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Statistical Overview of the Canadian Ornamental Industry, 2019

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Overview

The ornamental horticulture sector includes the floriculture (primarily cut flowers and potted plants), nursery, Christmas tree, and turf sod industries. In 2019, the sector generated farm gate sales of $2.38 billion, including resales by producers, a 1% increase from 2018.

Floriculture (greenhouse flowers and potted plants) remained the largest ornamental sub-sector by revenue, accounting for 65.8% of total sales. Floriculture sales have been relatively stable over the last 5 years, totaling $1.57 billion in 2019, compared to $1.51 billion in 2015. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec accounted for the majority of Canada’s total floriculture sales, with Ontario contributing more than half of Canadian sales at 52.2%.

Nursery product sales and resales were up 2.9% to $679.6 million in 2019, accounting for 28.6% of total ornamental sales. By province, Ontario accounted for 41.0% of total nursery sales in 2019, followed by British Columbia and Quebec with 33.6% and 13.3%, respectively.

While most floriculture production takes place within climate controlled greenhouses, most nursery production takes place outdoors. The 2016 Census of Agriculture showed both sub-sectors increasing in average farm size and decreasing in the number of operations, leading to fewer but larger and more productive operations, a trend seen across agriculture. The next Census of Agriculture will be conducted in 2021. The nursery industry is typically more vertically integrated than the floriculture industry with a combination of retail sales (garden centres), landscaping, installation and maintenance services forming part of the income mix for many producers.

Total turf sod area decreased 3.4% to 18,667 hectares in 2019, with sales and resales down 4.4% to $133.6 million, accounting for 5.6% of total ornamental sales. Ontario led the country in turf sod sales at 39.7% of the national total. While turf sod is widely used for public spaces, sports fields and similar large applications, the trend in total annual volume of turf sod sold tends to mirror that of new home construction.

Ornamental products are distributed through multiple channels. Mass-market chain stores are the primary distributers of floriculture products, accounting for 27.4% of total sales in 2019. However, landscape contractors and garden centres are the two largest distribution channels for nursery products, making up 25.6% and 17.1% of total sales, respectively.

In 2019, 25,275 people were directly employed in the production of ornamental products; 56.5% of these employees worked in specialized greenhouse flower and plant operations, 37.5% in nurseries, and 6.1% on sod farms. Due to the seasonal nature of the ornamental business, each of the sub-sectors employs more seasonal labour than permanent labour. Seasonal employees are defined as employees who work less than eight months during the year. 64.5% of greenhouse flower and plant production employees were seasonal workers, while 73.5% of sod workers and 67.01% of nursery workers fell into the seasonal category.

Temporary foreign workers are an essential source of labour for the ornamental horticulture industry. In 2018, there were nearly 18,500 jobs filled by temporary foreign workers in greenhouse (including greenhouse vegetables, specialized flowers and plants), nursery and floriculture production. This suggests that approximately 49% of the total greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production workforce was comprised of temporary foreign workers.

Canada’s largest ornamental trade partner continues to be the United States, accounting for 99.3% of exports and 48.8% of imports in the sector. Canadian worldwide exports rose 15.7% from 2018 to $627.9 million in 2019, while imports increased 3.7% from 2018 to $567.3 million in 2019, resulting to a net positive trade balance for the first time since 2005.

Looking ahead to the 2020 season, disruptions in retail operations as well as severe curtailment of travel and transportation options to address the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the industry in Canada. Limited or non-existent travel options for Seasonal and Temporary Foreign Workers prevented or delayed the arrival of the workforce critical to production and distribution of ornamental products early in the Spring. Closures of all or most retail operations in the spring of 2020 resulted in cancelled production orders and very limited retail channels through the critical Easter and Mothers’ Day sales periods. When COVID-related restrictions on retailers were eased, consumer demand returned but supplies of many goods were limited by previously cancelled orders for products. More details will be available in the 2020 Statistical Overview of the Canadian Ornamental Industry.

Change in methodology at Statistics Canada in 2016

Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 Census of Agriculture and are therefore not included. Prior censuses may have included their production in "total area of nursery products grown for sale". Similarly, operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are out of scope since the 2016 greenhouse, sod and nursery survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables. Therefore, figures discussed in this report may not be directly comparable to any information gathered in years prior to 2016.

A note of caution has been added to each table where the change in methodology could have an impact.

Census of Agriculture

The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.

