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State of the Industry 2015


After pool permits fell 8.5 per cent in Nova Scotia in 2013, this province saw permits increase by 18.7 per cent in 2014, while permits in Prince Edward Island increased by 20 per cent. After a strong increase in 2013, pool permits were up again in Newfoundland by 4.7 per cent, although some would have expected this to be higher after the city of St. John’s experienced the hottest July on record. That said, permit registrations increased by 100 per cent in August compared to the same period in 2013.

Finally, Moncton, N.B., continued its downward trend seen in 2013 as permit registrations fell by 20 per cent. Permit registrations in Saint John, N.B., factored in this decrease as it was down 23 per cent in 2014 after strong gains the previous year.

This region represents 1.1 per cent of the total number of swimming pool building permits issued in Canada, which is an increase of 0.2 per cent in comparison to 2013.


Moving into Quebec, most of the province experienced spring temperatures much colder than normal. In fact, according to an Environment Canada report, snow cover at the end of March was two to three times thicker than normal over southern parts of the province. Come summer, very few days were registered with temperatures above 30 C (86 F), which would have likely had a significant impact on the number of homeowners considering a pool. As a result, the province saw a 15.3 per cent decrease in swimming pool permit registrations between 2014 and 2013.

Thanks to slow start to the season, the province’s pool permits were down by 21 per cent (almost 950 permits) during the first six months of the year; however, come July, a rally of sorts began and 48 more permits were issued in 2014 in the period between July and December, representing a 2.7 per cent increase over 2013.

Overall, the province saw 900 fewer pool permits registered in 2014, with Montreal—Quebec’s largest city—accounting for 87 per cent of the year-over-year decrease. In fact, after being the region’s top pool permit producer in 2012, the past two years have been rather lackluster as the urban centre remains in the top spot for decreased permits in 2014, representing an additional 17.2 per cent decrease. Quebec City, which moved into the top position in 2013, also lost the title spot with a total of 447 registered permits last year, representing a decrease of 17.5 per cent.

While three of the province’s CMAs registered increased pool permits in 2013, only one did so in 2014. Permits increased in Saguenay by 86.6 per cent, or 84 permits.

Quebec represents 48.8 per cent of the total number of swimming pool building permits issued in the country, which is an increase of 0.2 per cent in comparison to 2013.


Much like Quebec, Ontario did not have much of a summer either. Numerous regions across the province experienced a number of temperature variances. To put things into perspective, Toronto and Ottawa had fewer days above 25 C (77 F) than areas in Atlantic Canada.

Builders in this region who thought last season started slowly were in for a rude awakening. After permit registrations between January and April fell 23 per cent in 2013, they decreased during this period again last year by 30.5 per cent (122 fewer permits). Similar to 2013, the next four months (May to August) were not much different. Although an additional 997 permits were registered during this period, it represented a 29.5 per cent decrease year-over-year. In comparison to 2013, things started to even out over the final four months (July to December) of 2014 with a total of 303 registered permits. This was six fewer during the same period in 2013, representing a decrease of two per cent.

Two large CMAs played a significant role in the reduced number of pool permit registrations in 2014, which saw the province fall by almost 30 per cent. Toronto, the capital of Ontario and Canada’s largest city, had 230 less pool permit registrations in 2014, representing a 50.2 per cent decrease year-over-year. As a result, the city remains number two on the top five urban centres with decreased permit registrations. In 2012, Toronto was second on the top five urban centres with increased building permits. The other CMA was Hamilton, which, according to Environment Canada, had only one day above 30 C (86 F). In 2014, the city registered only 283 pool permits, which is 153 fewer than in 2013, representing a decrease of 35 per cent.

In taking a closer look at the province’s CMAs, only two of 13 reported increases in pool permit registrations. Despite a cold July, the city of Windsor moved into the third spot on the top five urban centres with increased pool permit registrations, with a 9.3 per cent increase, while six additional permits were registered in Ottawa in 2014, representing a 66.6 per cent increase year-over-year.

Ontario represents 15.5 per cent of the total number of building permits issued in Canada, a decrease of 2.9 per cent.


The weather in the Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) varied greatly from province to province. Despite temperatures in Winnipeg reaching 30 C (86 F) in June, Environment Canada reported the city had experienced its coldest winter in more than 100 years, with the frost line reaching record depths of up to 3 m (9.8 ft). In May, Saskatchewan faced heavy rain, hail and 90 km/h (56 mph) wind and, in July, a series of thunderstorms and tornadoes. On the other hand, in Alberta, temperatures during the summer months were almost two degrees warmer than normal.

Although swimming pool building permit registrations increased in Regina (33 per cent) and Edmonton (24 per cent), overall the Prairie region still decreased by 5.3 per cent in 2014. However, this does not disregard Alberta’s eight per cent increase and Saskatchewan’s 15.8 per cent increase in permit registrations. Manitoba’s 15.2 per cent decrease, representing 19 fewer registered building permits in 2014, negated some of this region’s gains.

The Prairie region represents two per cent of the total number of building permits issued in Canada, an increase of 0.3 per cent over 2013.

British Columbia

Rather than the cool wet weather this region is typically accustomed to in spring, the Pacific coast experienced its third warmest summer in almost 70 years. According to Environment Canada, the summer was one of the warmest and driest in the past 10 years.

Interestingly, even with the favourable weather, after ending a two-year streak of decreased pool permit registrations between January and June in 2013, the region experienced a 12 per cent decrease during this period in 2014, representing 20 fewer permits. However, as the year continued, permit registrations increased by 31.3 per cent during the latter part of 2014, with a 54 per cent increase in July and a 110 per cent spike in December. While the province’s CMAs such as Abbotsford-Mission, Kelowna, and Victoria had a combined 10.3 per cent decrease in pool permit registrations, Vancouver had an increase of 25 per cent in 2014. Year-over-year, this region had an increase of 4.6 per cent.

British Columbia represents 3.1 per cent of the total number of building permits issued in Canada, an increase of 0.6 per cent over 2013.


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