About the C.D. Howe Institute

The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.

Get the App

Barriers to Housing


-A A +A

The cost of housing has been increasing in many parts of Canada. A recent C.D. Howe Institute report finds restrictions and extra costs on building new housing – such as zoning regulations, development charges, and limits on housing development on both Greenbelt land and land between urban areas and the Greenbelt – are driving up the price of homes in Canadian cities by six figures. For example, barriers to housing supply make up around 50 percent of the cost of housing in the Vancouver area and more than 20 percent in the Greater Toronto Area.

In this edition of Graphic Intelligence, we display a few housing statistics for Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs) facing housing barriers in the bar chart (top). Choose a specific city from the dropdown menu to see information like average living size, restriction costs and increase in cost per new house. In the bottom graph we also show how the increase in cost per new house in the 8 most restrictive CMAs is higher in cities where restriction costs are higher.

To learn more about the costs of barriers to housing, read the “Through the Roof: The High Cost of Barriers to Building New Housing in Canadian Municipalities” commentary by Ben Dachis and Vincent Thivierge.

Connect with Us

© 2018 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.

Connect with Us

© 2018 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Chart: Barriers to Housing | C.D. Howe Institute


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.