According to Statistics Canada, March 2021 marked the third consecutive month of record-setting numbers as building permits rose 5.7 percent to $10.9 billion, reflecting a booming residential sector.
The residential sector climbed 15.9 percent, clearing the $8.0 billion mark for the first time in March. Multi-family dwellings jumped 24.5 percent compared with February to an unprecedented $4.3 billion. This gain resulted largely from permits being issued for residential towers in the cities of Toronto, Burlington, and Vaughan. Single-family homes also reached new heights, increasing 7.6 percent to $3.8 billion. The census metropolitan area of Oshawa was responsible for just over one-third of this growth.
Following a month in which several major permits were issued for care facilities, institutional permits fell 33.5 percent to $732.1 million. Eight provinces posted a decline in this component, with Quebec (-54.5 percent) recording the most significant drop.
Commercial permits decreased 14.6 percent to $1.5 billion, about 25 percent lower than the average monthly value reported in 2019. After declining slightly in the first two months of 2020, commercial permits took a large hit at the start of the pandemic, and have since averaged around the $1.5 billion mark observed in March.
Industrial permits, the only component to report a gain in the non-residential sector, rose 16.4 percent to $650.5 million. Several major permits were issued, including a new relay control center for railroads in the city of Montréal and the Rutherford Station of the Go Transit system in the city of Vaughan.
Overall, the non-residential sector fell 15.6 percent to $2.8 billion.