Building and demolition permits - Reporting guide


Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. The confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act are not affected by either the Access to Information Act or any other legislation. Therefore, for example, the Canada Revenue Agency cannot access identifiable survey records from Statistics Canada.

Information from this survey will be used for statistical purposes only and will be published in aggregate form only.

General Instructions

Please complete your monthly report in triplicate and send :
– one copy to Statistics Canada in pre-addressed envelope
– one copy to the regional office of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in pre-addressed envelope
– keep one copy for your records

Please forward your completed report no later than 10 days after the end of the month.

N.B. Shaded boxes on the form are for Statistics Canada use only.


If you need more forms or return envelopes do ONE only of the following:

  • Check off the appropriate box(es) in the "Stock Requirements" section, page 1, cell 13 of the questionnaire.
  • Telephone us.
  • Send us a FAX.
  • Contact us via "internet e-mail".

Do you have questions regarding the survey?

Do you need help in completing the form?

Do you require additional copies of the "Survey Reporting Guide" and/or the "Self Coding Guide"?
Telephone : 1-888-404-3339 (toll free)
FAX : 1-888-505-8091 (toll free)
Internet : or

If you chose to transmit the questionnaire or information to Statistics Canada by facsimile or internet e-mail communication, please be advised that there could be a risk of disclosure during the communication process. However, upon receipt of your communication, Statistics Canada will provide the guaranteed level of protection afforded to all information collected under the authority of the Statistics Act.

Front Page : Instructions

If the information provided in box 1 is not accurate, please update in appropriate areas (boxes 2 to 10).

2 - Reporting Entity Name

Refers to the territory for which a report is produced. The reporting entity can be either a municipality or a group of rural and/or urban entities.

3 - Municipal Status

This term indicates the official designation of the reporting entity (i.e. : city, town, village, rural municipality, etc.).

7 - Contact Name

Report the name of the person most qualified to provide additional information if required.

11 - Coverage Profile Update

The purpose of this question is to identify any changes in the territory covered by the report. The most common territorial changes are : amalgamation, complete or partial annexation of municipalities  or any administrative changes (i.e. when more than  one municipality is covered by the respondent).

It is very important that Statistics Canada be informed immediately of such changes so that the published data reflect the exact geographical area.

12 - Reporting Period

Please indicate the year and the month covered by this report in numerals (i.e. : year 2000,  month 01) Use a separate form for each month reported.

13 - Stock Requirements

If forms or return envelopes are required, please inform us by checking the appropriate box or boxes.

14 - Nil Report

If no construction or demolition activity took place during the month, simply check the box NO PERMITS and forward the signed report. This will avoid a follow-up on our part.

Section A: Major Construction Projects


This section is used to report the most important permits only. Included are :

  • Any residential permit involving the creation or deletion of dwelling unit(s), regardless of its value :
    • Creation of a dwelling can be carried out through construction of a new building or conversion of an existing building.
    • Deletion can be done only through conversion of an existing building. Do not include dwelling units demolished that should be reported in Section D.
  • Any other residential permit valued at $50,000 or more.
  • Any non-residential permit valued at $250,000 or more.

2 - Permit Number

Permit number is required to facilitate future reference.

3 - Name and Address of Owner (not required on form P4)

It is very important to indicate the owner's and builder's names in the correct boxes and not reverse the order.

4 - Name and Address of Builder (not required on form P4)

(See #3 above).

5 - Construction Location (not required on form P4)

Please indicate the civic address of the new building. If not available, give the legal address.

6 - Type of Building Code

Describe as clearly as possible the type of building for which the permit is issued. Generally, the intended use or uses of the structure would indicate the type of building.

  • Single Use Building : These buildings must be reported as such.  For example : single or semi-detached house, apartment block, factory, office building, shopping centre, school, warehouse.
  • Multi-use Building : These buildings must be reported by describing the uses starting with the most important. For example : offices/stores, medical  clinic/stores, hotel/ offices/condominiums, apartments/stores.

When reporting residential buildings, please use Statistics Canada "Definitions of dwelling types" on reverse side.

