While the value of building permits fell across the country, Ottawa is bucking the trend, an analyst with Statistics Canada said yesterday.

Canadawide, the agency reported a 15.9 per cent drop in building permits to $3.7 billion in February, thanks to decreases in both residential and non-residential sectors. In Ontario, there was a five per cent drop in the residential sector and a 60 per cent drop in the non-residential sector.

But provincially, Ottawa is leading the way in the increase of building permits, mostly because of the non-residential sector, said analyst Nicole Charron.

Ottawa saw an increase in permits for industrial and institutional buildings, which sets it apart from the rest of the province.

Although the nation’s capital saw a decrease in residential building permits — about 12.6 per cent, due to a drop in multi-unit housing projects — single-family home building went up slightly, something that is unusual right now in Canada, said Charron.

Provincially, Ottawa, followed by St. Catharines, saw the biggest increases in building, while Toronto, Barrie and Oshawa saw the biggest decreases.

In Canada, the value of residential building permits edged down 0.3 per cent to $2.1 billion, while non-residential sector permits fell 30.5 per cent to $1.6 billion and permit values for the commercial component declined 20.4 per cent to $972 million.

The only area that saw an increase was the industrial sector, which saw a 14.3 per cent increase to $236 million.

• The biggest reason Ottawa is doing well is because it’s a government town, said analyst Nicole Charron, and “being a federal servant town, there might be more activity here.”

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