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February 13, 2004 Volume 7, Number 1

* Introduction - Editor's Comments
* What's New at
* Statistics Canada releases
* Researching the Renovation Sector
* Resource Lost!
* Small Business Stats Facts



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Welcome to this issue of the BR newsletter.

A new year, a new prime minister, and a new volume of the BR Newsletter! This is our 7th year of publishing this resource. As always at the beginning of each year we plan to publish more issues than the year before. Hopefully this year we will be successful although I admit we are off to a late start! All of Volume 6 is now available on our web site:

I hope you find this issue helpful.

John White
GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval




Site Summary:

Highlight data of interest to sales professionals (per diem rates for major Canadian cities, current ranges for sales compensation based on position title)


Site Summary:

Ringette Statistics in Canada. (Number of players, teams, coaches)


Site Summary:

Includes a variety of data on national, regional and local economies. (Economic growth, Cost of Doing Business, Demographic characteristics, Crime rate etc.)





The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last month. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see our web site:

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.



Farm debt outstanding - Agriculture economic statistics

Value of farm capital - Agriculture economic statistics

Farm operating expenses and depreciation charges - Agriculture economic statistics

Farm cash receipts - Agriculture economic statistics

Net farm income - Agriculture economics statistics

Canadian Potato Production - 2003 and 2002 (revised)



The culture sector labour force, 1991 to 2002

Government expenditures on culture 2001/2002

Film, video and audio-visual production: data tables




Science Statistics: Estimation of Research and Development Expenditures in the Higher Education Sector, 2001-2002

Science Statistics: Total Spending on Research and Development in Canada, 1990 to 2003, and Provinces, 1990 to 2001

Research and development in Canada's service sector

Accounting and bookkeeping services - 2002

Survey of Suppliers of Business Financing, 2002




Canada's demographic situation: Fertility of immigrant women




Provincial and territorial government enterprises finance

Federal government enterprises finance

Federal government finance: Assets and liabilities March 31, 2003




Stress, health and the benefit of social support

Induced Abortion Statistics




Annual Survey of Traveller Accommodation - 2002

Profile of campgrounds and outfitters, 2001

Domestic travel - Annual




Trends in family income 1980 to 2001




Starting the new century : technological change in the Canadian private sector, 2000-2002




Factors associated with household Internet use




Industrial concentration in the manufacturing sector 1998 to 2001




The time of our lives: juggling work and leisure over the life cycle

The labour market in 2003




Diamonds: Adding lustre to the Canadian economy




How long do people live in low-income neighbourhoods? Evidence for Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver




Wholesale trade, commodity survey




Annual Survey of Water Carriers - 2001
For-hire water carriers - revenues, expenses, employment

Domestic and international marine transport 2002

For-hire motor carriers of freight, annual supplement - Financial statistics

Dangerous Goods Accident Information System




Workers' knowledge of retirement plans - 2001

Employment Insurance coverage - 2002




Not so long ago the renovation market was only a small portion of the home construction industry. Today renovation has become an industry in and of itself. It now involves not only general contractors but also building supply retailers, interior designers and even television personalities. It is now as much an entertainment and hobby commodity as it is a construction trade.

With interest in this sector coming from many different areas the demand for data and research has increased. Happily for new entrepreneurs and small business many of these figures can be access at low cost or no cost.

As always start your research with Statistics Canada. Their latest data release related to this market is "Home repairs and renovations 2002". It provides a perspective on overall trends as well as insights into the true nature of the renovation market. It includes total homeowner spending on repairs and renovations in Canada (1993-2002), average homeowner expenditure on repairing or renovating, % work contracted out, and most common type of repair or renovation work undertaken.

Details by various household characteristics such as household income, household type, dwelling type, province, period of construction of house, age of reference person, year reference person moved into the house, all help you to define your best target market and locate it.

For highlights from this report see: The full electronic publication costs $25.00. To place an order contact us at

In conjunction with the above data, you can use the 2001 Census to help determine the size of your local target market. The same household characteristics are covered by both sources. If you have a budget you can purchase 2001 Census data at a local neighborhood level. (Prices start at $60. Contact us for more information Data by metropolitan area is available online free of charge.

To access this free data go the 2001 Census web site ( then enter the appropriate catalogue number below into the "Search by catalogue number" search engine.


