The value of building permits in Canada totaled $5.0 billion in August, up 7.2% from July, according to Statistics Canada. The bulk of the increase in construction intentions was due to gains in Ontario and British Columbia.
The end of the municipal employees strike in Toronto in July contributed to the increase. If Toronto is excluded, the total value of building permits rose by 0.8%.
In August, municipalities issued $2.9 billion worth of building permits in the residential sector, an 11.2% increase, and $2.1 billion in the non-residential sector, a 2.2% advance. Excluding the municipality of Toronto, the total value of building permits was up 6.3% in the residential sector and down 6.2% in the non-residential sector.
At the provincial level, the value of building permits increased in three provinces in August: Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. The largest declines were in Saskatchewan, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
Municipalities issued $2.1 billion worth of building permits for single-family dwellings in August, 15.1% more than in July. This was the sixth consecutive monthly increase, fuelled by higher construction intentions in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
The value of building permits for multi-family dwellings rose 2.6% to $841.7 million in August.
British Columbia registered the largest decline in dollar terms, while Ontario, Alberta and Quebec posted gains in construction intentions for multi-family dwellings.
Municipalities approved the construction of 13,432 new dwellings in August, up 7.6%. The increase was largely attributable to single-family dwellings, which increased 12.1% to 7,315 units.
The value of building permits in the non-residential sector increased 2.2% to $2.1 billion in August, as a result of gains in the commercial and industrial components. Increases in British Columbia and Ontario more than offset declines in the non-residential sector in seven provinces.
In the commercial component, the value of building permits rose 3.0% to $1.1 billion. In Ontario, the advance was due primarily to construction intentions for office buildings. In British Columbia, the construction of laboratories and recreational buildings accounted for most of the increase.
The value of building permits in the institutional component fell 1.1% to $737 million. While decreases were observed in seven provinces, the component's value tripled in British Columbia to $319 million, mainly as a result of higher construction intentions for medical buildings. It was the highest value for this component on record.
In the industrial component, the value of building permits rose 8.2% to $292 million. The increase was largely attributable to Ontario and Alberta. Construction intentions were down in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Ontario and British Columbia posted the largest gains among the provinces. The August increase in Ontario came in the wake of a strike by Toronto's municipal employees a month earlier. If Toronto is excluded, the value of building permits in Ontario remained unchanged.
In British Columbia, the total value of building permits increased 47.5% to $912.7 million, mostly as a result of increases in the institutional and commercial components.
In August, seven provinces experienced declines in the value of building permits. Saskatchewan had the largest drop (-35.4%), as every component posted declines. Quebec followed with decreases in the non-residential sector.
The total value of permits was down in 20 of the 34 census metropolitan areas (CMAs).
The Toronto CMA had the largest increase (+83.7%), as only the institutional component was weaker.
Excluding the municipality of Toronto, the value of building permits in the remaining part of the CMA would have risen 16.1%, as a result of higher intentions for single-family dwellings.
The Kelowna CMA posted gains in both residential and non-residential sectors.
The total value of permits issued in the Hamilton CMA fell because of decreases in all components. Montréal experienced a decline due to lower demand for single-family and institutional permits.