The homebuilding industry is the engine that drives Ontario’s economy

By Mike Collins-Williams
February 24, 2023

The homebuilding industry is the engine that drives the provincial economy, supporting a remarkably wide range of businesses across various sectors. Residential construction at large creates thousands of jobs at a local level, and helps local communities grow and thrive. In fact, in 2021, a total of 1.44 million on- and off-site jobs were created in new home construction, renovation and repair across the country, making the sector one of Canada’s largest employers.

Economic benefits

In Ontario alone, the residential construction industry supported approximately 555,000 on- and off-site jobs in careers as wide-ranging as architecture and engineering to carpentry and plumping. This work resulted in $37.7 billion in wages that show up in other consumer spending across the entire economy and which helps increase economic activity:

• New home construction in Ontario created more than 220,000 jobs, resulting in $15 billion in wages
• The home renovation and repair industry created close to 334,000 jobs with $22.7 billion in wages that significantly contribute to an active and healthy local economy.

Residential construction also brings a healthy amount of economic ripple effects. Large projects not only provide employment for thousands of local workers, but also contribute to the preservation and growth of other local businesses that directly or indirectly cater to their needs. From suppliers, manufactures and subcontractors, to restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and home services.

Think about all the components of a new home – from appliances to flooring, bricks and the roof to the furniture and electronics – that are purchased when people move in. Each new building brings new jobs, increased local spending, neighbourhood improvements, infrastructure and more.

Socioeconomic growth

The homebuilding industry leads Ontario’s socioeconomic growth and is also the largest single wealth-builder for most families, as it provides for $76.9 billion in economic investment. Homeownership is a long-term investment that provides financial stability. It functions like an automatic savings mechanism that helps families build wealth through home value appreciation and by building home equity.

The residential construction and renovation industry is an investment-led sector that generates employment, research and development, commerce and infrastructure, and is vital for economic growth and prosperity. It is a major pillar of our economy on both provincial and national levels. On a local level, the economic impact of the industry is outstanding. In fact, the economic output of just the West End Home Builders’ Association (WEHBA) members – which are based in Hamilton, Burlington and the surrounding regions – is larger than the entire province of Saskatchewan’s residential construction economic output.

A building is just the starting point of an unravelling ribbon of business agreements that touches thousands of different professionals by the time it is unfolded. When the WEHBA embarked on our rebranding exercise, the main goal was to think of a brand that reflects the inclusiveness and business diversity of our industry. The emphasis on “WE” connotes strong collaboration, and it recognizes all the various trades, services and other intermediaries that come together to make the industry such a strong foundation in our community.

About Mike Collins-Williams

Mike Collins-Williams, RPP, MCIP, is CEO West End Home Builders’ Association.

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