Economic and Investment Update – May 2022

Key Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise, increasing slightly from the previous month to 6.8 per cent year-over-year in April
  • National unemployment rate for core working-age people (aged 25 to 54) at lowest recorded rate since 1976
  • Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases in March, led by client-facing industries
  • Ontario leads manufacturing sales increase in March with motor vehicle sales increasing to highest level since November 2020. Ontario leads the decline in wholesale trade sales seen nationally in February following seven months of increases
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services in April
  • Vaughan-headquartered PSP Services Inc. completes acquisition of PSiGate to expand offerings in eCommerce solutions
  • Vaughan Social Innovation Challenge winner Able Innovations secures a total of $7.5 million in funding after raising $2.5 million in seed extension in March
  • Vaughan-headquartered York1 acquires United Environmental Holdings Inc., increasing York1’s network of waste and recycling processing facilities in Ontario to ten
  • Vaughan-headquartered GFL Environmental Inc. acquires U.S.-based Sprint Waste Services to expand southern U.S. footprint

SELECT Economic Indicators

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise, increasing slightly from the previous month to 6.8 per cent year-over-year in April

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April. In Ontario, prices increased 6.9 per cent in April year-over-year, but grew at a slower pace than in March which had seen a 7 per cent increase.
Grocery prices continue to rise, with Canadians paying 9.7 per cent more in April for food purchased from stores compared to the same time period last year. This marks the fifth month in a row of increases exceeding 5 per cent, with April seeing the largest increase since September 1981. From 2010 to 2020, there were only five months in the decade where groceries increased at 5 per cent or higher.

Rising food prices can be contributed to multiple events: geo-political tensions between Russia and Ukraine putting upward pressure on products that use wheat, poor weather in growing regions, and higher prices for inputs required to produce food for farmers who have passed some of these costs on to consumers.

Rent prices continue to rise nationally, increasing 4.5 per cent in April compared to the same time period the previous year. Canada’s most populous provinces drove this increase – Ontario’s rent prices increased 5.3 per cent in April compared with the same month last year.

In April, average hourly wages for employees rose 3.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis. On average, Canadians continue to experience a decline in purchasing power as prices rose faster than wages.

National unemployment rate for core working-age people (aged 25 to 54) at lowest recorded rate since 1976

Unemployment edged down slightly to 5.2 per cent in April nationally, the lowest level since data became available in 1976. In Ontario, unemployment rose slight to 5.4 per cent, while the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) – which includes Vaughan – maintained a higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, increasing slightly to 6.4 per cent.

Unemployment rose slightly in Ontario in April, with youth unemployment (aged 15 to 24) maintaining the highest unemployment rate at 11.2 per cent. Unemployment dropped for adult women (25 years and over) to 4.9 per cent, rising slight for adult men from 3.7 per cent to 4.1 per cent.

Nationally, unemployment among core working-age people (25 to 54) fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.3%, the lowest recorded rate since comparable data became available in 1976. The unemployment rate among older adults changed very little; women aged 55 to 64 fell to 4.4 per cent, while the rate for men at 5.5 per cent was little changed. Based on the results of the 2021 Census, Canada faces record retirements, with more than 1 in 5 people of working age being aged 55 to 64. Looking ahead to the coming years, particularly given the tight labour market conditions, the labour force participation rate of older adult may play a key factor in balancing labour supply and demand.

The participation rate, which measures the total labour force relative to the size of the working-age population, was at an all-time high for core-aged women (84.8 per cent) and the highest rate for core-aged men (88.6 per cent) since August 1991. The unemployment rate was higher among the overall visible minority population compared with those who were not a visible minority (6.1 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent respectively). Unemployment rates were notably higher among Black and Arab Canadians, sitting at 8.4 and 8.2 per cent respectively.

Hybrid work arrangements continue to increase. The share of employees working at home, both fully or in a hybrid arrangement in the Toronto CMA remained high, at 35.1 per cent in April.

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases in March, led by client-facing industries

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced in the economy, increased by 0.7 per cent in March. This represents the tenth consecutive month of growth as measured by economic output.

Manufacturing continued to rise in March for the sixth consecutive month, increasing by 0.9 per cent and surpassing pre-pandemic level of activity. The construction sector expanded 1.2 per cent, reaching an all-time high and surpassing the highest level of output previously seen in April 2021.

Wholesale trade and retail activity both saw declines in March. Wholesale trade contracted 0.7 per cent, declining for the third consecutive month. Retail trade contracted for the second month in a row, declining 0.6 per cent. However, excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail trade rose across many subsectors, rising 0.7 per cent.

Tourism-related industries saw continued increases in real GDP in March, with accommodations and food services increasing by 10.9 per cent in March. Food services and drinking places drove the increase, growing 8.5 per cent in March. Accommodation services also increased, rising 17.3 per cent in March. Amusement, gambling and recreation industries increased by 14.7 per cent, and performing arts, sports and related industries, and heritage institutions grew by 11.9 per cent.

Advance information indicates that real GDP increased 0.2% in April. Increases in output are noted in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade sectors. Notable decreases were recorded in the real estate and rental and leasing, finance and insurance, manufacturing and construction sectors

Ontario leads manufacturing sales increase in March with motor vehicle sales increasing to highest level since November 2020

Manufacturing sales rose 2.5 per cent to $70.2 billion in March. Sales in constant dollars remained unchanged, indicating this increase was driven by higher prices.

In Ontario, sales in March totalled $30.1 billion, increasing 2.4 per cent following a 6.6 per cent increase in February. Increases were largest in the petroleum and coal (up 10.3 per cent) motor vehicle (up 5.2 per cent) and motor vehicle part (up 6.8 per cent) industries. Sales of motor vehicles in Ontario increased to their highest level since November 2020, and exports of motor vehicles and parts rose by 7.9 per cent in March, despite the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor parts.

The Toronto CMA, which includes Vaughan, posted a 2.5 per cent increase to $11.7 billion in sales in March. Year-over-year, Toronto CMA saw an increase of 18.9 per cent over March of 2021.

The manufacturing industry accounted for 17.8 per cent of employment and 18.8 per cent of economic output in Vaughan in 2021.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services in April

ED’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship top five industries seeking consultations in April were:

  1. Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (47%)
  2. Retail Trade (21%)
  3. Accommodation & Food Services (15%)
  4. Transportation and Warehousing (9%)
  5. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (9%)
Vaughan-headquartered PSP Services Inc. completes acquisition of PSiGate to expand offerings in eCommerce solutions

PSP Services Inc., headquarted in Vaughan, acquires Payment Services Interactive Gateway Inc. (PSiGate) to further deliver on mobile and ecommerce solutions for merchant through PSiGate’s proprietary gateway. PSP Services Inc. is one of the country’s largest bank-independent payment processors and a leader in payment systems, processing, and integrations, offering centralized, data-rich and multi-channel insights for businesses to optimize operations.

York Region is home to Ontario’s second-largest Finance and Professional Services Industry Cluster, with more than 6,500 businesses employing more than 75,000 workers – this included more than 50 fintech companies.

Vaughan’s Finance, Insurance and Real Estate accounted for $5 billion in local economic output as measured by real GDP and employed nearly 21,500 workers in 2021 and was home to 640 firms in the Finance and Insurance sector.