Household Income Groups, Household Type: 97F0020XCB01005
Household Living Arrangements, Age Groups and Sex: 95F0315XCB01004
Mobility Status 5 Years Ago, Age Groups and Sex: 97F0008XCB01001
Mobility Status 1 Years Ago, Age Groups and Sex: 97F0008XCB01003
Period of Construction, Condition of Dwelling and Tenure: 97F0006XCB01008


While Statistics Canada is clearly active in collecting data for this market, CMHC is by far the government department most interested in the renovation sector. They even forecast market growth and trends. For their latest forecast see: Home Starts Expected to be Second Strongest in 14 Years, Renovation Spending to Hit New Records:

This report is updated on an annual basis.

CMHC also released the following report in 2003: "Consumer Intentions to Buy or Renovate a Home." It examines homeowner intentions to renovate, planned renovation expenditures, whether work will be done by a contractor or by the homeowner, the amount expected to borrow, information sources for home renovation projects (books, television shows, Internet) and most popular renovation projects. Also see news release

Many companies in the private sector are also active in researching the renovation market. You can locate most of these reports by conducting a periodical search using databases available through most library system web sites. (To find your local library's web site see:

Some recent studies include RBC Financial's Tenth Annual Housing Study - Renovation Intentions. Released in March 2003 it includes % planning to renovate over the next 12 months, main focus of renovation (upgrade or make changes to existing space, increase living space with addition or by converting existing unfinished space), main reason for renovating, and expected expenditure. See: It is possible this data may be updated in March of 2004.

Re/Max also conducted a survey of renovation consumers: Smart Renovator - Research Survey of Canadian Consumers. It covers trends in renovation across Canada, planned renovation spending for selected cities in Canada, and return on investment by type of renovation project. See:

Building Associations actively research this market as well. For example the Pulse Survey by the Canadian Home Builders Association includes updated data on renovation activity. See:  Scroll down the page to find the latest and archived issues of the Pulse Survey. Look at a number of issues because different information is recorded in each.

The Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association released information on the renovation market just prior to a home show in 2002: "Renovations Remain a Priority for Many Homeowners". It covers the dollar value homeowners expect to spend on renovations, type of major renovation, type of minor renovation, whether the homeowner plans to do it themselves or hire a contractor, how they will find a contractor and if they will pay cash?

The popularity of home renovations also prompts newspaper and magazine reporters to combine data from a number of sources in their articles. While newspaper articles can be informative, sometimes they do not provide enough detail for your research purposes. In this case follow up directly with any sources cited. If sources are not cited (tsk tsk), contact the reporter directly to find out where you can follow-up for more information.

Some examples of newspaper articles include:

We'll Call You
Financial Post, November 8, 2003 IN1, IN2

Covers: % increase in wages for trades (plumbers, electricians, drywallers, carpenters) in last 5 years, average hourly rate for plumbers, electricians and carpenters, average price of a new kitchen vs bathroom, $ amount increase per square foot for renovations current vs 6 months ago, % increase in attendance at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association annual home and design show.


Home Improvement Sales Build
The Globe and Mail, September 3, 2003 B5

Covers: % increase in home improvement sales in 2002 and projected increase for 2003, % market share of the Canadian retail sector held by home improvement market and % increase over past decade and $ amount of total Canadian retail sector, projected $ amount of home improvement sales this year vs 2002 and 1999, amount of the industry held by big-box category and $ amount and breakdown of # of big box stores of Home Depot, Rona, and Reno-Depot.

Also related to home renovations is interior design. While this particular sub-sector is not well tracked there are a number of resources that can be of some assistance.

Start your research by looking at the occupation itself. General information on the occupation of Interior Designer is available at the Job Futures web site: Data includes typical salary range, employment outlook, and % self-employed. Provincial and sub-provincial profiles can be found at the various provincial Job Future web sites. Links to these sites are available on our web site:

For more industry based information see:

An Inside Job
Report on Business Nov 2001, p132

A page of facts on the interior design sector in Canada. Includes: average earnings, costs, number of interior design firms in Canada, % of firms that specialize in corporate work, workload


Design Industry - Industry Profile

Covers Architectural Design, Industrial Design, Communications Design, Interior Design


An overview of the specialized design services industry
Statistics Canada

This article provides a 1998 snapshot of the design industry's five sub-industries: landscape architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design and "other" design services. Old but detailed!


Canadian Industry Profile - Interior Design Services

Provides financial ratios, typical balance sheet and business counts for small businesses in the Interior Design Services industry. Data covers latest three years available. (Look under 541 - Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)


Also contact the Interior Designers of Canada association: See if they can offer any advice or information. One brochure on their site of some interest is: "our guide to selecting and hiring an interior designer" It will help you make sure your business meets Association guidelines. You should also contact your provincial interior designer association. They will advise you on licensing or accreditation requirements to legally call yourself an "Interior Designer".