1. Production

1.1. Number of Canadian ornamental farms[1,2] by sub-sector

2011 2016 Change
Floriculture[3] 3,016 2,403 −20.3%
Nursery[4] 3,438 2,780 −19.1%
Sod 375 265 −29.3%
Christmas trees 2,381 1,872 −21.4%
Total 9,210 7,320 −20.5%

Notes:

  1. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.
  2. Number of farms includes all farms reported to be growing floriculture, nursery, sod and Christmas trees, and not exclusively farms in which ornamental production represents 50% or more of total farm cash receipts.
  3. Greenhouse flowers. Note that in 2011, some respondents incorrectly reported "vegetable plants for sale" resulting in over-reporting of area in "Greenhouse flowers" and "Greenhouse vegetables".
  4. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 Census of Agriculture and are therefore not included. Prior censuses may have included their production in "total area of nursery products grown for sale".

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture. Tables 32-10-0419-01, 32-10-0420-01 and 32-10-0421-01

1.2. Area of Canadian ornamental farms[1] by sub-sector (hectares)

2011 2016 Change
Floriculture 859 793 −7.7%
Nursery[2] 24,146 19,859 −17.8%
Sod 25,684 22,953 −10.6%
Christmas trees 28,315 23,787 −16.0%
Total 79,004 67,392 −14.7%

Notes:

  1. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.
  2. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 Census of Agriculture and are therefore not included. Prior censuses may have included their production in "total area of nursery products grown for sale".

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture. Tables 32-10-0419-01, 32-10-0420-01 and 32-10-0421-01

1.3. Area per farm (average) of Canadian ornamental farms[1] by sub-sector (hectares)

2011 2016 Change
Floriculture 0.28 0.33 15.8%
Nursery[2] 7.02 7.14 1.7%
Sod 68.49 86.62 26.5%
Christmas trees 11.89 12.71 6.9%
Total 8.58 9.21 7.3%

Note:

  1. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.
  2. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 Census of Agriculture and are therefore not included. Prior censuses may have included their production in "total area of nursery products grown for sale".

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture. Tables 32-10-0419-01, 32-10-0420-01 and 32-10-0421-01

1.4. Operations, area and months of operation for specialized greenhouse flowers and plants[1]

Total greenhouse operations (number) Total greenhouse area (square metres) Total months of operation (number)
2015 1,872 7,996,415 17,147
2016 1,811 7,601,836 15,927
2017 1,703 7,353,127 14,855
2018 1,646 7,122,483 14,033
2019 1,591 7,008,729 13,196

Note:

  1. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0019-01 Estimates of specialized greenhouse operations, greenhouse area, and months of operation

1.5. Total area for production of specialized greenhouse flowers and plants by province (square metres)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Atlantic provinces 280,201 257,890 260,182 251,901 240,421
Quebec 1,220,000 1,213,584 1,181,037 1,178,262 1,239,323
Ontario 3,656,452 3,729,701 3,480,642 3,417,170 3,484,294
Prairie provinces 863,731 767,503 837,687 799,593 735,885
British Columbia 1,976,031 1,614,579 1,584,010 1,475,556 1,308,806
Canada 7,996,415 7,601,836 7,353,127 7,122,483 7,008,729

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0019-01 Estimates of specialized greenhouse operations, greenhouse area, and months of operation

1.6. Production of greenhouse flowers and plants by category (number in millions)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Bedding plants, ornamental 478.30 469.58 457.46 441.26 415.74
Cut flowers 314.37 306.31 291.34 296.29 285.40
Potted plants[1] 217.19 216.38 209.26 213.19 208.21
Cuttings 98.34 89.74 87.91 84.61 89.20
Total 1,108.20 1,082.02 1,045.98 1,035.35 998.55

Note:

  1. Includes indoor potted plants and outdor potted plants.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0246-01 Production and sale of greenhouse flowers and plants