Vaughan Social Innovation Challenger winner Able Innovations secures a total of $7.5 million in funding after raising $2.5 million in seed extension in March

Able Innovations secures a total of $7.5 million in funding following a $2.5 million seed extension in March. Able Innovations March seed extension ensures it will deliver units to those piloting their devices, leveraging these pilots to grow manufacturing operations. Able Innovations is a robotic medical device startup focusing on the problem of patient transfer. Able Innovations was a winner during the second Vaughan Social Innovation Challenge. Vaughan received an International Economic Development Council (IEDC) silver award in the Innovation Programs and Initiatives category in 2019 for its Social Innovation Challenge program.

Vaughan-headquartered York1 acquires United Environmental Holdings Inc., increasing York1’s network of waste and recycling processing facilities in Ontario to ten

York1, a Vaughan-headquartered leading provider of environmental and infrastructure services, acquired Toronto-based United Environmental Holdings Inc. to further support its growth strategy. United Environmental Holdings Inc. is a leading solid waste service provider, specializing in industrial, commercial and institutional waste sectors. This acquisition brings York1’s waste and recycling processing facilities to ten in Ontario.

Vaughan-headquartered GFL Environmental Inc. acquires U.S.-based Sprint Waste Services to expand southern U.S. footprint

GFL Environmental Inc. acquired Sprint Waste Services in May 2022, expanding their reach in the Southern U.S. and bringing in an additional 400 vehicles and 500 more employees. GFL Environmental Inc., headquartered in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, is the fourth largest North American diversified environmental services company with a platform of facilities across Canada and in more than half of the U.S. states. Across its organization, GFL has a workforce of more than 18,000 employees.

Vaughan Among Top Ten Building Markets in Canada

Vaughan remains a city of choice, with ongoing development and city-building initiatives that have continued despite the effects of the global pandemic.

Surpassing a decade of growth for the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), Vaughan’s emerging downtown is the largest and most ambitious project in the City’s history. The heart of the VMC is now home to several transformational transit projects, including the VMC Subway, seven high-rise towers that are now fully occupied, two new commercial office buildings, immersive public art projects, vibrant community event spaces, and many other exciting developments. 1.6 million square feet of new commercial office space has been proposed (including all developments submitted from pre-application to built and occupied) and more than 542,000 square feet of retail space has been proposed as part of mixed-use developments. A high standard of living, accessible location, exceptional amenities, development opportunities, a subway connection, and so much more position the VMC as one of the best places to live, work and play.

Statistics Canada data for the first half of 2021 ranks Vaughan seventh across municipalities by total building permit values, with a total value of $ 1.1 billion, as well as seventh by value of non-residential permits with a total value of $472.9 million. Vaughan was third and fourth in the commercial and industrial markets respectively by building permit values for the first half of the year. Commercial building permits carried a total value of $406.4 million, while industrial permits carried a value of $58.4 million.

Source: Statistics Canada Top 30 Building Permits 2021 Q2

In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Vaughan, the City is leading a collaboration to transform an 82-acre parcel of land at Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive into the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct. A feasibility study will be completed by the end of the year to determine how best to create a world-class health experience and explore various options, including a new space for ventureLAB to expand and create another regional innovation hub in Vaughan and opportunities for Mackenzie Health to collaborate with York University in academic health sciences. Collaboration between the partners will generate economic opportunities, post-secondary education, research innovation, training and development, and enhance the delivery of modern front-line healthcare for patients.

Source: Statistics Canada Top 30 Building Permits 2021 Q2

Vaughan is also one of the largest industrial markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Vaughan Enterprise Zone (VEZ) is a vast business area with significant goods-movement infrastructure in Vaughan’s west end. It borders Toronto, Brampton and Caledon, covering a total area of 1,668 hectares (4,122 acres). The VEZ has a powerful value proposition for head offices, national logistics and distribution centres, manufacturing operations and other users needing large, new spaces.

Source: Statistics Canada Top 30 Building Permits 2021 Q2

More than a third of the land is developable, offering one of the largest supplies of vacant employment lands in the GTA. The VEZ is located within 30 minutes of five 400-series highways: 427 (the spine of the VEZ, 6-kilometre expansion opening in 2020), 400, 401, 407 and 410. The City has plans to build west Vaughan into an employment hub with 60,000 employees and 50 million square feet of industrial, office and accessory commercial space.

2021 Census Insights and Findings – Age Characteristics

Key Highlights

  • Baby boomers (aged 55 to 74 years old) now account for 24.9% of Canada’s total population
  • Millennials (aged 25 to 39 years old) account for 33% of the country’s core working-age population
  • Between 2016 and 2021 the millennial cohort increased 8.6% and is the fastest growing generation
  • Nationally, one of the fast-growing age cohorts within Canada is 85 years old and over – this age segment is expected to triple in size by 2046 to total nearly 2.5 million residents
  • Millennials have begun to outnumber baby boomers in large urban centres, with 40% of Toronto’s population aged 25 to 40 years old
  • The City of Vaughan’s millennial workforce accounts for 27% of Vaughan’s working-age population and 7% of York Region’s working-age population

Insights and Findings

Canada

The Canadian population has seen a significant shift in demographics since the 2016 census. Millennials in Canada are the fastest growing age cohort in the country, between 2016 and 2021 the millennial population increased 8.6%. These increases were mainly due to immigration. Millennials in Canada (born between 1981 and 1996) now account for 33.2% of the working-age population (15 to 64 years old).

Ageing baby boomers (55 to 74 years old) currently make up 24.9% of the Canadian population.  Those 85 and older continue to be a fast-growing age cohort – in the 2021 census, 861,000 were counted, representing 2.3% of the population. By 2046 it is expected that those over the age of 85 could total 2.5 million people. A significant proportion of this age cohort have activity limitations or health-related issues with more than one quarter in collective dwellings, nursing care facilities, and long-term care homes. As more of our population continues to age beyond 85 years old, limitations around long-term health will put increasing challenges on all levels of government, primarily in housing, transportation, and healthcare.

Ontario

Millennials continue to dominate large urban centres across the country accounting for more than 35% of downtown populations, while baby boomers represent 20.9%. Millennials living downtown are primarily made up of postsecondary students and young working professionals. This age cohort now outnumbers baby boomers in Canadas six largest urban centres. Toronto millennials account for 40% of the city’s total population. People aged 85 years and older are highly concentrated within large urban centers in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Ontario cities such as Peterborough, St. Catherines, Niagara, Kingston, Hamilton, Greater Sudbury, Brantford, Windsor, London, and Guelph all had higher proportions of those aged 85 years and older.

York Region 

York Region’s demographics are following a similar trend to that of the country. Baby boomers within York Region have increased 18% since the 2016 census to account for 283,325 residents in 2021. Millennials make up 18% of the Region’s total population with an increase of more than18,665 residents since 2016. Millennials within York Region now account for 27% of the Region’s working-age population (15 to 64 years old). Residents aged 85 years and older have increased to 24,025 residents in 2021, an increase of 4,820 residents since 2016.

