Nearly 6,800 swimming pool permits issued in 2020 – up 53%

Amid a surge of renovations, swimming pools were a popular home improvement in 2020, according to analysis of Ontario building permits. We counted 6,796 swimming pool permits issued in 2020, an increase of 53.2% over the previous year.

Map graphic showing numbers of swimming pool permits obtained across Ontario in 2020


“Swimming pools are obviously a significant investment, and many property owners evidently decided to take the plunge during the pandemic,” says Carmelo Lipsi, MPAC ‎Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “This is another indication that people were very focused on their homes in 2020 – perhaps because public health restrictions necessitated spending more time at home.”

The spike in swimming pool permits in 2020 was in stark contrast to the previous two years, which saw sinking numbers: decreases of 14% in 2018 (4,584 permits) and 3.2% in 2019 (4,437 permits).

The City of Ottawa took Ontario’s swimming pool crown in 2020, issuing 936 permits – an increase of 57% from the previous year and more than double any other municipality. The City of Hamilton was next with 428 permits, followed by the City of London (266) and City of Burlington (202). 

Top 10 Municipalities Swimming Pool Building Permits


Percentage-wise, the Town of Milton far eclipsed everyone else, with a 1,550% increase (165 permits, compared to 10 in 2019). The Township of Essa was next with a 320% increase, followed by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent (194%) and City of Mississauga (189%).

Top 10 Municipalities swimming pool Building Permits by percentage increase from 2019