Architecture Profession Contributes to Canadian Economy: report

According to a recently released Statistics Canada report, “Forging Ahead During the Pandemic: How Selected Service Industries Bounced Back in 2021,” revenue from “architectural services” is shown to have made a strong comeback last year.

The report reveals that revenue for architectural services has risen 15.4 per cent, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by more than 1/10. Much of this growth can be accounted for by residential construction (which hit an all-time high in 2021), as well as business and public investment in non-residential buildings.

In 2021, residential construction made its largest contribution to gross domestic product since comparable data became available in 1962, reads the report. “Low interest rates and the need to accommodate teleworking boosted housing starts by 24.5 per cent to 271,198 units in 2021 (see Chart 3), with both single and multiple dwellings in high demand.”

“In addition, business and public investment in non-residential buildings posted strong growth, further strengthening the demand for architectural services (see Chart 4),” it continues. “Revenue for architectural services is expected to have risen 15.4 per cent in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by more than 1/10.”

The report also noted how specialized design services benefit from retrofitting of physical spaces and improving economic conditions. “The pandemic disrupted many facets of how businesses and the population in general interact in physical spaces. Specialized design services, mainly interior design services, helped people connect and improve virtual and physical interactions and experiences, in terms of both lifestyle and business,” it notes.

The website of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) includes a 2018 report by Altus Economic Consulting that confirms economic activity from the architecture industry’s entire footprint in Ontario totaled $128.4 billion, or 14 per cent of the province’s GDP.