Figure 1: York Region Population Pyramid, 2021 Statistics Canada Census

City of Vaughan

The City of Vaughan’s population continues to grow. In 2021, baby boomers accounted for 74,015 residents within the City, an increase of 21% from 2016. In 2021, there were 58,155 millennial residents, an increase of 4,795 residents since 2016. Millennials now account for 7% of York Regions total working-age population and 27% of Vaughan’s working-age population. Residents aged 85 years and over totaled 6,880 residents in 2021 an increase of 1,540 residents since 2016. Compared to the province, Vaughan’s working-age population skews slightly older. Those aged 40 to 64 years account for more than 53% of the working-age population in Vaughan, compared to 51% in Ontario.

Figure 2: City of Vaughan Population Pyramid, 2021 Statistics Canada Census


Statistics Canada Census Release Schedule

Statistics Canada will release 2021 Census topics throughout 2022. Economic Development will continue to monitor and provide council with information on Vaughan’s growing demographics and economy.

  • July 13th, 2022 – Families, households, and marital status; Canadian military experience; income profiles
  • August 17th, 2022 – Language
  • September 21st, 2022 – Indigenous peoples, and housing
  • October 26th, 2022 – Immigration, place of birth, and citizenship; ethnocultural and religious diversity; mobility and migration
  • November 30th, 2022 – Education, labour, language of work, commuting, and instruction in the official minority language

Vaughan Outpaced Regional, Provincial and National Economic Growth in 2021

Key Highlights

  • Since 2010, more than 70,000 jobs have been added to the City’s employment base
  • Despite flat growth in business establishments, more than 20,000 jobs were added in 2021
  • Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) outpaced regional, provincial and national growth rates with an increase of more than 7 per cent over the previous year
  • Both real GDP and employment have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with nearly $25 billion in economic output and more than 236,000 workers in 2021
  • Vaughan is the largest economic and employment centre in York Region, contributing 37.5 per cent of all economic output and 38.6 per cent of all employment in the region

Despite the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that continued to be felt through 2021, including revolving public health measures, supply chain disruptions and increasing inflation, Vaughan’s economy returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

Vaughan accounts for more than half of York Region’s real GDP in good-producing industries and nearly one-third of its real GDP in service-producing industries. Since 2010, Vaughan’s yearly economic output has increased by $7.7 billion.

The top five industries by economic output in 2021 were:

  1. Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Construction
  4. Wholesale Trade
  5. Retail Trade

Vaughan is also the largest employment centre in York Region – providing more than 236,000 jobs, accounting for 38.6 per cent of all employment. Despite flat business establishment growth, this represents an increase of 20,000 jobs added to the economy in 2021 following the sharp decline in employment seen in 2020. Since 2010, more than 70,000 jobs have been added to the City’s employment base.

The top five industries by employment in 2021 were:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Retail Trade
  3. Construction
  4. Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
  5. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Economic and Investment Update – April 2022

Key Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to increase, rising 6.7 per cent year-over-year – the largest increase since January 1991
  • Labour market indicates further tightening – national unemployment falls to a record low in March and employment gains continue for the sixth consecutive month, outpacing growth in the population aged 15 and older over the same period
  • Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeds preliminary growth estimate in February, rising 1.1 per cent from the previous month
  • Manufacturing sales increased in February in Ontario following a slight decline in January, driven by a significant increase in motor vehicle sales
  • Ontario leads the decline in wholesale trade sales seen nationally in February following seven months of increases
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Healthcare & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services in March
  • Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge winner SWTCH Energy secures $16.5 million in funding to expand into the U.S.
  • Vaughan-headquartered Drone Delivery Canada solidifies collaboration with Bell Mobility Inc. to improve 5G technology for drone performance

SELECT Economic Indicators

Pace of inflation rises for the third straight month above five per cent

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis in March, the largest rise since January 1991. This is one percentage point higher than the 5.7 per cent increase in February, and the third straight month of increases over five per cent. In Ontario, there was a seven per cent increase over the same month in 2021, with prices increasing higher than the national rate. Canadians saw all eight major components rise in the CPI in March.

Gasoline prices rose 11.8 per cent month over month, a significant increase from the 6.9 per cent increase in February. Year-over-year, gasoline cost consumers 39.8 per cent more for gasoline in March. Global oil prices saw a sharp increase following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Increases in groceries continued to rise, reaching 8.7 per cent more on a year-over-year basis in March, the largest yearly increase since March 2009. Dairy products and eggs rose by 8.5 per cent year-over-year, and pasta saw a 17.8 per cent year-over-year increase. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine additionally has affected wheat prices as both nations are major wheat exporters.

Prices for services rose 4.3 per cent nationally, with prices in tourism-related industries rising as tourism-related activities return. Dining in restaurants saw a 5.4 per cent increase year-over-year in March, faster than the 4.7 per cent increase in February. Accommodation prices rose 24.4 per cent year-over-year in March, and 3.7 per cent month-over-month from February, the fastest March increase on record. Despite these increases, month-over-month Ontario saw an increase of 26.6 per cent for food services and drinking places.

Wage data from the Labour Force Survey found Canadian wages rose 3.4% on a year-over-year basis in March. Average hourly wages have been increasing since the fall of 2021. However, these increases remain well below the growth seen in the Consumer Price Index.

Labour market conditions tighten as unemployment drops to a record low in March, employment gains outpace working-age population growth

Unemployment fell to 5.3 per cent in March for both Canada and Ontario, the lowest level since data became available in 1976. The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, maintained a higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, sitting at 6.2 per cent.

While unemployment fell in Ontario in March, youth unemployment (aged 15 to 24) still had the highest unemployment rate at 10.4 per cent. Unemployment dropped the most for adult men (25 years and over) with unemployment at 3.7 per cent. Sitting 1.5 percentage points below men, the unemployment rate for women increased in March, rising from 4.7 per cent to 5.2 per cent. The gap between the unemployment rate of men and women was most pronounced in Ontario of all the provinces, the sole province with more than one percent difference.

Nationally, core working-age men (25 to 54) saw their unemployment rate at a record low, while the unemployment rate for core-aged women was close to its pre-pandemic level. The participation rate, which measures the total labour force relative to the size of the working-age population, was at an all-time high for core-aged women (84.8 per cent) and the highest rate for core-aged men (88.6 per cent) since August 1991. The unemployment rate was higher among the overall visible minority population compared with those who were not a visible minority (6.1 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent respectively). Unemployment rates were notably higher among Black and Arab Canadians, sitting at 8.4 and 8.2 per cent respectively.

Hybrid work arrangements continue to increase. They were most common in professional, scientific and technical services industries, with just over one in ten (10.9 per cent) usually working part of the week from home and part from a location outside the home. The share of workers with a hybrid work arrangement also increased in the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (10.5 per cent) and information, culture and recreation industries (9.2 per cent).

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases by 1.1 per cent in February

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced in the economy, exceeded original growth estimates with an increase of 1.1 per cent in February of 2021. This represents the largest monthly growth rate since March of last year and the ninth consecutive month of growth as measured by economic output.

Goods-producing industries increased 1.5 per cent in February marked by the expansion of 16 of 20 industrial sectors. The construction sector expanded 2.7 per cent, with non-residential construction expanding 1.4 per cent and its eighth consecutive month of gains. Non-residential gains were led through alterations and improvements and new industrial building construction.

Tourism-related industries saw increases in real GDP, with accommodations and food services increasing by 15.1 per cent in February after declines the previous two months. Food services and drinking places drove the increase, growing 17.6 per cent in February, whereas accommodation services increased 8.8 per cent. Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries increased by 9.4 per cent, and performing arts, sports and related industries, and heritage institutions grew by 7.1 per cent.

