Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis

Recent Publications and Bulletins

Understanding the Forces Driving the Shelter Affordability Issue

Canada’s shelter affordability challenge is complex, rife with data limitations, and poses risks associated with both action and inaction by policymakers. Unfortunately most of the existing commentary is singularly focused, ignoring this complexity and the interrelatedness of factors and behaviours that are actually driving the issue. In this research report, CANCEA applies its “systems approach” and “big data” modeling platform to housing affordability.

Regional Express Rail’s Impact on Housing Affordability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Using CANCEA’s award-winning computer platform – Prosperity at Risk (PaR) – and aggregated data from the Toronto Real Estate Board across 773 communities, this report investigates the impacts of transit (and the Regional Express Rail (RER) specifically) on housing affordability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Given “affordability” includes more than just housing prices – and must include transportation costs to provide a more complete picture of shelter-related needs – “affordability” is measured using CANCEA’s recognized Shelter Consumption Affordability Ratio (SCAR).

The Economic Impact of Canadian P3 Projects: Why building infrastructure ‘on time' matters

This report brings a fresh approach to analyzing the economic impacts of Canadian public-private partnerships (P3s) and adds to the conversation around P3s by quantifying – beyond the benefits traditionally outlined – the significant economic value from delivering such assets for public use sooner.

Using CANCEA’s award-winning computer platform – Prosperity at Risk (PaR) – and project-level data from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP), the report investigates the economic impacts of 200 Canadian P3s that have at least reached ‘financial close’ (i.e., they will soon start construction, are under construction, or construction is complete) since 1993. The total agreement costs for these projects exceed $110 billion.

The report finds that, taken together, a one-year delay for a typical infrastructure portfolio of $100 billion reduces its 30-year value by the equivalent of nearly 10% of the total project value. This economic boost is of a similar magnitude as the more traditional ‘value-for-money’. This proves that much of the (previously unquantified) benefit of P3s are in the delivery of large and complex projects on time.

Shelter Affordability Across Canada's Provinces

Housing affordability has grown into a national concern resulting from a number of complex and interconnected factors. Our December 2015 report, Understanding Shelter Affordability Issues: Towards a Better Policy Framework in Ontario, introduced the Shelter Consumption Affordability Ratio (SCAR) index, which measures the proportion of income that households devote to their shelter-related needs (including transportation, utilities, and maintenance) after paying for other necessities, such as health care, food, and child care.

Mental Health in the Workplace Research Bulletin: Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)

Mental health issues in the GTHA labour force are a growing concern with an estimated 1 in 5 employees in the GTHA currently living with a mental health issue, resulting in an estimated average annual loss of productivity of $1.7 billion (inflation-adjusted) over the next 10 years, or approximately 0.5% of the GDP of the GTHA.

Ontario Infrastructure Investment: Federal and Provincial Risks & Rewards

Public infrastructure investment is crucial to the prosperity of a region – it supports the quality of life of its residents and the productive capacity of industries. Without sufficient investment in public infrastructure, future economic growth and prosperity would be at risk. Therefore it is important to understand the risk and rewards of public infrastructure investment, and have the tools to evaluate policy options effectively.

Understanding Shelter Affordability Issues: Towards a Better Policy Framework in Ontario

Understanding Shelter Affordability Issues: Towards a Better Policy Framework in Ontario

Housing affordability has become an increasingly serious problem for a growing number of Canadian households. Despite the growing public profile and media interest in this issue, there has been limited appreciation of the broad range of forces creating this problem and the complexity of their interaction. The objective of this CANCEA research was to identify and connect the concepts and factors that contribute to the affordability challenges of shelter in Ontario.

Investing in Ontario's Public Infrastructure: Improved Economic Evaluation of Benefits and Risks

With the recent Federal election, the landscape for infrastructure investment has been transformed. The majority Liberal governments in both Queen’s Park and Ottawa have an excellent opportunity to proceed with their plans to invest more than $255 billion collectively in public infrastructure over the next 10 years. Less well understood but at least as crucial is the opportunity to address evidence-driven research calls for a new era of cooperation between Ottawa, Queen’s Park and municipalities. Much better data, metrics and other analytics are essential for all three levels of government to work more closely together to achieve long-term, sustainable approaches to infrastructure investment in Ontario.

Investing in Ontario’s Public Infrastructure: A Prosperity at Risk Perspective

Strategic investment in public infrastructure such as bridges, roads, transit systems, and hospitals is the foundation for a well-functioning society and crucial to Ontario’s future prosperity. CANCEA’s recent research report demonstrates that these investments have a tremendous long-term economic return.

Population and Job Growth Planning: Socioeconomic Issues with Places to Grow

Regional municipal planning is a crucial aspect of strategic economic development. Decisions made today create ripple-like impacts throughout the region—impacting each aspect from government finances, industry production, and individual income, to macro-level economic and population growth, environmental conservation, and the capacity of infrastructure to sustain all of that activity. Further complicating the problem of municipal planning is the diversity among regions, each of which must be uniquely appreciated in terms of its potential and its limitations in conjunction with the relationships it has with the regions around it.

The strategies behind growth naturally must anticipate future needs, allocate resources accordingly, manage risk associated with uncertainty, and correspond to a vision for how and where development should occur. In Ontario in 2005, such a vision for development was legislated through the Places to Grow Act. In order to combat the accelerated urbanization of green space and agricultural land, while simultaneously supporting expected increases in population and encouraging economic growth, the Places to Grow Act calls for a harmonized approach across different regions. To support the mandates of the Places to Grow Act for regions within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, long-term projections for “land use, infrastructure, and financial planning” were generated for the diverse constituent regions and municipalities of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.