Most Canadian cities to see GDP growth in 2017, 2018

By Staff | October 19, 2017 | Last updated on October 19, 2017
3 min read

Major cities across Canada will see their GDPs rise this year and next, finds The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2017.

Here’s a breakdown by city.

Vancouver and Victoria

Vancouver’s real GDP is forecast to grow 3.2% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018, after expanding nearly 4% annually on average during the previous five years, according to the report. Likewise, Victoria’s economy is expected to remain healthy over the next two years, expanding by 2.4% in 2017 and 2.2% in 2018.

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“The more moderate outlook for Vancouver and Victoria reflects the fallout from a cooler housing market, as well as factors like increased protectionism in the U.S. and a slightly higher dollar that is shaving export potential,” says Alan Arcand, associate director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada.

Calgary and Edmonton

The two cities are forecast to be the fastest growing census metropolitan areas in Canada this year, with real GDP forecast to grow by 4.6% and 3.9% respectively.

Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina

Winnipeg and Saskatoon can expect to see economic growth of 3.6% each this year, while Regina’s real GDP is forecast to rise 2.9% in 2017, finds the report.

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“The worst appears to be over for Saskatoon and Regina. Both cities are benefiting from a modest firming in oil, potash, and crop prices,” says Arcand. “Winnipeg’s economy is also enjoying robust growth this year. But economic growth is projected to moderate in all three Prairie cities in 2018, with Winnipeg expected to experience the sharpest deceleration.”

Montreal and Quebec City

Following modest economic growth last year, Montreal and Quebec City have seen their economies heat up this year.

Montreal’s economy is forecast to grow by 3.2% in 2017, while Quebec City’s is following closely with a 2.9% spike in real GDP, finds the report.

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“Fuelled by a pickup in manufacturing and construction, and continued strength in the services sector, Montreal’s economy is on track to post its fastest expansion since the turn of the century,” says Arcand. “Similarly, Quebec City will see its fastest economic gain in 13 years. Real GDP growth is forecast to moderate to 2% in both cities next year.”

Overall, a Scotiabank Global Economics report finds the province will grow by 2.8% this year, the strongest gain since 2002.

Toronto and Ottawa

Toronto is expected to boast the fastest-growing metropolitan economy outside of Alberta this year, and is forecast to be a growth leader again in 2018. The economy is forecast to grow 3.7% this year and 2.5% in 2018, finds the report.

“Toronto’s economy was firing on all cylinders during the first half of 2017, but growth has moderated since then and this trend will continue through 2018, as government housing market cooling policies have their desired effect,” says Arcand.

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Meanwhile, Ottawa-Gatineau’s economy is on track to post solid gains this year. It is forecast to grow 2.5% in 2017, and 2.2% in 2018, the strongest back-to-back increases since 2007, notes the report.

Arcand adds, “In Ottawa-Gatineau, many key pillars of the region’s economy are posting solid advances this year: the public sector is growing and hiring, the construction industry remains busy, and tourism is having a banner year.”

A Scotiabank Global Economics report adds Ontario as a whole will grow 3% this year.


The city’s real GDP growth of 1.4% in 2017 will trail that of other major Canadian metropolitan areas because of a contraction in primary and utilities output, due largely to a maturing offshore natural gas sector. staff


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