Wholesale sales dropped for the first time in seven months in February

Wholesale sales declined for the first time since July 2021, dropping 0.4 per cent nationally in February. Ontario led the decline, dropping 1.2 per cent from the previous month. Sales decreased in five of seven subsectors – the subsector building material and supplies saw the largest fall of 6.9 per cent, and personal and household goods fell 3.3 per cent from January.

Wholesale trade economic output as measured by real GDP declined 1.1% in February, as five of nine subsectors were down.

February’s survey by Statistics Canada included questions assessing the impact of blockades of transportation routes on the wholesale sector. Demonstrations resulting in blockades resulted in a drop in sales of approximately $200 million in wholesale trade. A total of 15 per cent of wholesalers responded that their operations were adversely affected by these blockades, 93 per cent of whom indicated they had transportation and/or shipping problems and 35 per cent reported lower sales.

Vaughan’s wholesale trade industry accounted for 11.5 per cent of the City’s economic output and 6.1 per cent of its employment in 2021.

Manufacturing sales increased in February in Ontario following a slight decline in January, driven by a significant increase in motor vehicle sales

Manufacturing sales rose 5.1 per cent to $29.1 billion in February after a 1.3 per cent decline in January. Higher sales of motor vehicles were the largest contributor to the increase, rising 27.6 per cent, while food sales increased by 5.7 per cent. Year-over-year, total sales in Ontario increased by 17.8 per cent in February.

The Toronto CMA, which includes Vaughan, also saw a modest increase in manufacturing sales in February, posting a 3.7 per cent increase to $11.3 billion. Higher sales of food (7.2 per cent) and chemicals (10 per cent) led to these gains, which came after a 0.9 per cent decrease in January. Year-over-year, Toronto CMA saw an increase of 18.3 per cent over February of 2021.

The manufacturing industry accounted for 17.8 per cent of employment and 18.8 per cent of economic output in Vaughan in 2021.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Healthcare & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services in March

ED’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship top five industries seeking consultations in March were:

  1. Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (18%)
  2. Healthcare & Social Assistance (14%)
  3. Accommodation & Food Services (14%)
  4. Retail Trade (12%)
  5. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (8%)
Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge winner SWTCH Energy secures $16.5 million in funding to expand into the U.S.

SWTCH Energy secured $16.5 million through a Series A round and a credit facility to expand their Electric Vehicle (EV) charging solution across North America in multi-family buildings. SWTCH Energy provides end-to-end EV charging and energy management solutions. SWTCH was one of five winners of the Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge, taking home top place in the Electric Mobility Challenge. Through Activate!Vaughan, SWTCH received training and access to program partners and industry leaders.

Activate!Vaughan is a first-of-its-kind program in Ontario which connects high-potential entrepreneurs to market-driven opportunities and mentorship from industry leaders. Challenges have called on entrepreneurs and startup and scaleup businesses to propose innovative solutions to enhance the quality of life in Vaughan and beyond. In 2021, Activate!Vaughan took home awards from provincial and international economic development organizations, winning the Award of Excellence for Community Economic Development in Urban Communities from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), and the Gold Award in the Entrepreneurship category from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Vaughan-headquartered Drone Delivery Canada solidifies collaboration with Bell Mobility Inc. to improve 5G technology for drone performance

Drone Delivery Canada Corp. announced a collaboration agreement with Bell Mobility Inc. for a three-year term. This agreement will result in Drone Delivery Canada working with Bell on the development of certain products and services to improve technology as it relates to 5G network and multi-access edge computing for autonomous drone performance. Drone Delivery Canada Corp., headquartered in Vaughan, is a drone technology company focused on the design, development, and implementation of its proprietary logistics software platform using drones whose platform is used as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model for government and corporate organizations globally.

2021 Census Insights and Findings – Housing and Dwellings

Key Highlights

  • Apartment buildings with more than five storeys in Vaughan increased by 40 per cent, rising from 9,805 to 13,750 dwellings between 2016 and 2021 – outpacing increases seen regionally, provincially, and nationally
  • Apartment buildings with more than five storeys account for 13 per cent of Vaughan’s total dwellings
  • Toronto, Vaughan, and Markham recorded the highest proportion of new condominium developments in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) since 2016
  • Single-detached homes continue to dominate the local and national housing stock – 63 per cent of Vaughan’s dwellings were single-detached homes
  • Shares of single-detached homes in the Toronto CMA were highest in the communities of Mono, Uxbridge, Georgina, Halton Hills, and Bradford West Gwillimbury
  • New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury held the highest shares of property owners under 35 in the Toronto CMA

INSIGHTS and Findings

The following insights and findings on Canadian housing include only counts and types of occupied dwellings. Information about household expenditure, average dwelling cost, and shelter costs will be shared after Statistics Canada’s next census release on July 13.

Canada/Ontario

Single-detached homes continue to dominate housing stock in major cities across the country. Shares of single-detached homes were highest in the communities of Mono, Uxbridge, Georgina, Halton Hills, and Bradford West Gwillimbury within the Toronto CMA. Young homebuyers, specifically those under 35 years of age were more likely to purchase homes in communities outside of larger urban centers such as Toronto from 2018 to 2020. New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury held the highest shares of property owners under 35 within Ontario.

Although single-detached homes are still a dominant dwelling type within the country, between 2016 and 2020 focus has shifted toward the development of condominium apartments. Within the Toronto CMA, the cities of Toronto, Vaughan, and Markham recorded a high proportion of new condominium apartment building activity.

York Region

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of occupied dwellings in York Region increased 10 per cent from 357,085 to 391,035. The increase in dwellings was primarily attributed to a 30 per cent increase in occupied dwellings in apartment buildings with five or more storeys. In the cities of Markham and Richmond Hill, apartments over five storeys increased 28 per cent in Markham and 23 per cent in Richmond Hill between 2016 and 2021. Apartments over five storeys account for 16 per cent of total dwellings within Markham and 19 per cent within Richmond Hill.

By household size, there was a 22 per cent increase in one-person households in York Region between 2016 and 2021. An increase of 16 per cent was observed for two-person households which now total 108,895 households.

Vaughan

Vaughan is a city on the rise – apartment buildings with five or more storeys accounted for 13 per cent of total occupied dwellings within the city, totalling 13,750 dwellings. The number of dwellings in apartment buildings with five or more storeys increased by 40 per cent, adding 3,945 dwellings. The average household size for this category was fewer than two people. The increase in apartment building activity was significantly higher than the growth seen nationally (11 per cent) and provincially (15 per cent) over the same period.

Single-detached homes within Vaughan increased 6 per cent from 2016 to a total of 64,995 in 2021. Single-detached dwellings in Vaughan accounted for 64 per cent of all dwellings in the City, and 27 per cent of York Region’s total single detached dwellings.


2021 Census Release Schedule

Statistics Canada will release 2021 Census topics throughout 2022. Economic Development will continue to monitor and provide Council with information on Vaughan’s growing demographics and economy.

