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Nursing and residential care facilities, 2021

Released: 2023-03-21

Operating revenue, public nursing and residential care facilities

$20.4 billion


5.0% increase

(annual change)

Dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic: Financial estimates for nursing and residential care facilities in 2021

Nursing and residential care facilities in Canada have been dealing with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staffing shortages have been prevalent since the number of employees fell 2.1% in 2020. As well, nursing and residential care facilities faced higher operating expenses for personal protective equipment purchases, testing and screening measures, and other infection control measures and supplies. In 2020, the number of residents dropped 4.3% because of fewer admissions and a higher number of deaths.

Key highlights of public facilities

In this context, the operating revenue of public facilities rose by 5.0% to $20.4 billion in 2021 and made up the largest share (55.2%) of the industry. Quebec ($6.9 billion) contributed just over one-third (33.6%) of total Canadian operating revenue, followed by Ontario ($4.3 billion) and Alberta ($2.6 billion).

Operating expenses also increased 5.0%, reaching $21.3 billion. Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits rose by 4.8% in 2021 to $15.7 billion, representing almost three-quarters (73.5%) of operating expenses. The operating deficit more than tripled during the pandemic; in 2021, it reached $936.9 million, the largest deficit seen since comparable estimates became available in 2014.

Key highlights of private facilities

In 2021, the operating revenue of private facilities also increased by 5.0%, reaching $16.6 billion, and private facilities accounted for 44.8% of the industry total. Ontario continued being the main contributing province, with $6.6 billion in operating revenue, and was the only province that had more private facilities than public. The next-largest contributing provinces were Quebec ($4.6 billion in operating revenue) and British Columbia ($2.2 billion).

Operating expenses totalled $15.2 billion in 2021, a 5.7% increase from 2020. Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits, representing just over half (55.8%) of operating expenses in private facilities, rose 6.0% in 2021 to $8.5 billion. Operating expenses have continued increasing faster than operating revenue since the pandemic began, lowering the profit margin to 8.6%.

  Note to readers

Data for 2019 and 2020 have been revised.

These estimates represent an aggregate of administrative financial data from the fiscal year ending from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

The nursing and residential care facilities industry covers nursing care facilities; residential developmental handicap, mental health and substance abuse facilities; community care facilities for the elderly; and other residential care facilities.

Separate estimates are published for private and public facilities. Public facilities are owned by not-for-profit organizations, as well as by the government.

Information about the number of facilities comes from the article "Long-term care homes in Canada: How many and who owns them?"

Information about staffing and the number of residents comes from the Daily article "Nursing and residential care facilities in 2020."

These and other data related to business and consumer services can be found at the Business and consumer services and culture statistics portal.

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 (

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