1.7. Production of potted plants by variety (number in thousands)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Tropical foliage and green plants 11,435 11,425 15,557 15,279 17,310
Geraniums, outdoor 18,784 16,472 15,633 15,726 13,890
Outdoor hanging pots 12,762 12,896 11,433 11,689 11,878
Herbaceous flowering perennials, outdoor 11,692 8,130 7,960 9,529 11,706
Fine herb plants, outdoor n/a 10,698 12,561 12,324 9,976
Kalanchoes, indoor 8,464 8,024 7,178 9,072 9,331
Vegetable plants, outdoor n/a 7,227 9,714 9,708 9,330
Miniature roses, indoor 10,184 10,318 10,214 9,555 8,965
Chrysanthemums, indoor 7,457 6,335 6,037 6,806 6,329
Begonias, outdoor 6,880 6,708 6,135 6,099 5,357
Petunias, outdoor 8,409 6,923 6,878 5,592 5,182
Poinsettias, indoor 7,222 6,451 5,690 5,899 4,741
African violets, indoor 8,937 7,278 3,833 4,377 4,296
Hawker's balsams, outdoor 4,121 3,889 3,977 4,067 3,551
Gerberas, indoor 5,042 4,230 4,171 4,345 3,422
Orchids, indoor 3,137 2,115 3,036 3,170 3,020
Lilies, indoor 5,845 3,495 2,811 3,121 2,783
Chrysanthemums, outdoor 4,018 3,630 3,660 2,969 2,622
Calibrachoas, outdoor n/a 2,624 2,373 2,310 2,388
Tulips, indoor 2,321 2,090 2,158 2,216 2,381
Primulas, indoor 2,396 3,078 2,291 1,960 2,027
Cyclamens, indoor 2,340 1,925 1,719 1,843 1,646
Pansies, outdoor n/a 1,456 1,619 1,680 1,585
Indoor hanging pots 1,505 1,275 940 1,212 1,313
Dahlia, outdoor n/a 983 974 918 915
Verbenas, outdoor n/a 821 1,130 845 871
Azaleas, indoor 1,131 930 611 656 494
Argyranthemum, outdoor 410 299 319 251 231
Rudbeckias, outdoor n/a 147 190 180 208
Heliopsis, outdoor n/a 67 42 48 67
Other indoor pots 17,962 15,597 13,241 14,081 14,013
Other outdoor pots 54,736 48,503 44,872 45,407 46,107
Total potted plants 217,189 216,382 209,260 213,187 208,208

Note:

  1. n/a: Not available for a specific reference period.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0021-01 Production of plants, flowers and tree seedlings

1.8. Production of cuttings by variety (number in thousands)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Geraniums, cuttings 13,651 14,095 12,318 11,316 11,995
Poinsettias, cuttings 4,494 5,424 5,159 5,046 5,435
Impatiens, cuttings 4,578 4,809 4,153 3,821 4,229
Chrysanthemums, cuttings 3,926 3,897 4,115 4,001 4,117
Other cuttings 71,692 61,519 62,164 60,429 63,426
Total cuttings 98,342 89,744 87,910 84,614 89,202

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0021-01 Production of plants, flowers and tree seedlings

1.9. Production of cut flowers[1] by variety (number in thousands)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Tulips, stems 120,021 111,177 119,132 124,903 120,896
Gerberas, stems 75,229 87,778 81,079 80,295 69,183
Snapdragons, stems 12,146 23,772 18,864 20,725 22,360
Chrysanthemums, stems 33,562 25,377 23,142 21,769 20,654
Lilies, stems 9,745 11,557 9,999 12,113 11,525
Lisianthus, stems 5,499 5,793 5,440 4,016 6,208
Roses, stems 5,388 x 4,417 3,557 3,831
Freesias, stems 4,576 5,821 5,979 4,745 3,732
Alstroemerias, stems 12,250 8,964 7,491 5,754 3,365
Irises, stems 3,239 x 1,834 2,033 1,649
Daffodils, stems 4,061 3,746 2,623 2,759 1,386
Other cut flowers 28,657 16,485 11,341 13,618 20,611
Total cut flowers 314,373 306,315 291,342 296,285 285,402

Notes:

  1. 1. Includes flowers grown, or given some cultural treatment, and sold.
  2. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0021-01 Production of plants, flowers and tree seedlings

1.10. Total sod area by province (hectares)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 276 x x 254 247
Prince Edward Island x x x 70 69
Nova Scotia 1,142 999 975 965 922
New Brunswick x 401 467 253 249
Quebec 5,129 4,821 4,237 4,035 4,165
Ontario 9,232 9,105 8,624 7,927 7,364
Manitoba 1,182 780 749 786 911
Saskatchewan 654 613 564 622 614
Alberta 4,061 4,065 3,714 3,589 3,312
British Columbia 849 811 859 827 816
Canada 22,914 21,915 20,522 19,327 18,667

Note:

  1. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0034-01 Estimates of sod area, sales and resales

1.11. Sod operations[1] by province (number)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 20 20 23 21 18
Prince Edward Island 2 x 4 3 3
Nova Scotia 10 9 10 11 11
New Brunswick 9 x 9 10 10
Quebec 58 60 61 58 55
Ontario 65 65 65 65 65
Manitoba 10 10 10 11 12
Saskatchewan 9 9 8 9 13
Alberta 30 26 26 26 26
British Columbia 30 30 30 30 30
Canada 243 240 246 244 243

Notes:

  1. 1. Firms that only distribute sod or nursery stock, or just landscape and lay sod are excluded.
  2. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0034-01 Estimates of sod area, sales and resales