  • July 13, 2022 – Families, households, and marital status; Canadian military experience; income profiles
  • August 17, 2022 – Language
  • September 21, 2022 – Indigenous peoples, and housing
  • October 26, 2022 – Immigration, place of birth, and citizenship; ethnocultural and religious diversity; mobility and migration
  • November 30, 2022 – Education, labour, the language of work, commuting, and instruction in the official minority language

Economic and Investment Update – March 2022

Key Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise at record levels, remaining above 5. on a year-over-year basis, seeing largest gain since August 1991
  • Unemployment rate falls below pre-pandemic level for the first time; 5.5% in Canada and Ontario
  • Job vacancies increase across all sectors compared to pre-pandemic levels
  • Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebounds in 2021 by 4.9%
  • Tourism spending in Canada increases 4.4% in 2021, sector still struggling from crippling declines seen in 2020
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Healthcare & Social Assistance, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, and Retail Trade in January and February
  • Vaughan Starter Company Plus recipient receives $4.1 million in funding support through Protein Industries Canada
  • Vaughan-headquartered Kontrol Technologies Corporation expands further with new projects for residential and commercial leaders
  • Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies wins contract for custom software for Sobey’s Inc. wholesale operations
  • Toronto Raptors forward partners with Vaughan-headquartered Skilled Trades College of Canada to develop talent with scholarships for black and indigenous students

SELECT ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Pace of inflation continues to rise at record levels; remains above 5% year-over-year

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.7% on a year-over-year basis in February, the largest rise since August 1991 when it rose by 6%. This is the second straight month with an increase of more than 5%, following a 5.1% rise in January. In Ontario, there was a 6.1% increase over the same month in 2021, above the national increase.

Prices rose in all major components, with shelter prices rising at the fastest pace since August 1983, growing 6.6% year-over-year. Food purchased from stores continued to climb over the previous month, rising at a faster pace in February than in January, up 7.4% compared to the 6.5% in the previous month. Drivers also paid more year-over-year for gasoline, with prices up 32.3% over the same period in 2021. From the previous month, gasoline prices increased 6.9%, influenced by the geopolitical conflict and global oil supply concerns. Other fuels increased 8.5% from January, trending with higher international energy prices.

Wage data from the Labour Force Survey found Canadian wages rose 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in February. Average hourly wages have been increasing since the fall of 2021, however, these increases remain well below the growth seen in the Consumer Price Index.


Unemployment rate falls below pre-pandemic levels for the first time

Unemployment fell to 5.5% in February, just above a record low of 5.4% last observed in May 2019. In Ontario, the unemployment rate in February dropped to 5.5% from 7.3%. Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, maintained a higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, sitting at 6.5% in January.

While unemployment across all categories fell in February in Ontario, youth unemployment (aged 15 to 24) still had the highest unemployment rate at 12.2%. The unemployment rate for adult women (aged 25 and over) was 4.7% in January, and 4.2% for adult men, closing the gap below 1% between core-aged women and men.

Ontario reported strong employment growth in February, increasing 2.6%, led by the accommodation and food services and the information, culture and recreation industries. The Toronto CMA accounted for 60% of all gains in employment and increased 3.3% from the previous month.

In February, the Labour Force Survey asked respondents about their physical locations for work, where the number of respondents working exclusively from home dropped slightly to 22.5%, down from 25% in December. Tightening labour market conditions due to low unemployment and high job vacancies; concerns about consumer prices and affordability; and the desire of some workers to retain the flexibility and quality of employment associated with working from home may be factors affecting attracting and retaining quality talent for employers. However, the job-changing rate (those who remain employed from one month to the next but have switched employment between months) was 0.7% in February, in line with the average of 0.7% seen from 2016 to 2019.

Job vacancies up in all sectors compared with pre-pandemic levels

The job vacancy rate was 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 3% in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The job vacancy rate measures the number of vacant positions as a proportion of the total labour demand (filled and vacant positions). Canadian employers sought to fill nearly one million jobs in the last quarter of 2021, 80% more than in 2019 and 63.4% more than in 2020.

Job vacancies were up in all 20 sectors in Canada over the same period pre-pandemic in February 2020. Five sectors were responsible for 65% of the overall increase:

  • accommodation and food services (up 20%),
  • health care and social assistance (up 15.2%),
  • retail trade (up 11.2%),
  • manufacturing (up 9.6%), and
  • construction (up 8.9%).

In Vaughan, these industries accounted for 40% of all businesses in 2021, and 55% of all employment in 2020.

In healthcare and social assistance and in construction, payroll employment was higher in the fourth quarter of 2021 than its pre-pandemic level, which suggests that employment in these two industries has recovered and the increase in vacancies is due to increased labour demand because of growth in these sectors.

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebounds in 2021 by 4.9%

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced in the economy, rebounded in 2021 with an increase of 4.9% in 2021. This comes after a contraction of 5.4% in 2020, the sharpest annual decline since the introduction of annual data in 1961, which was largely impacted by strict public health measures and uncertainty from COVID-19.

The largest ever recorded annual decline in services-producing industries observed in 2020 was offset in 2021 by a 5.1% gain. In 2021, the retail sector posted a 7.1% increase over the previous year, and accommodation and food services increased by 14.2%, driven mainly by gains in food services and drinking places. Despite these advances, last year’s output in the accommodation and food services sector was more than 24% less than in 2019. In Vaughan, service industries accounted for 65% of all output in 2020. Accommodations and food services were particularly affected in 2020, dropping 28.7%.

Goods-producing industries increased 4.3%, offsetting most of the loss recorded in 2020. Manufacturing saw a 4.5% gain in 2021, following declines in both 2019 and 2020. In Vaughan, manufacturing decreased by 13.5% in 2020 after a slight 1% decrease in 2020.

Economic Development expects to receive datasets for Vaughan’s 2021 real GDP in April, after which a breakdown will be provided.

Tourism spending in Canada increases in 2021, sector still struggling from crippling declines seen in 2020

Increased vaccination rates and loosening of public health restrictions resulted in higher tourism spending in Canada in 2021. By the beginning of fall, fully vaccinated travellers were permitted entry into Canada for non-essential. Tourism spending rose 4.4% in 2021, following a 49% decline in 2020. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) rose 11.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021, increasing 5% overall from the previous year. This is a similar rate to the economy at large, which rose 4.6%.

In Ontario, hotel occupancy was 45.4% in 2021, up 20.2% from the previous year. The Greater Toronto Area East/North had an occupancy percentage of 55.8% in 2021, above the provincial percentage, which represents a 16.6% increase over the previous year.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Healthcare & Social Assistance, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, and Retail Trade

ED’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship top five industries seeking consultations in January and February were:

  1. Healthcare & Social Assistance (18%)
  2. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (15%)
  3. Retail Trade (15%)
  4. Accommodation & Food Services (10%)
  5. Education Services (8%)
Vaughan Starter Company Plus participant receives $4.1 million in funding support through Protein Industries Canada

Oat Canada, recipient of Vaughan’s business advisory support and participant in Starter Company Plus in 2020, was awarded $4.1 million in funding in partnership with Roquette, a global leader in plant-based ingredients, a pioneer of plant proteins and a leading provider of pharmaceutical excipients, to innovate in the development of oat products. This funding is provided through Protein Industries Canada, an industry-led, not-for-profit organization committed to positioning Canada as a global source of high-quality plant-based food and ingredients. This investment will see the development of novel oat ingredients and nutritionally superior oat-based food and beverage products.

Oat Canada is an oat protein-based food and beverage company, and following support received from Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre is now in over 1,300 stores across Canada, including major retailers such as Loblaws, Costco East, Longo’s and Whole Foods.

