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Home / News / City hits new record-setting economic milestone: $1 billion in building permits in eight months

City hits new record-setting economic milestone: $1 billion in building permits in eight months

Downtown Hamilton Building Development

City hits new record-setting economic milestone:
$1 billion in building permits in eight months

HAMILTON, ON – Building activity is a key economic indicator that provides insight on the health of a municipality. Today, the City of Hamilton’s Chief Building Official Ed VanderWindt announced that the city has officially surpassed $1 billion worth of construction for 2019, marking the earliest point in a year that the City has hit this significant milestone. The City’s previous record for reaching the $1 billion milestone was 9 months, set just last year in 2018. The City has reached this milestone in 9 of the last 10 years.

This historically high level of building permit value confirms that Hamilton’s economy continues on a strong positive growth trajectory. The Conference Board of Canada ranked Hamilton as having the 4th highest Real GDP Growth for 2018 at 4 per cent, out of the 29 Census Metropolitan Areas.

This $1 billion milestone represents 4,719 building projects in the residential, institutional, commercial and industrial sectors. The value of Industrial building permits in the first 7 months of this year is up 151 per cent over the average of the last 3 years, compared to 14.4 per cent for the Residential building sector. This is good news for the residential tax payers, since it means that when these industrial projects have been completed, they will carry more of the tax burden.

Quick Facts

  • According to Statistics Canada, Hamilton ranked 3rd in the country for the most growth in value of building permits. The top 5 are: Guelph with a 154 per cent growth rate; followed by St. Catharines at 107 per cent, Hamilton at 51 per cent, Windsor at 43.8 per cent and London at 33.8 per cent.
  • Total construction value (End of July) so far this year for Hamilton is made up of 60.7 per cent residential, 8.2 per cent commercial, 11.1 per cent institutional, and 17.8 per cent industrial
  • This activity is attributable to several factors, one of the most important being the continued movement of people and businesses to Hamilton from other parts of the region. Other factors would include the success of many of our local businesses, leading to their expansion.
  • In 2018, Hamilton saw $1.26 billion in construction – the second highest annual total ever.


“This record setting construction value is an indicator of the success of the construction industry in Hamilton which works hard every day to make our city a better place.  As a municipality, we’re proud to work alongside the many reputable developers, owners and contractors who give their best to our city, our Hamilton”.

Ed Vanderwindt, Chief Building Official, Director, Building Division

“Hamilton’s economy continues to be a progressive success story – reaching new heights like this one year after year. I applaud the efforts of our entrepreneurs, investors and local business community in supporting our mandate of attracting new investments, alleviating the burden on our taxpayers and bringing more job opportunities to Hamilton.”

Glen Norton
Director, Economic Development

“This record-setting pace of development signals to the world that Hamilton is open for business. I am very proud of our City staff and their continued efforts to ensure our builders, developers, and entrepreneurs, both big and small can confidently choose Hamilton to grow their businesses and build new homes and neighbourhoods.”

Jason Thorne, General Manager,
Planning and Economic Development, City of Hamilton

“This important milestone sends a strong message that the momentum in Hamilton is real. With major investments and development happening now and into the future, I am proud of the dedication of City staff and building partners as we continue to work together to create employment opportunities and ensure Hamilton’s transformation can and will move forward.” 

Fred Eisenberger, Mayor
City of Hamilton


Allison Jones
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton

Portrait of Michael Marini

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