, seasonally adjusted
Investment in building construction, seasonally adjusted

Quebec leads residential growth

Investment in the residential sector remained unchanged in January. Increases in Quebec (+5.5% to $2.3 billion), British Columbia (+0.1% to $1.9 billion), and Nova Scotia (+0.6% to $224.0 million) offset declines in the seven other provinces. Quebec led residential investment in both single-unit dwellings (+6.6% to $1.0 billion) and multi-unit dwellings (+4.7% to $1.3 billion), with investment growth in single-unit dwellings outweighing the lower investment in single-unit dwellings reported in all other provinces.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Investment in residential building construction, seasonally adjusted
Investment in residential building construction, seasonally adjusted

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Residential construction investment, January 2020
Residential construction investment, January 2020

Non-residential investment

All three components of non-residential investment (commercial, institutional, and industrial) were up in January, rising 1.4% to $5.1 billion. Both Quebec (+5.1% to $1.1 billion) and Ontario (+1.8% to $1.9 billion) reported notable growth, while Alberta declined 1.5% to $682.1 million.

The commercial component was the largest contributor to non-residential growth, up 1.8% to $3.0 billion. Quebec reported the largest gains (+8.4% to $629.6 million), primarily due to multiple major projects, such as the National Bank head office in Montréal.

The institutional sector rose 0.9% to $1.2 billion. Growth in Toronto propelled Ontario up 3.8% to $423.8 million. Declines in British Columbia and Alberta slightly offset gains in Ontario.

The industrial component increased 0.8% to $928.3 million. Gains in seven provinces outweighed declines in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Non-residential construction investment, January 2020
Non-residential construction investment, January 2020

  Note to readers

Unadjusted data for the current reference month are subject to revision as a result of late responses. Data for the previous month have been revised. Seasonally adjusted data are revised for the previous two months.

The constant dollar series for investment in non-residential building construction (unadjusted and seasonally adjusted) have been revised to reflect a minor correction in the processing of the price indices for the second quarter of 2019. The data have been revised back to January 2019 to reflect this update.

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 (table 18-10-0135-01). Typically, the first two months of a quarter use the previous quarter's 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.

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

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


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.

Next release

Data on investment in building construction for February will be released on April 21.

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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