Vaughan is home to a robust agri-food ecosystem from farm to fork, with 125 companies in food manufacturing, processing and packaging employing more than 4,700 workers in 2020.

Vaughan-headquartered Kontrol Technologies Corporation expands further with new projects residential and commercial leaders

Vaughan-headquartered Kontrol Technologies Corporation, a leader in smart buildings and cities through IoT, Cloud and SaaS technology, has received two contracts for services in both residential and commercial projects. Kontrol Technologies will deliver an HVAC and Automation project with a leading multi-family high rise developer worth $9.7 million and will deliver advanced building performance monitoring and control for a leading Canadian REIT for 11 new buildings totaling approximately 2,750,000 square feet of commercial real estate.

Vaughan’s professional, scientific and technical services industry accounted for $1.4 billion in economic output, with nearly 3,000 companies employing more than 18,300 workers in 2020.

Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners with LCBO flagship store in Downtown Toronto

Danavation Technologies Corp., a Vaughan-headquartered Internet of Things (IoT) technology and provider of micro e-paper display company, was awarded a contract to provide end-to-end IoT operations management solution to automate and streamline Sobeys Inc.’s Wholesale operations. This contract is expected to roll-out to approximately 300 wholesale customers of Sobey’s.

Danavation is one of Vaughan’s more than 220 corporate or regional headquarters, which include representation across many sectors such as professional and business services, construction, transportation, warehousing, wholesale trade, retail services, and advanced manufacturing.

Toronto Raptors forward partners with Vaughan-headquartered Skilled Trades College of Canada to develop talent with scholarships for black and indigenous students

Vaughan-headquartered Skilled Trades College of Canada has partnered with Scottie Barnes, a forward with the Toronto Raptors, to establish the Scottie Barnes Scholarship which will offer annual awards to four black and indigenous students funding to start in the skilled trades.  Skilled Trades College provides individuals with the hands-on skills and knowledge required to begin a career in the skilled trades industry, which has seen more than 1,000 graduate through the three established campuses in the Greater Toronto Area.

The City of Vaughan recognizes the importance that local talent serves in making Vaughan a destination of choice for employers and employee alike. Through programs like Vaughan’s Summer Company, a training and mentorship program for youth aged 15 to 29 to start a business over the summer; or through the new Talent City Vaughan program, which offers financial support to external organizations that provide opportunities for Vaughan residents to enhance their skillsets, the City supports workforce development to serve the needs of Vaughan’s diverse economy.

Economic and Investment Update – February 2022

Key Highlights

  • Vaughan among top ten municipalities in Canada by value of non-residential permits issued
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise at record levels, increasing 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in January for the first time since 1991
  • Unemployment rate increased in January for first time in nine months to 6.5% nationally
  • Manufacturing sales continued to rise into December – the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area led December increase, rising by 4.2%
  • Ontarians more likely to work from home all the time; nearly one in four reported working from home according to recently released report from Statistics Canada
  • Vaughan-headquartered Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. partners with grocery chains in Ontario and Quebec
  • Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate expands into U.S. market with office in Chicago, Illinois
  • Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners with LCBO flagship store in Downtown Toronto
  • Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital marks expansion into Southern U.S. with new Texas Office
  • Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge Winner featured on Canadian Business New Innovators Top 10 List
  • Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing highlights two more Vaughan companies

SELECT Economic Indicators

Vaughan among top ten municipalities by value of non-residential building permits issued

Year-end data looking at building permits released by statistics CanVaughan ranks 9th nationally by value of non-residential building permits, which includes industrial, commercial, and institutional permits. When looking at only Ontario, Vaughan is in the top 5 census subdivisions by value of non-residential building permits, ranking 4th after Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton.

Vaughan ranked 6th nationally by value of permits for commercial development, or 3rd provincially, only behind Toronto and Hamilton. Vaughan ranked 8th nationally by value of permits for industrial development, or 3rd provincially, ranking only below Toronto and Ottawa.

Pace of inflation continues to rise at record levels; rising to over 5% year-over-year

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in January, the first time Canadian inflation surpassed 5% since September 1991. Compared to the same period the previous year, in January 2021 the CPI increased by 1% on a year-over-year basis. January’s increase is up from a 4.8% year-over-year gain reported in December. In Ontario, there was a 5.7% increase over the previous year, above the national increase, and at a faster pace than in December 2021.

Prices rose in all major components on a year-over-year basis in October, with shelter prices contributing the most to the all-items increase, seeing an increase of 6.2% over the previous year, the fastest pace since 1990. Food purchased from stores rose at a faster pace in January than in December 2021, up 6.5% compared to 5.7% in the previous month.

Higher production and shipping costs due to ongoing supply chain disruptions have contributed to the increase in the price of food. In addition to supply chain disruptions, negative growing conditions have led to higher prices for certain crops, also contributing to higher food prices (fresh fruit prices have increased by 8.2% year-over-year, and bakery products are up 7.4%).

Wage data from the Labour Force Survey found Canadian wages rose 2.4% during the same period, which means that on average, prices rose faster than wages and Canadians experienced a decline in purchasing power.

Unemployment rates rise in January for the first time in months

Unemployment rose to 6.5% in January, the first increase since April 2021. In Ontario, the unemployment rate was 7.3% in January up from 6.1% in December. Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, had a higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, sitting at 8.8% in January.

While unemployment across all categories rose in January in Ontario, youth unemployment (aged 15 to 24) saw the largest increase from 11% from the previous month to 16.6%. Then unemployment rate for adult women (aged 25 and over) was 6.4% in January, and 5.4% for adult men.

Employment declined in Ontario slightly, down 1.9%, following seven consecutive monthly gains. Losses in January were predominantly in part-time work and among youth aged 15 to 24 and women aged 25 to 54. Industries most affected were accommodation and food services, followed by information, culture and recreation. Employment in the Toronto CMA dropped by 3% January 2022, similar to the cumulative two-month decline in December 2020 and January 2021 when the CMA was also under tight public health measures.

In January, the Labour Force Survey asked respondents whether they were planning to leave their current job, and whether quality of employment considerations were among the reasons for doing so. Fewer than 1 in 10 workers aged 15 to 69 (7.3%) were planning to leave their current job within the next 12 months. When asked to report the main reason for planning to leave their job, initial results show that at least 1 in 5 of those planning to leave (22%) reported reasons related to quality of employment, including low pay (15.7%), heavy workload (4.3%), and inability to do their current job from home (2.2%).

Considering members of groups designated as visible minorities are more likely to work in lower-paid industries such as accommodation and food services and retail trade, visible minority Canadians (8.5%) were more likely than non-visible minority Canadians (6.7%) to report they were planning to leave their job in the next 12 months and to cite low pay as their main reason for doing so (23.8%, compared with 11.2%).

Manufacturing sales increasing in Ontario in December, led by Toronto CMA

Nationally, manufacturing sales increased by 0.7% over the previous month in December, while increasing 16.6% cumulatively year-over-year. In Ontario, sales increased 1.1% from the previous month, and 12.7% year-over-year. The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, saw sales rise for the third consecutive month, increasing 4.2% to $10.8 billion in December, driven by higher sales of motor vehicles. The Toronto CMA saw an increase in sales of 7.1% year-over-year, lagging behind increases seen in other census metropolitan areas across the country.

