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Statistics Canada: Building Permits August 2023

General News

The total monthly value of building permits in Canada increased 3.4% in August to $11.9 billion, with strong gains in the non-residential sector offsetting modest declines in residential construction intentions.

Building Permits - Canada - October 11, 2023

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits was up 4.3% to $6.9 billion in August.

Residential permit values down despite fourth consecutive increase in single-family buildings

The total monthly value of residential permits declined 3.7% to $6.8 billion in August, led by weaker multi-unit construction intentions in Ontario (-15.8% or -$315.6 million), Manitoba (-44.9% or -$90.3 million), Quebec (-7.9% or -$57.1 million), and Nova Scotia (-27.3% or -$29.9 million).

These declines were partly offset by monthly gains in the value of single-family home permits. Across Canada, this component was up 5.5% to $2.9 billion in August, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase for this component. This uptick follows a year of trending decline in construction intentions for single family homes from May 2022 to April 2023.

Removing the effect of changes in construction costs, on a constant dollar basis, the value of single-family home permits stood at $1.5 billion in August, still below the average monthly pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels of 2019 ($1.8 billion).

Non-residential construction intention gains led by large permits in Ontario and British Columbia

The total monthly value of non-residential permits rose 14.8% to $5.0 billion in August, with gains concentrated in Ontario (+28.5% or +$503.8 million) and British Columbia (+45.5% or +$326.2 million).

Notably high-value non-residential permits were issued in August for two hospital renovations (in Toronto and North Vancouver), a new university building in Kelowna, a new correctional facility in Thunder Bay, and a new arena in Whitby.

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

For more information on construction, please visit the Construction statistics portal.

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. The indicators are updated automatically with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.

Note to readers

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.

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, and buildings used for religious services.


Data are subject to revisions based on late responses, methodological changes and classification updates. Unadjusted data have been revised for the previous month. Seasonally adjusted data have been revised for the previous three months.

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

Next release

Data on building permits for September will be released on November 8.

Source: Statistics Canada