Canada’s Hotel Construction Pipeline Soars

PORTSMOUTH, NH—At the close of the third quarter of 2019, analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that the total construction pipeline in Canada hit an all-time high with 289 projects/38,453 rooms. Construction pipeline projects are up 17% and rooms are up 28% year-over-year (YOY).

Currently, there are 85 projects/10,337 rooms under construction. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months have experienced a 47% increase in both projects and rooms, year-over-year (YOY), standing at a record high of 125 projects/14,574 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage stand at 79 projects with 13,542 rooms. This is an 8% increase in projects and a 46% increase in rooms. This substantial rise in rooms has increased the average hotel size in the early planning stage from 127 rooms a year ago to 171 rooms currently.

In the third quarter, Canada had 47 new project announcements with 5,760 rooms. This is the largest count that LE has recorded in the country for a single quarter and is a 42% increase quarter over quarter.

Through the third quarter, Canada opened 44 new hotels/5,330 rooms with an additional seven new hotels/641 rooms scheduled to open before year-end. In 2020, the LE forecast for new hotel openings show 59 new hotels with 6,440 rooms expected to open. In 2021, Canada is forecast to open 70 new hotels/7,714 rooms. If all the new hotels forecast for 2021 come online, it will be the largest count of new hotel openings since LE began tracking the region in 2008.

Ontario is the most active province for pipeline projects in Canada, which is at a record high, with 147 projects/19,442 rooms. Next is British Columbia, also at a record high, with 47 projects/6,520 rooms and then Alberta with 31 projects/4,889 rooms. Together, these three provinces account for 80% of the rooms in Canada’s pipeline.

The top cities are led by Toronto with 49 projects/7,525 rooms, at a record high and claiming 20% of all the rooms in Canada’s total construction pipeline. Following are Niagara Falls with 14 projects/3,125 rooms, Ottawa with a record 14 projects/2,226 rooms, Vancouver with 14 projects/1,660 rooms, and Montreal with a record 13 projects having 1,773 rooms. These five cities alone account for 42% of the rooms in the total pipeline.

The top franchise companies in Canada’s construction pipeline are Hilton at an all-time high with 58 projects/6,848 rooms, followed by Marriott International with a record 55 projects having 6,951 rooms and then InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 50 projects/4,806 rooms. These three franchise companies claim 56% of the projects in the total pipeline.

The top brands in Canada’s pipeline are IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 29 projects/2,838 rooms. Next is Hampton by Hilton with 27 projects/3,130 rooms and TownePlace Suites by Marriott with 14 projects/1,464 rooms.  Other noteworthy brands in the Canadian pipeline are Hyatt Place with 18 projects/3,043 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott with 11 projects/1,711 rooms and Best Western Plus with nine projects/772 rooms.