In 2021, manufacturing sales in current dollars increased in every province in 2021. Sales increased in Ontario (up 11.3% from the previous year) largely due to higher sales in the primary metal and petroleum and coal industries, and the increases were partially offset by lower sales in the transportation equipment industry. Sales of motor vehicle parts declined nationally by 5.1% from December 2020 to December 2021. Sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts have largely been impacted due to the lack of semiconductor parts, caused by a global computer chip shortage. Food manufacturing inversely saw sales increase by 15% from December 2020 to December 2021. Manufacturing made up nearly 20% of Vaughan’s real GDP in 2020.

Ontarians more likely to work from home all the time; nearly one in four reported working from home

From October to December 2021, 39% of Canadians reported working from home some or part of the time – 21% of working Canadians reported working from home all of the time, while an added 18% worked from home some of the time. In contrast, in 2016, prior to the onset of the pandemic, approximately 1 in 20 employees worked most of their hours from home. In January, almost one-quarter of all Canadians (24.3%) reported that, at the present time, they usually work exclusively at home

Workers from Ontario were the most likely to work from home all of the time (26%), compared with 16% in British Columbia and 15% in both the Atlantic and the Prairie provinces. According to the Labour Force Survey, the share of people in Canada working from home has remained stable since August 2021, despite the easing of many public health restrictions. In January, The Ottawa–Gatineau and Toronto CMAs had among the highest proportions of workers who only worked from home, with 40% and 34.7% of workers at home respectively.

Those in urban areas were more likely to work from home than those in rural areas, regardless of whether or not it was all or some of the time. In addition, workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher were also more likely to work from home than those whose highest level of education is below a bachelor’s degree.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Vaughan-headquartered Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. expands into Food Basics and Marché Adonis in Ontario and Quebec

Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp, a Vaughan-headquartered plant-based food company is launching into 157 stores across Ontario and Quebec, as a result of a new partnership with Food Basics and Marché Adonis. Zoglo’s products have been in distribution in over 700 retail stores across Canada, with additional representation in the United States and Europe.

Vaughan is home to a robust agri-food ecosystem from farm to fork, with 125 companies in food manufacturing, processing and packaging employing more than 4,700 workers in 2020.

Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate expands into U.S. market with office in Chicago, Illinois

Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate Group, a leading provider of asset-based transportation service provider, announced the expansion of Fastfrate Integrated Logistics into the U.S. market with the establishment of a new office in Chicago, Illinois.

Vaughan has a thriving transportation and warehousing industry to support a variety of other sectors and the movements of goods regionally, nationally, and beyond. Transportation and warehousing contributed $1.4 billion in local economic output in 2020, employing nearly 15,500 workers.

Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners with LCBO flagship store in Downtown Toronto

Danavation Technologies Corp., a Vaughan-headquartered Internet of Things (IoT) technology company and provider of micro e-paper displays, announced another installation of their Digital Smart Labels™ into the brand-new LCBO flagship store in downtown Toronto, Ontario, marking their third installation in an LCBO location.

Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital marks expansion into Southern U.S. with new Texas Office

Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital, Canada’s largest invoice factoring company, expanded into the southern U.S. with the establishment of a new office in Fort Worth, Texas.

Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge Winner featured on Canadian Business New Innovators Top 10 List

Iris R&D Group, a winner of the Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge, uses data-driven software to help cities find and repair infrastructure issues in real-time. The company was profiled in Canadian Business, making their top ten list of Best and Brightest New Innovators, and were selected with a methodology created by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship to benchmark innovation.

Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing highlights two more Vaughan companies

Economic Development has partnered with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing to promote Vaughan’s manufacturing industry by profiling local companies. Trillium is a provincially-funded non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

The following two profiles were recently completed:

Previously shared:

Economic and Investment Update – January 2022

Key Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise at a record pace: 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December and 3.4 per cent in 2021 – the fastest pace since 1991
  • National unemployment rate remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels, full-time employment continued to rise in December
  • Wholesale sales in Ontario rise for the fourth consecutive month in November – up 2.2% over the previous month
  • Retail sales rose slightly in November from the previous month in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) – up 6.3% over the same period last year
  • Year-over-year sales in the food services and drinking places subsector are on the rise, but remain lower than pre-pandemic levels
  • Top industries seen for consultation by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship advisors were from the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Healthcare & Social Assistance
  • Martinrea International partnered on an $8 million project to address the urgent supply chain crisis affecting manufacturers and consumers globally
  • Insights Success magazine placed Vaughan-based Corum Digital Corporation on its global list of Top 10 Most Innovative Companies for Revolutionizing Digital Signage
  • The Vaughan-based Mech Solutions was one of the recipients of York Region’s 2021 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund administered by ventureLAB
  • Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partnered with Mexico’s largest distributor of electrical and lighting equipment to expand its international reach
  • Busy Bee Tools announced expansion of their National Distribution Center in Vaughan to keep up with double digit growth in back-to-back years

SELECT Economic Indicators

Inflation rises at fastest pace since 1991 on an average annual basis

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.4% CPI rose 3.4% on an annual average basis in 2021, following an increase of 0.7% in 2020. This marked the fastest pace since 1991, which saw an increase of 5.6%. Seven of eight major components saw increase, with transportation prices rising at the fastest pace, up 7.2% over 2020 in 2021. The only major component to decrease was clothing and footwear, where prices decreased 0.3% in 2021.

Prices for goods were up 4.7% on an annual average basis in 2021, while prices for services increased 2.3% on an annual average basis in 2021. In Ontario, CPI rose by 3.5%, slightly above the national level.

Unemployment rate remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels

National unemployment rate was 5.9% in December, while Ontario’s unemployment rate sat slightly higher at 6.4% and the Toronto CMA remained higher than both provincial and national unemployment rate at 7%. In Ontario, the unemployment rate was highest among youth (aged 15 to 24) at 11.4%, while adult women (25 years and older) saw an unemployment rate slightly above adult men, with rates of 5.7% and 5.4% respectively.

Employment rose slightly in December, up 0.6% over the previous month in Ontario, driven by gains in the goods-producing sector

Wholesale sales rise for fourth consecutive up 2.2%, in November over the previous month in Ontario

Wholesale sales in Ontario rose for the fifth consecutive month, up 2.2% to $38.2 billion in November. The increase was led by the building material and supplies subsector, up 7.7% to $5.2 billion. This was closely followed by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector, up 4.8% and the miscellaneous subsector, up 6.3%. The gains in these three subsectors totalled $1.0 billion. These gains were diminished by a 3.8% fall in sales of food, beverage and tobacco. Notwithstanding decreased sales in three of seven subsectors, wholesale sales in Ontario were also the highest on record.

Retail sales rise 0.1% in Toronto CMA in November, Ontario retail sales up 0.5% in same period

Retail sales in Toronto CMA rose 0.1% in November from the previous month, but were up 6.3% from the same month last year. Ontario retail sales were up slightly higher than Toronto CMA in November, seeing an increase of 0.5% over the previous month, but up only 3.3% over the same month in 2020.

