On-Site Magazine

Permits on the rise in May

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Statistics Canada reports an increase of more than 10 per cent as both residential and non-residential sectors post strong gains.

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

Canadian building permits had a strong May, jumping by 10.5 per cent on the month to hit $10.5 billion, reports Statistics Canada. While activity was on the rise from April, the strong performances in most segments were not enough to bring the year in line with 2022 figures. Seasonally adjusted, the total value of permits was down 13.5 per cent from May of 2022.

On a month-to-month basis, the total monthly value of non-residential permits rose 14.2 per cent to $3.7 billion on strength in the commercial segment. Those commercial permits surged 45.8 per cent, gaining $703.4 million to hit 2,238.6 billion. The industrial segment posted a modest 1.8 per cent gain to reach $660 million. Combined, those two sectors more than offset monthly losses experienced in the institutional component, which fell 23.3 per cent from April to sit at $819 million.

The general rise from April still left the May value of non-residential construction intentions down 11.2 per cent compared to the same month one year earlier.

Gains in permit values for multi-family dwellings paced the residential sector to a rise of 8.5 per cent for the month, as new housing intentions reached $6.8 billion. Ontario led provincial results, with the province contributing 45.8 per cent of Canada’s residential permit values.


Ontario permit values increased 16.3 per cent month over month to $3.1 billion, led by multi-dwelling permits issued in urban areas. Other provinces on the plus side for the month included New Brunswick, which was up 27.2, Quebec, which gained 10.8 per cent, Alberta, up 4.7 per cent, and British Columbia, which posted a 3.7 per cent rise.

Across Canada, permits were issued for 3,800 new single-family homes in May, and for 17,700 new dwellings in multi-unit buildings.




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