On-Site Magazine

Industrial and institutional projects pace Canada to June permit gains

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Value of non-residential sector permits increases by more than 20 per cent on massive gains for industrial and institutional segments.

Building permits, June 2023. (Source: Statistics Canada, Table 34-10-0066-01, Building permits, by type of structure and type of work.)

The total monthly value of building permits in Canada increased 6.1 per cent in June, reaching $11.6 billion on strength from the non-residential sector.

Hospital construction intentions pushed the institutional component to a gain of more than 67 per cent as permit values came in $619 million ahead of May’s report, reaching $1.54 billion. The two highest-valued permits in June were issued for the construction of new hospitals in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., and Dawson Creek, B.C., which together totalled 58.6 per cent of the total value of institutional construction intentions.

Those gains, along with a 51 per cent rise in the industrial component, more than offset the 7.7 per cent decline in commercial construction intentions. Overall, the total monthly value of non-residential permits increased by 20.4 per cent to $4.7 billion in June.

The news on the residential side was not as rosy as permits stalled despite monthly increases in seven provinces. The total monthly value of residential permits declined 1.8 per cent to $6.9 billion for the month. Ontario’s drop of 11 per cent contributed the most to the decline, falling off after the province posted strong volumes of large multi-unit projects in May. Similarly, Saskatchewan (-51.4 per cent) and New Brunswick (-20.5 per cent) posted notable declines that combined to eclipse any gains posted in each of the other provinces. Across Canada, permits for 22,000 new dwellings were issued in June.


Permit values in the second quarter of 2023 were slightly behind the first quarter of 2023, posting a drop of one per cent to come in at $32.2 billion. The non-residential sector fell 9.6 per cent to $12.0 billion, following the first quarter’s record high. Despite the overall decline, the residential sector broke a three-quarter slump, increasing 4.9 per cent in the second quarter to $20.3 billion.




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