On an unadjusted basis, national retail e-commerce sales were up 1.1% year over year to $4.3 billion in November, accounting for 6.9% of total retail trade. The share of e-commerce sales out of total retail sales fell 0.4% compared with November 2020, coinciding with limited Cyber Monday sales at retailers amid supply chain constraints in November 2021.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Small Business and Entrepreneurship sees demand for consultations driven by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Healthcare & Social Assistance

ED’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship top five industries seeking consultations in December were:

  1. Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (18%)
  2. Retail Trade (16%)
  3. Healthcare & Social Assistance (16%)
  4. Accommodation & Food Services (12%)
  5. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (11%)
Invest Ontario highlights Martinrea International’s success

Invest Ontario, the provincial agency responsible for communicating is a top-tier destination for investment and strategic business growth focusing on advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology, recently highlighted Vaughan-headquartered Martinrea International in their success story blog series.

Martinrea International partners on $8 million project to address supply chain crisis

Technology leaders ThinkData Works Inc. and Palantir Technologies Canada have partnered with Vaughan-headquartered Martinrea International to develop an industry-wide platform for supply chain resiliency to help manufacturers predict, prevent, and mitigate disruptions. Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced $8 million in collaborative funding, including $3.5 million in co-funding.

Delays in the global supply chain continue to slow down recovery for many industries. In particular, the lack of computer chips, shortage of shipping containers, port congestion, and environmental disasters have presented serious disturbances to many manufacturers and distributors of goods. Supply chain disruption is expected to continue into 2022. Ontario’s manufacturing sales have been affected primarily on lower sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts due to the lack of semiconductor parts.

Vaughan-based Corum Digital Corporation makes global list of Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Revolutionizing Digital Signage in 2021

Insights Success magazine has placed Vaughan company Corum Digital Corporation on its global list of Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Revolutionizing Digital Signage 2021. Corum Digital is a leader in digital signage for its technological advancements in the industry and has also received other awards and recognition in the digital signage industry, including the Excellence in Technology Award from Frost and Sullivan (a research and consulting company) and the CTIA Emerging Technology Award (CTIA represents the U.S. wireless communications industry).

Vaughan-based 3D printing company Mech Solutions recipient of the York Region Entrepreneurship Fund

Vaughan-based Mech Solutions was recently announced as one of nine recipients of the York Region Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund for 2021, receiving a grant of $10,000. The fund support companies and organizations in York Region that demonstrate innovative solutions or services that support the development of the innovation network.

Mech Solutions is a one-stop-shop for all 3D printing needs. In addition, Mech Solutions is creating their AIFocusBot software, an innovative product currently in the beta testing stage that will be launched to the market in early 2022. Mech Solutions uses AI and applied deep learning to train solutions to avoid errors and improve accuracy.

Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners to bring innovative technology to Mexico’s Largest Distributor of Electrical and Lighting Equipment

Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies has partnered with Unoretail, to install Danavation’s Digital Smart Labels™ within a location for Impulsora, Mexico’s largest distributor of electrical and lighting equipment. This represents the first entry into Mexico for Danavation Technologies, an Internet of Things (IoT) technology company and provider of micro e-paper displays.

Busy Bee Tools announces expansion of their National Distribution Center in Vaughan

Busy Bee Tools announced an addition of 20,000 sq. ft. to their National Distribution Center in Vaughan. Busy Bee Tools is tool retailer with 10 stores across Canada, which has seen unprecedented growth over the past few years. Busy Bee Tools sister company, AgeComfort.com, also operates out of the same Distribution center. AgeComfort.com has grown into a multimillion-dollar e-commerce retailer of home healthcare products.

2021 Census Insights and Findings – Population and Dwellings

Key Highlights

  • Vaughan was the fastest growing City in York Region with a population growth rate of 5.5%, totalling 323,103 residents in 2021
  • York Region’s population has increased 5.7% since 2016, totalling 1,173,334 residents in 2021
  • Canada remains the fastest growing nation in the G7, with a population in 2021 of 36,991,981, a 5.2% increase over 2016
  • 3 million people are living in one of Canadas 41 urban centres
  • Since 2016, four-fifths of Canada’s population growth is directly attributed to immigration
  • Ontario grew at a faster pace than Canada overall at 5.8% totalling 14,223,942 residents in 2021
  • Ontario welcomed twice has many immigrants into the province than the previous census period (2011 to 2016)
  • All major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in Ontario have recorded the same or higher growth rates since the last census period – as of 2021, Toronto CMA has grown by 4.9% since 2016, 1.6% lower than growth seen in the previous census period

Insights and Findings

Canada

Canada remains the fastest growing Country in the G7 with a population that has grown 5.2% since 2016 and now totals 36,991,981. Our population continues to urbanize, with close to 27.3 million people living in one of Canada’s 41 urban centres. Immigration has contributed heavily to Canadas population growth since 2016 as nearly four-fifths of population growth are directly attributed to immigration.

Ontario

The population of Ontario grew at a faster pace than Canada, reporting 14,223,942 residents in 2021. This represents a growth rate of 5.8% from the previous census. The growth in Ontario’s population was mainly attributed to immigration with twice as many permanent and temporary immigrants being welcomed into the province then the previous census period (2011-2016). Population growth within Ontario’s major urban centres have continued to experience significant growth, figure 1 below shows the growth rates for major census metropolitan areas (CMA) within Ontario during the last two census periods. All major CMA’s have shown increased levels of growth since the last census period except for the Toronto CMA which recorded a 1.6% decrease in growth rate since the last census period. Toronto CMA’s growth rate is still positive for 2021 at 4.6%.

Figure 1: Ontario Major Urban Centres (CMA) Growth Rate (%) 2016-2021 and 2011-2016
Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)

The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area which includes twenty-four municipalities saw a 4.6% increase in population between 2016 and 2021 with a total population of 6,202,225 residents. The largest cities within the CMA have experienced positive growth (except for Mississauga at   -0.5%). Figure 2 below highlights the population growth rates and changes of cities within the Toronto CMA.

Figure 2: Toronto CMA Population Growth Rate and Change by City 2016-2021

York Region

York Region’s population has grown by 5.7% from 2016 to 2021, reporting 1,173,334 residents.  Towns and townships in the region all saw significant increases in population between 2016 and 2021, with urban centre growth rates led by Vaughan. Figure 3 below provides the growth rates and change in population between 2016 and 2021 for York Region municipalities.

Figure 3: York Region Population Growth Rate and Change by Municipality 2016-2021

Vaughan

Vaughan’s population grew by 5.5% from 2016 to 2021, now totalling 323,103 residents. The City’s dwelling count has increased by 10,502, totalling 107,159 dwellings in 2021 The City’s Overall population density since 2016 has increased by 66.5 residents, now sitting at 1,185 residents per square kilometer in 2021. More information on dwelling counts, demographics, labour and more will be presented to Council upon release by Statistics Canada. Please see future release dates specified below by topic.


2021 Census Release Schedule

Statistics Canada will release 2021 Census topics throughout 2022. Economic Development will continue to monitor and provide council with information on Vaughan’s growing demographics and economy.

  • April 27th, 2022 – Age, sex at birth and gender; type of dwelling
  • July 13th, 2022 – Families, households, and marital status; Canadian military experience; income profiles
  • August 17th, 2022 – Language
  • September 21st, 2022 – Indigenous peoples, and housing
  • October 26th, 2022 – Immigration, place of birth, and citizenship; ethnocultural and religious diversity; mobility and migration
  • November 30th, 2022 – Education, labour, language of work, commuting, and instruction in the official minority language