Finally take a look at the following publication from the American Society of Interior Designers: Strategic Mapping Research: Phase IV

Marketing Factors and Consulting Principles

It examines what specific types of clients want from Interior Designers. (Covers: Residential Client, Office Client, Retail Client, Hospitality Client, Health-Care Client, Government and Institutional Client, Facility Manager, Industry Representative)

Trends and forecasts for your market are important for any business in this sector. Credibility however is the factor that will determine whether your business will succeed or fail. Homeowners must trust your design advice or your construction skill. Make sure you understand what your customers are looking for and seek referrals wherever you can get them. One homeowner's recommendation is worth far more than any form of advertising.

The opposite is also true. Homeowners unhappy with your work can damage your credibility beyond repair. Home Renovators and General Contractors consistently appear among the top ten sectors for complaints heard by the Better Business Bureau ( You must understand your market and how it determines credibility and value.

The best way to find this type of information is to talk to people. Talk to people in your market, to suppliers and related trades. Develop a network of local contacts you can draw on for both market information and business referrals. It is the most important asset your business can have.

Sit down and put together a list of everyone you already know and a list of people and businesses you want to get know. Contractors and Interior Designers can actually help each other by trading information and contacts. Suppliers are also usually eager to be helpful because if your business succeeds they will make more sales. Build a rapport and learn from their experience of already being active in your local marketplace.

There is no shortage of opportunities in the $33.4 billion Canadian renovation sector. This however does not mean that every business will succeed. The fact that the market is forecasted to growth faster than the Canadian economy means nothing. Understanding why the market is growing and how you can best participate in it is what counts!



A couple of issues ago I talked about using data from the American government ( This was a great resource but unfortunately it is now restricted to U.S. based companies only.

The Internet is like a library built on quicksand: every once and while a whole bank of shelves disappears! I actually discovered the disappearance of this resource in the middle of a seminar I was leading. (Very embarrassing!) Unfortunately this is the nature of the Internet and there is very little you or I can do about it. The only option is to save copies of data the first time you come across them because they may not be there when you return.

For PDF files the easiest way to save a file is to click on the save icon in the top left corner of an Adobe Acrobat page. (It looks like an old A drive diskette). The other option is at the source web site right click on the Internet link that directs you to the pdf file and select "Save target As..." Make sure you record where you are saving the file. In the future simply open your Adobe Acrobat reader and select the file from your hard drive.

For web pages, click on "File" at the top of your web browser and select "Save As.." then choose "Web Page, complete". This will download the web page (a file ending in .htm) and all supporting graphics. The graphics will be downloaded into a separate folder with the same name as the web page. It is advisable that you write down the name of the file and where you are saving the file and folder so you can find it in the future.

To open the file, open your web browser, select "File" then "Open...". Now click on "Browse" and find the location of your file. Open the .htm document not the folder. The web page should open just as it appears on the web site.

The Internet is not a permanent record. Never assume a resource will always be there. The U.S. government resource had been accessible since 1997. And then in the blink of an eye... gone! If you find a wonderful resource you need to save it for future reference. If you don't you may regret it when you need the information again.




Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics related to Canadian small businesses.


1. What % of firms with 1- 99 employees adopted new technologies between 2000 & 2002? What % firms with 100 - 499 and 500+?

1-99 employees: 44.7%
100-499 employees: 75.5%
500 + employees: 89.2%

Source: Statistics Canada (2004)


2. What % of firms with 1-99 employees supported technological change between 2000 & 2002 with employee training? What % of firms with 100 - 499 and 500+?

1-99 employees: 56.1%
100-499 employees: 83.0%
500 + employees: 87.9%

Source: Statistics Canada (2004)

3. Are self-employed entrepreneurs living outside the top 15 Census Metropolitan Areas more likely or less likely to use the Internet, compared to self-employed entrepreneurs living in the top 15 CMAs?

Less likely

Source: Statistics Canada (2004)


4. What % of businesses plan to increase their full-time employment during the next year?


Source: CFIB (Dec 17, 2003)


5. What % of small business owners say their firms are doing better than 12 months ago?


Source: CFIB (Dec 17, 2003)


G D S O U R C I N G - R E S E A R C H & R E T R I E V A L
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UPDATED: 02/13/04
1998-2004  GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval