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Statistics Canada: Building Permits, March 2022

General News

The total value of building permits in Canada decreased 9.3% in March to $11.7 billion, mainly due to the non-residential sector (-29.5% to $3.7 billion). Two large hospital permits issued in February pushed that month’s total to a record high.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits was down 11.5% to $7.6 billion in March.

Residential sector up in March

Residential permits in March increased 4.7% to $7.9 billion nationally.

Construction intentions for single family homes were up 3.3%, reaching the highest value since March 2021, with Ontario registering the largest gain (+12.0%).

The value of multi-family building permits rose 6.0% nationally, helped by high value projects such as a $457 million permit for the Ravine condos in the city of Toronto.

Non-residential sector pulls back following strong February

The total value of non-residential sector permits fell 29.5% in March, largely due to the institutional component (-58.5%) returning to more normal levels after two large hospital permits were issued in February. Commercial building intentions in March saw a 7.2% decline, while industrial construction (+2.8%) was the only component to post an increase.

First quarter of 2022 reaches record high

The total value of building permits in the first quarter of 2022 increased 5.3% from the fourth quarter of 2021, to $34.9 billion.

The non-residential sector jumped 18.8% in the first quarter of 2022 to a record high of $12.5 billion, largely due to the institutional component (+58.6%) which saw two hospital permits issued in Vancouver and Quebec, valued at a combined $1.9 billion. The industrial (+15.3%) and commercial (+2.0%) components also saw gains for the quarter.

The residential sector saw a 1.0% decline in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, with a decrease in multi-family permits (-3.0%) more than offsetting a slight gain in single-family construction intentions (+1.3%).

To explore data using an interactive user interface, visit the Building permits: Interactive Dashboard.

To explore the impact of COVID-19 on the socioeconomic landscape, please consult the Canadian Economic Dashboard and COVID-19.

For more information on housing, please visit the Housing statistics portal.

Statistics Canada has a 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 updated automatically with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.

For the full press release, click here.

Note to readers

As of February 1, 2022, the Building Permits Survey introduced an electronic questionnaire to replace older collection methods such as paper questionnaires, faxes and emails. As Statistics Canada migrates to this new system, data included in this release may see larger than normal monthly revisions.

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data with current dollar values, which facilitate month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Starting with the March 2021 reference period, monthly constant dollar estimates are available for the entire data series (34-10-0066-01). Constant dollars remove the effects of price changes over time and 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 quarter’s price level and are revised when the new quarterly price index becomes available.

Building components

  • Single-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing only one dwelling unit (e.g., single-detached house, bungalow, linked home [linked at the foundation]).
  • Multi-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing multiple dwelling units (e.g., apartment, apartment condominium, row house, semi-detached house).
  • 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, including office buildings.
  • 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 revisions based on late responses. Data for the two previous months have been revised. Seasonally adjusted data for the previous three 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 charts.

For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Next release

Data on building permits for April will be released on June 2.

Source: Statistics Canada