TORONTO – Economic growth continued to spread across Ontario’s regional economies during 2017, according to the latest regional economic forecast by Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1). “Growth was concentrated in the Toronto, Hamilton-Niagara, and Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie regions,” says Central 1’s Regional Economist and report co-author, Edgard Navarrete. “Housing activity expanded in most regions, while prices rose in all regions.”

Central 1 expects the growth to continue in all Ontario regions during the next two years, though at differential rates. “The Greater Golden Horseshoe will outperform other regions due to its more diverse economic base and concentration in growth industries,” says Navarrete. “The province’s northern regions, which are heavily dependent on resources, are likely to remain in a low-growth mode.”

The Ontario Regional Economic Outlook 2018 – 2019 report, which follows Statistics Canada’s eleven economic region boundaries for Ontario, says rising (but still low) interest rates, a competitive Canadian dollar, faster U.S. growth, and growth in other provinces are notable positives that will support growth in Ontario and in most regions. “A trade disruption continues to be a forecast risk, along with geopolitical events,” says Navarrete.

Policy changes enacted last year to control the growth of mortgage debt will continue to affect Ontario’s housing markets. Ontario’s residential home sales are expected to decrease in 2018 by 6.3 per cent due to fewer home sales in several regions in the province, particularly those in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. New listings are also expected to decline, given fewer sales, keeping price levels relatively elevated.


  • Growth during 2017 was broadly based across Ontario’s regions, though concentrated in the Greater Golden Horseshoe
  • Population growth increased in all regions but the Northeast
  • Employment, home sales and prices grew in almost all regions in 2017
  • Housing prices increased in all regions, and more non-residential building permits were issued in most regions
  • Ontario’s real GDP grew by an estimated 2.8 per cent expansion in 2017, and is forecast at 2.5 per cent in 2018 and 2.3 per cent in 2019
  • Favourable growth prospects are expected for most regions, but more challenging conditions are likely in auto-related and commodity-based economies

Read the full report Ontario Regional Economic Outlook 2018-2019.

About Central 1

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 holds on balance sheet approximately $18.1 billion in assets. We provide wholesale financial products, trust services, payment processing solutions and direct banking services to about 300 credit unions and institutional clients from coast to coast.

In addition, Central 1 is the primary liquidity manager, payments provider and trade association for our 42 member credit unions in B.C. and 67 Ontario member credit unions. Our members represent a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial network that collectively serves 3.4 million members and holds more than $126.8 billion in assets. For more information, visit


Laura McIntyre
Member & External Communications Manager
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604-714-6814

Edgard Navarrete
Ontario Regional Economist
Central 1 Credit Union
T 905-282-8501

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