Photo of a construction team pouring concrete

The construction sector is an important contributor to Nanaimo’s economy.  It is the fourth largest employment sector, providing 4,106 jobs for 8.7% of Nanaimo’s labour force (2021 Esri).   The largest number of business licenses in the City are held by construction related firms. 

The construction industry benefits from continued population growth in the Nanaimo area.  In 2021 the construction value of building permits was $271.9 million.  Residential building permits accounted for 67.8% of the total building permit values.   Total building permit values increased by 12% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Development activity in Nanaimo is guided by the City's Official Community Plan (OCP).  The current OCP was established in 2008 with public input through the “Plan Nanaimo” process.  A new OCP is being finalized in summer 2022 through an extensive consultation process with the community.

The construction sector accounts for 20% of licensed businesses operating in the City of Nanaimo.  There were 1,273 licenses issued to construction firms as of June 2022.  The majority of licensed construction businesses are relatively small, having fewer than 20 employees.  In addition to these businesses, there are 23 licensed real estate and related businesses in Nanaimo.

Business TypeCount% of sector
236 - Construction of buildings45436%
2371 - Utility system construction71%
2372 - Land subdivision141%
2373 - Highway, street & bridge construction81%
2379 - Other heavy & civil engineering construction383%
2381 - Foundation, structure & related contractors15712%
2382 - Building equipment contractors29923%
2383 - Building finishing contractors19816%
2389 - Other specialty trade contractors988%

Last updated: July 29, 2022

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.

Collection and use of your personal information

Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA. Questions about the collection of your personal information may be referred to the Legislative Services Department at 250-755-4405, or via email at Please also see our Privacy Policy.