7 - Type of Work Code

Report the type of work for which the permit is issued. The most frequent are:

  • New Construction
    • if only one permit is issued for the construction of a new building, the term is "New Construction"
    • if more than one permit is issued for the construction of a new building, report the stage of construction for which the permit is issued.
      Examples : foundation, installation of pre-fabricated buildings, installation of equipment, etc.
  • Conversion of Dwelling
    This term refers to any modification to an existing building involving either the gain or the loss of dwelling units. Units added should be reported in the upper part of box 9 while units lost should be reported in the lower part.
  • Addition
    This term describes any residential or non-residential structural extension to an existing building. In the case of a residential building, do not confuse "addition" with "conversion", which implies creation of a new dwelling. Additions such as garages, carports and in-ground swimming pools must each be reported separately.
  • Renovation
    Any construction work undertaken for the purpose of improving or modifying an existing structure (other than by addition) is considered as "Renovation". Permits issued for the replacement of built-in equipment (elevator, heating and plumbing system, etc.) should  also be included.
  • Additional Value to Previous Permits
    Please indicate if the value of any permit already issued is being re-evaluated.

8 - Value of Construction

Refers to the value of the construction project as reported by the permit applicant or as estimated by the municipality, rounded off to the nearest thousand.

Ex : $234,800 should be $235

9 - Dwelling Units Created or Lost

  • Dwellings created
    Indicate in the upper part of the box the number of dwelling units created by the construction of new residential structures or the conversion of existing buildings.
  • Dwellings lost
    Indicate in the lower part of the box the number of dwelling units lost through construction of existing buildings, usually referred to as deconversion. Exclude dwelling units demolished ; these must be reported in Section D.

10 - Building Area

  • Residential Building
    Report  the total enclosed living area of all floors (gross area) in terms of the number of square feet or square meters. Exclude basement and garage area.
  • Non-residential Building
    Report  the size of all floors (gross area) in terms  of the number of square feet or square meters. Include basement areas.

IMPORTANT: Please indicate the unit of measure used by checking the appropriate box.

Section B: Minor Residential Additions and Renovations

Please report total number and total dollar value (rounded to the nearest thousand) of all permits  issued for residential additions and renovations valued at less than $50,000 each. Residential improvement includes work performed on all types of dwellings. The number and dollar value of permits issued for work to be performed on single dwellings, mobile homes and cottages must be reported on lines 01, 03 or 05 depending on the type of work. The value of permits issued for work to be performed on multiple dwellings must be reported on lines 02, 04 or 06.

Section C: Minor Non-residential Projects

Report  total number and total dollar value (rounded to the nearest thousand) of projects valued at less than $250,000 each. When a building belongs to more than one category, it should  be reported according to its principal use  (i.e.: factory at 80%/offices  at 20% ; in this case the whole project should  be reported in the industrial  category).
Building categories are defined as follows :

  • Industrial Buildings
    Buildings used in the transformation of goods or related to transportation and communication.
  • Commercial Buildings
    Buildings used in trade or distribution of goods and services.
  • Institutional and Government Buildings
    Buildings used to house public and semi-public services such as those related to health and welfare, education, or public administration, as well as buildings used for religious services.

Section D: Residential Demolitions

Indicate the number of residential dwelling units to be demolished and not the number of buildings or number of permits issued.

Definition of Dwelling Types

Single-detached – This type of dwelling is commonly called a "single house". It comprises a one-dwelling unit completely separated on all sides from any other dwelling or structure and includes homes linked below ground.

Semi-detached – This type includes each of two dwellings separated by a common wall or by a garage, but not attached to any other building and surrounded on all other sides by open space.

Row house – One of three or more dwellings joined side by side but not having any other dwellings either above or below.

Apartments – This category includes dwelling units found in a wide range of structures such as duplexes, triplexes, row-duplexes, apartments proper and dwelling units over or at the rear of a store or other non-residential structure.

Mobile home – A dwelling designed and constructed to be transported on its own chassis and capable of being moved on short notice.

Cottage – Refers to a dwelling which is unsuitable for year-round occupancy, since the structure does not have sufficient facilities to provide confortable accommodation throughout the year.

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