1.12. Christmas tree production[1] by province (number of farms)

2011 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador 19 11
Prince Edward Island 20 18
Nova Scotia 447 319
New Brunswick 157 97
Quebec 379 343
Ontario 647 530
Manitoba 60 39
Saskatchewan 41 31
Alberta 105 83
British Columbia 506 401
Canada 2,381 1,872

Note:

  1. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0421-01 Christmas trees

1.13. Christmas tree production[1] by province (hectares)

2011 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador 116 71
Prince Edward Island 140 134
Nova Scotia 7,663 6,179
New Brunswick 2,131 1,785
Quebec 8,347 8,255
Ontario 5,955 4,456
Manitoba 472 178
Saskatchewan 305 265
Alberta 565 449
British Columbia 2,621 2,016
Canada 28,315 23,787

Note:

  1. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in 2021.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0421-01 Christmas trees

2. Sales and resales

2.1. Ornamental sales and resales by sub-sector (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Greenhouse flower and plants 1,506.0 1,510.2 1,503.9 1,555.7 1,565.8
Nursery[1] 759.5 670.5 659.5 660.8 679.6
Sod 157.0 146.8 147.3 139.8 133.6
Total 2,422.5 2,327.4 2,310.7 2,356.2 2,379.0

Note:

  1. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also nursery area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.

Source: Statistics Canada. Tables 32-10-0023-01, 32-10-0032-01 and 32-10-0034-01

2.2. Greenhouse flower and plant sales by category (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Potted plants[1] 785.9 811.6 789.7 834.2 853.0
Bedding plants, ornamental 179.8 192.2 204.2 204.8 208.7
Cut flowers 146.6 140.1 127.8 133.2 133.5
Cuttings 49.9 44.2 44.8 44.2 48.4
Total 1,162.1 1,188.0 1,166.5 1,216.4 1,243.6

Note:

  1. Includes indoor potted plants and outdor potted plants.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0246-01 Production and sale of greenhouse flowers and plants

2.3. Greenhouse flower and plant sales and resales[1] by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 8.1 x 8.7 8.6 8.2
Prince Edward Island 5.1 x 5.5 5.5 5.7
Nova Scotia 13.4 17.0 13.0 12.7 13.1
New Brunswick 37.9 x 44.3 45.2 46.3
Quebec 163.8 177.0 192.6 212.2 215.2
Ontario 795.4 790.5 774.9 805.0 817.6
Manitoba F 33.6 33.4 35.4 35.9
Saskatchewan 16.0 13.2 10.9 12.1 13.5
Alberta 78.9 77.3 76.9 79.9 76.0
British Columbia 352.8 343.8 343.9 339.0 334.4
Canada 1,506.0 1,510.2 1,503.9 1,555.7 1,565.8

Notes:

  1. F: Too unreliable to be published.
  2. x: Supressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0023-01 Total value of greenhouse products

2.4. Greenhouse flower and plant sales and resales by province – percent share, 2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Greenhouse flower and plant sales and resales by province – percent share
  • Ontario, 52%
  • British Columbia, 21%
  • Quebec, 14%
  • Alberta, 5%
  • New Brunswick, 3%
  • Others, 5%

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0023-01 Total value of greenhouse products

2.5. Nursery stock[1,2] sales and resales by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador x x x 0.7 0.6
Prince Edward Island x x x 1.0 1.2
Nova Scotia 12.1 10.6 10.5 10.8 10.5
New Brunswick 5.6 3.5 3.2 3.3 3.0
Quebec 106.0 89.4 87.7 86.3 90.5
Ontario 312.3 303.6 290.4 276.9 279.0
Manitoba 14.8 15.2 14.4 15.5 14.5
Saskatchewan 8.1 5.1 6.2 5.2 5.2
Alberta 55.6 47.0 47.2 48.4 46.7
British Columbia 243.0 194.3 198.1 212.6 228.4
Canada 759.5 670.5 659.5 660.8 679.6

Notes:

  1. 1. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also nursery area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.
  2. 2. The term "nursery stock" covers a diverse range of non-edible, living plant material grown in field or in containers and sold with its root system intact. Nursery stock includes annual and perennial plants ranging from woody plants (for example, trees, shrubs and rose bushes) to bedding plants and potted outdoor flowers. "Nursery stock" excludes Christmas trees and various inputs such as growing medium (for example, peat moss and top soil), fertilizer and pesticides.
  3. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0032-01 Nursery stock sales and resales

2.6. Nursery stock sales and resales by province – percentage share, 2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Nursery stock sales and resales by province – percent share
  • Ontario, 41%
  • British Columbia, 34%
  • Quebec, 13%
  • Alberta, 7%
  • Others, 5%

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0032-01 Nursery stock sales and resales

2.7. Sod sales and resales by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.8 2.5 x 2.7 2.5
Prince Edward Island x x x 0.6 0.6
Nova Scotia 4.8 3.5 4.1 3.9 4.3
New Brunswick x x 3.0 2.1 2.1
Quebec 33.2 31.8 29.7 29.3 27.4
Ontario 61.2 56.9 59.1 54.5 53.0
Manitoba 7.4 4.6 4.3 4.1 4.5
Saskatchewan 5.1 4.4 3.9 4.3 4.3
Alberta 28.1 28.6 27.8 26.6 23.8
British Columbia 10.7 11.4 12.0 11.5 11.1
Canada[1] 157.0 146.8 147.3 139.8 133.6

Notes:

  1. 1. Data may not add up as some data was suppressed to meet confidentiality requirements.
  2. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0034-01 Estimates of sod area, sales and resales

2.8. Sod sales and resales[1] by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Newfoundland and Labrador n/a n/a 2.5 x 2.7
Prince Edward Island n/a n/a x x 0.6
Nova Scotia n/a n/a 3.5 4.1 3.9
New Brunswick n/a n/a x 3.0 2.7
Quebec n/a n/a 31.8 29.7 29.3
Ontario n/a n/a 56.9 59.1 54.5
Manitoba n/a n/a 4.6 4.3 4.1
Saskatchewan n/a n/a 4.4 3.9 4.3
Alberta n/a n/a 28.6 27.8 26.6
British Columbia n/a n/a 11.4 12.0 11.5
Canada n/a n/a 146.8 147.3 140.4

Notes:

  1. 1. Data may not add up as some data was suppressed to meet confidentiality requirements.
  2. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.
  3. n/a: Not available for a specific reference period.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0034-01 Estimates of sod area, sales and resales

3. Channels of distribution

3.1. Channels of distribution for flowers and plant sales and resales (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Mass market chain stores 451.8 476.1 488.7 474.3 429.2
Domestic wholesalers 289.6 278.8 283.1 309.6 317.4
Direct sales to the public[1] 215.7 224.1 201.4 218.9 219.9
Exported 123.2 144.4 141.9 158.9 210.1
Retail florists 191.4 171.1 165.7 183.8 176.9
Other greenhouses 167.8 161.2 175.2 160.0 173.2
Government and public agencies 20.2 13.1 11.6 12.2 10.9
Other channels 46.4 41.3 36.2 38.0 28.4
Total sales[2] 1,506.0 1,510.2 1,503.9 1,555.7 1,565.8

Notes:

  1. Includes roadside stands and owner-operated retail outlets.
  2. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0022-01 Channels of distribution for horticulture product sales and resales

3.2. Channels of distribution for flowers and plant sales and resales, 2015–2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Channels of distribution for flower and plant sales and resales

Description of this image may be found in the preceding section 3.1.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0022-01 Channels of distribution for horticulture product sales and resales

3.3. Channels of distribution for nursery product sales and resales (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Landscape contractors 171.2 177.1 182.4 170.2 173.8
Garden centres 141.1 130.8 122.3 115.5 116.2
Mass market chain stores 123.8 107.8 100.7 106.2 109.0
Direct sales to the public[1] 79.0 75.1 89.4 97.0 106.1
Other growers 69.6 79.4 75.2 75.6 77.4
Exported 29.6 22.2 25.7 30.5 27.1
Fruit growers 34.4 22.9 20.2 22.2 25.7
Government and public agencies 54.9 31.2 23.9 22.6 23.8
Other channels 55.8 24.0 19.9 21.0 20.5
Total sales[2] 759.5 670.5 659.5 660.8 679.6

Notes:

  1. Includes roadside stands and owner-operated retail outlets.
  2. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0033-01 Channels of distribution for nursery product sales and resales

3.4. Channels of distribution for nursery product sales and resales, 2015–2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Channels of distribution for flower and plant sales and resales

Description of this image may be found in the preceding section 3.3.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0033-01 Channels of distribution for nursery product sales and resales

4. Operating expenses

4.1. Greenhouse flower and plant[1] producers' operating expenses by category (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Gross yearly payroll[2] 339.7 322.6 294.7 292.4 299.6
Plant material purchases for growing on[3] 221.2 216.0 219.9 213.2 214.6
Plant material purchases for resale[3] 127.5 114.4 113.2 112.5 92.8
Fuel 61.5 55.3 54.2 58.0 53.9
Electricity[4] 27.7 28.9 25.8 26.0 24.9
Other crop expenses[5] 124.4 141.2 156.8 150.2 160.8
Other operating expenses[6] 211.8 208.5 183.2 181.8 190.5
Total operating expenses[7] 1,113.7 1,086.8 1,047.9 1,034.2 1,037.0

Notes:

  1. This category excludes mixed operations (vegetables, flowers, and plants).
  2. Includes seasonal and permanent labour.
  3. Includes value of flowers, plants, cuttings, seedlings, seeds and bulbs purchased (before sales tax).
  4. Electricity expenses include electricity for lighting, airflow fans, and heating.
  5. Includes fertilizer, pesticides, pollination, irrigation, containers, packaging, bioprograms, and growing mediums such as soil, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, sand, Styrofoam and sawdust.
  6. Includes interest, land taxes, insurance, advertising, repairs to farm buildings, machinery, agricultural equipmentand vehicles, contract work, and telephone and telecommunications services.
  7. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0025-01 Specialized greenhouse producers' operating expenses

4.2. Greenhouse flower and plant producers' operating expenses by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Atlantic provinces 55.0 52.0 54.6 55.8 55.4
Quebec 114.1 119.0 115.8 116.3 122.6
Ontario 597.8 614.7 606.4 594.8 604.0
Prairie provinces 94.9 79.3 81.4 87.2 77.8
British Columbia 251.8 221.7 190.6 180.1 177.2
Canada 1,113.7 1,086.8 1,047.9 1,034.2 1,037.0

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0025-01 Specialized greenhouse producers' operating expenses

4.3. Nursery operating expenses[1] by category (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Gross yearly payroll[2] 233.8 201.6 197.2 191.7 195.3
Plant material purchases for growing on[3] 91.3 96.4 97.2 99.2 102.3
Plant material purchases for resale[3] 90.0 98.4 94.3 97.6 99.7
Electricity expenses n/a 5.7 4.6 5.5 6.2
Other crop expenses[3] n/a 60.5 62.2 64.9 65.9
Other operating expenses[4] 227.6 115.5 110.1 116.3 120.9
Total Operating Expenses 642.7 578.2 565.6 575.2 590.3

Notes:

  1. 1. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.
  2. 2. Includes seasonal and permanent labour.
  3. 3. Includes value of trees, nursery stock, bedding plants, seedlings, cuttings or bulbs purchased before sales tax.
  4. 4. Includes fertilizer, pesticides, pollination, irrigation, containers, packaging, bioprograms and growing mediums such as soil, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, sand, Styrofoam and sawdust.
  5. 5. Includes interest, land taxes, insurance, advertising, repairs to farm buildings, machinery, agricultural equipment and vehicles, contract work, telephone and telecommunications services.
  6. n/a: Not available for a specific reference period.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0454-01 Nursery and sod producers' operating expenses

4.4. Nursery operating expenses by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.5 x x 0.6 0.5
Prince Edward Island 1.3 x x 0.9 0.8
Nova Scotia 11.1 10.2 10.2 10.7 10.3
New Brunswick 5.5 3.5 3.4 2.6 2.3
Quebec 95.6 78.3 78.2 74.5 77.2
Ontario 268.5 272.6 257.8 253.7 260.6
Manitoba 13.8 13.0 12.7 13.2 12.5
Saskatchewan 6.4 4.1 4.8 5.6 6.2
Alberta 50.4 41.5 42.1 40.5 39.9
British Columbia 189.7 153.4 154.7 173.0 180.0
Canada 642.7 578.2 565.6 575.2 590.3

Note:

  1. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0454-01 Nursery and sod producers' operating expenses

4.5. Sod operating expenses by category (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Gross yearly payroll[1] 45.6 40.8 38.9 37.2 36.1
Sod purchases for resale 1.8 1.4 2.7 2.5 2.2
Other operating expenses[2] 78.3 75.1 71.7 65.8 65.4
Total operating expenses[3] 125.6 117.4 113.3 105.5 103.7

Notes:

  1. Includes seasonal and permanent labour.
  2. Includes fertilizer, pesticides, land taxes, interest, insurance, advertising, repairs, fuel, electricity, irrigation expenses, and telephone and other telecommunication services.
  3. Data may not add up as some data was suppressed to meet confidentiality requirements.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0454-01 Nursery and sod producers' operating expenses

4.6. Sod operating expenses by province (millions of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.4 2.0 x 2.0 2.5
Prince Edward Island x x x 0.4 0.4
Nova Scotia x 3.8 3.9 4.0 3.6
New Brunswick 1.1 x 2.5 2.0 1.9
Quebec 26.9 24.5 23.7 22.1 22.1
Ontario 51.0 46.4 45.0 41.8 41.0
Manitoba 4.6 3.0 2.9 2.8 3.2
Saskatchewan 3.6 3.6 3.2 3.3 3.3
Alberta 21.6 22.0 18.8 17.2 15.8
British Columbia 9.8 9.9 10.5 9.9 10.0
Canada[1] 125.6 117.4 113.3 105.5 103.7

Notes:

  1. 1. Data may not add up as some data was suppressed to meet confidentiality requirements.
  2. x: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0454-01 Nursery and sod producers' operating expenses

5. Labour

5.1. Nursery, sod and greenhouse flowers total employees[1]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Nursery Seasonal employees[2] 9,643 7,896 7,184 6,812 6,341
Permanent employees[3] 3,862 3,560 3,331 3,044 3,126
Total employees 13,505 11,456 10,515 9,856 9,467
Sod Seasonal employees[2] 1,225 1,117 1,140 1,126 1,127
Permanent employees[3] 480 461 428 411 406
Total employees 1,705 1,578 1,568 1,537 1,533
Specialized greenhouse flowers and plants Seasonal employees[2] 11,867 10,893 10,195 9,725 9,212
Permanent employees[3] 6,627 6,288 5,691 5,380 5,063
Total employees 18,494 17,181 15,886 15,105 14,275

Notes:

  1. Operations which exclusively produce tree seedlings for reforestation are outside the scope of the 2016 survey. Prior surveys have included their production, affecting also greenhouse area, production, sales, labour and expenses variables.
  2. Seasonal employees who worked less than 8 months during the year.
  3. Permanent employees who worked more than 8 months during the year.

Source: Statistics Canada. Tables 32-10-0026-01 and 32-10-0028-01

5.2. Total employees by sector, 2015–2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Total employees by sector

Description of this image may be found in the preceding section 5.1.

Source: Statistics Canada. Tables 32-10-0026-01 and 32-10-0028-01

6. Trade

6.1. Canadian ornamental trade balance by category (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, etc. Exports 19,662 22,195 22,050 21,959 27,234
Imports 52,589 54,525 53,370 55,895 51,945
Trade balance −32,928 −32,329 −31,320 −33,936 −24,711
Other live plants, including their roots, cuttings and slips, etc. Exports 300,877 321,483 339,499 363,521 419,202
Imports 231,393 241,080 262,371 275,824 299,944
Trade balance 69,484 80,403 77,128 87,697 119,258
Cut flowers and flower buds for bouquets or ornamental purposes, etc. Exports 62,653 75,413 76,140 80,067 85,176
Imports 168,054 165,028 172,869 170,317 167,778
Trade balance −105,401 −89,615 −96,729 −90,251 −82,602
Foliage, branches and other parts of plants, etc.[1] Exports 54,954 57,945 63,034 77,229 96,291
Imports 36,909 37,766 42,464 45,207 47,636
Trade balance 18,044 20,179 20,570 32,022 48,655
Total Exports 438,145 477,037 500,722 542,775 627,903
Imports 488,945 498,399 531,074 547,243 567,303
Overall trade balance −50,801 −21,362 −30,351 −4,468 60,600

Note:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2. Exports

6.2.1. Canadian floriculture and nursery exports[1] by province (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0 1 7 0
Prince Edward Island 3,222 3,667 3,776 4,318 4,672
Nova Scotia 20,472 18,387 18,645 17,670 20,551
New Brunswick 28,895 31,614 30,331 34,374 36,419
Quebec 37,627 39,640 44,837 54,358 75,857
Ontario 249,566 275,071 289,460 312,363 349,820
Manitoba 1,288 1,361 1,274 1,305 1,500
Saskatchewan 68 62 134 92 113
Alberta 279 328 163 219 190
British Columbia 96,724 106,907 112,102 118,068 138,782
Canada[2] 438,145 477,037 500,722 542,775 627,903

Notes:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.
  2. Canada total derived from the sum of available provincial data.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.2. Floriculture and nursery exports by province, 2015–2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Floriculture and nursery exports by province
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Ontario 249,566 275,071 289,460 312,363 349,820
British Columbia 96,724 106,907 112,102 118,068 138,782
Quebec 37,627 39,640 44,837 54,358 75,857
New Brunswick 28,895 31,614 30,331 34,374 36,419
Nova Scotia 20,472 18,387 18,645 17,670 20,551

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.3. Floriculture and nursery exports by province – percent share, 2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Floriculture and nursery exports by province – percent share
  • Ontario, 56%
  • British Columbia, 22%
  • Quebec, 12%
  • New Brunswick, 6%
  • Nova Scotia, 3%
  • Others, 1%

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.4. Canada's top ten floriculture and nursery[1] export destinations (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 431,542 472,923 496,826 539,142 623,691
Panama 3,343 1,738 1,901 1,683 1,767
Aruba 136 218 226 255 380
Curaçao 241 416 430 286 329
Bermuda 219 265 244 265 286
France 86 25 46 50 160
Venezuela 474 278 0 0 117
Japan 253 205 140 141 113
Australia 128 83 110 5 105
United Arab Emirates 52 148 87 93 100
Others 1,670 739 712 856 854
Total 438,145 477,037 500,722 542,775 627,903

Note:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.5. Christmas tree exports by province[1] (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Prince Edward Island 18 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 8,628 7,208 7,072 6,701 9,477
New Brunswick 7,903 7,894 7,297 11,233 10,788
Quebec 24,373 27,426 34,157 43,649 59,807
Ontario 473 474 863 649 408
Manitoba 0 0 0 9 0
Saskatchewan 21 34 9 24 34
British Columbia 22 53 9 686 1,323
Canada 41,438 43,090 49,406 62,951 81,837

Note:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta did not export Christmas trees during the five-year range presented in this table.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.6. Christmas tree exports by province[1] (number)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Prince Edward Island 590 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 365,095 353,586 317,438 280,512 392,149
New Brunswick 266,669 298,425 250,557 314,687 345,861
Québec 1,061,691 1,265,217 1,666,198 1,612,576 2,046,599
Ontario 21,699 23,491 34,486 25,040 13,888
Manitoba 0 0 0 851 0
Saskatchewan 1,665 2,412 695 1,425 1,273
British Columbia 2,326 9,358 713 25,597 39,931
Canada 1,719,735 1,952,489 2,270,087 2,260,688 2,839,701

Note:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta did not export Christmas trees during the five-year range presented in this table.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.7. Christmas tree exports by province, 2015–2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Christmas tree exports by province
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Quebec 24,373 27,426 34,157 43,649 59,807
New Brunswick 7,903 7,894 7,297 11,233 10,788
Nova Scotia 8,628 7,208 7,072 6,701 9,477
British Columbia 22 53 9 686 1,323

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.8. Christmas tree exports by province – percentage share, 2019

Description of this image follows.
Description - Christmas tree exports by province – percentage share
  • Quebec, 73%
  • New Brunswick, 13%
  • Nova Scotia, 12%
  • Others, 2%

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.9. Canada's top ten Christmas tree destinations (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 36,666 39,662 46,043 60,025 78,315
Panama 3,343 1,738 1,901 1,683 1,767
Aruba 136 218 226 255 351
Curaçao 241 416 430 286 329
Bermuda 219 264 242 243 269
Venezuela 474 278 0 0 117
United Arab Emirates 52 148 87 93 100
Sint Maarten (Dutch part) 60 82 53 57 98
Singapore 0 0 33 35 91
Cayman Islands 29 29 73 52 80
Others 217 256 317 222 320
Total 41,438 43,090 49,406 62,951 81,837

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.10. Canada's top ten Christmas tree destinations (number)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 1,634,249 1,866,218 2,206,996 2,198,116 2,769,207
Panama 53,283 51,133 32,057 35,690 34,394
Aruba 2,270 4,189 3,963 4,676 6,990
Bermuda 4,921 5,466 6,321 5,708 6,470
Curaçao 4,407 7,680 7,856 5,975 5,811
Cayman Islands 660 1,022 1,624 1,419 2,207
Venezuela 13,483 6,206 0 0 2,201
United Arab Emirates 1,364 3,921 1,906 2,220 2,092
Singapore 0 0 845 848 1,948
Sint Maarten (Dutch part) 924 1,572 1,148 872 1,719
Others 4,174 5,082 7,371 5,164 6,662
Total 1,719,735 1,952,489 2,270,087 2,260,688 2,839,701

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.2.11. Canada's floriculture and nursery[1] export destinations by U.S. state (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
New York 51,935 59,799 64,505 68,054 77,300
Washington, state 33,702 40,375 43,009 44,095 49,636
Florida 33,916 31,400 30,236 36,013 42,387
Michigan 28,058 28,805 30,244 32,657 41,162
Illinois 24,360 23,019 25,588 29,520 38,918
Massachusetts 31,170 33,102 32,827 31,690 37,086
California 18,565 25,362 28,609 30,610 28,517
Maine 23,486 24,252 24,838 25,338 27,590
Pennsylvania 22,269 22,471 20,632 26,729 26,856
New Jersey 18,065 20,400 20,679 22,435 26,263
Other U.S. States 146,016 163,937 175,660 192,000 227,976
Total, United States 431,542 472,923 496,826 539,142 623,691

Note:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.3. