Calgary’s construction industry shows no sign of slowing down

How building permits and construction value continue to drive economic growth in 2022

With just over half of the year complete, Calgary’s construction industry shows no signs of slowing down. On the heels of a record 2021 year, The City of Calgary has received 4,492 development permit and 11,194 building permit applications during the first six months of 2022. The total construction value across residential and commercial building permit types is $3.01 billion, compared to $3.32 billion reported this time, last year.

“Developers and builders are investing more in present-day Calgary, which helps to position our city and economy for a successful future,” says Stuart Dalgleish, general manager, Planning and Development. “During this incredibly high-volume environment, we continue to meet our service level targets 85 per cent of the time for multi-disciplinary development applications and 91 per cent of the time for building applications for new single and semi-detached homes in new communities.”

In 2021 The City of Calgary issued permits for stand-out projects such as a new 2.6 million-square foot distribution facility that had a construction value of $400 million. While projects of this nature contributed to our reporting for 2021, our data indicates that construction values are remaining strong in 2022 and are up 20 per cent from the 10-year median.

Single construction permit volume is up nine per cent from our record in 2021. Affordability and  immigration contribute to strong demand for new home construction.  Residential improvement permit volumes have declined by 12 per cent this year, an anticipated drop as residential improvement permit volumes stabilized after the unprecedented 33 per cent spike over the last two years.

“During the pandemic, Calgarians invested heavily in home improvements projects, as we all navigated creative ways to use our space. This resulted in higher-than-average permit volumes,” says Dalgleish. “A renewed interest in travel and entertainment outside of the home may contribute to the decrease of residential improvement permit applications received so far." 

Commercial building permits application volumes continue to remain high over the first two quarters of 2022. The first six months of the year saw a construction value of $81.8 million, up from $22.6 million in 2021. Construction value for food, entertainment and hospitality building types saw an increase of 262 per cent. This includes the construction of The Dorian, a 28-storey hotel in the downtown core, which contributed $57.5 million to our construction value this quarter and is one of the largest hospitality related construction projects undertaken in Calgary since 2010.

Other construction permits issued with values exceeding $25 million include a 244,000 square foot logistics facility at Barlow Crossing, a seven-storey concrete apartment building in Calgary’s beltline and the Montgomery School Replacement Project which will see a new school built near the former site that will support 1,000 students upon completion.

In the first two quarters of 2022, The City issued occupancy for major projects such as Clifton House, a seniors village offering independent living, assisted living and long-term care housing with a  construction value of $41.5 million. Additional occupancies, with construction values exceeding $25 million, include:

  • Curtis Block, a new apartment complex located in the Beltline, valued at $165 million.
  • 11th and 11th, a mixed-use high rise located in the Beltine, valued at $95 million.
  • New Calgary Student Residence located in the community of Banff Trail, valued at $61.2 million.
  • Marriott Hotel, located in the downtown commercial core, valued at $57.5 million.
  • Dominion, a new apartment complex in the community of Bridgeland / Riverside, valued at $31.6 million.
  • Steps Bridgeland, a new apartment complex in the community of Bridgeland / Riverside valued at $31.2 million.
  • Templemont Residences, a new apartment complex in the community of Temple, valued at $26.5 million.

Though construction values and building permits are not representative of overall market and economic conditions, they provide a benchmark for the state of Calgary’s construction industry.  

More information on building permit application values is available by ward, and community, on Data on building permit values is also available on the open data catalogue.