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Most Ontario regions will enjoy moderate growth through 2019, says new Central 1 Credit Union forecast

But Northern areas will face continued head winds

TORONTO — Most parts of Ontario, except for the north, will continue on a steady growth path for the next two years, says the latest regional economic forecast by Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1).

“In 2016, the Muskoa-Kawarthas region was the fastest growing part of the province, followed by Windsor-Sarnia, Kingston-Pembroke and Ottawa,” says Central 1’s Chief Economist Helmut Pastrick. “The London region also posted a notable gain and while the Toronto, Hamilton-Niagara, and Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie regions grew at a respectable pace, they relinquished their front-runner standing of prior years.”

Pastrick expects a similar pattern during the next two years. “Ontario’s regional economies will perform well, resulting in more growth convergence between the regions, but the performance gap with northern regions will remain,” he says. “Eastern regions will increasingly contribute to provincial growth, while southwestern regional economies will build off recent momentum.”

The report, Ontario Regional Economic Outlooks 2017-2019, says low interest rates, a low Canadian dollar, and faster U.S. growth are significant positives and more fiscal stimulus will aid domestic growth. 

“Trade disruption caused by the new U.S. administration is a risk that could hit the Ontario economy,” Pastrick says.


  • Ontario’s real GDP grew by an estimated 2.7 per cent in 2016, it is forecast at 2.4 per cent in 2017 and 2.5 per cent in 2018
  • Growth during 2016 was led by the Muskoka-Kawarthas region, followed by Windsor-Sarnia, Kingston-Pembroke and Ottawa
  • Northern regions are forecast to continue to lose population and grow slowly
  • Home sales and prices grew everywhere in the province in 2016, except the Northwest

“The housing market activity advanced in nearly all regions in 2016 thanks to low rates and pent-up demand,” Pastrick says. “Most regional housing markets saw more sales, higher prices, and more new construction.  The Muskoka-Kawarthas, Kingston-Pembroke, and Windsor-Sarnia saw the largest sales pickups, while Toronto posted the largest price increase at nearly 16 per cent.”

Read the full report – Ontario Regional Economic Outlooks 2017-2019.

About Central 1

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 holds on balance sheet approximately $16.6 billion in assets. We provide wholesale financial products, trust services, payment processing solutions and direct banking services to almost 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 70 Ontario member credit unions. Our members represent a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that collectively serves 3.3 million members and holds more than $115.7 billion in assets. For more information, visit


Helmut Pastrick
Chief Economist
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604. 737.5026 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 5026

Art Chamberlain
Media Relations Manager
Central 1 Credit Union
T 905.282.8534 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 8534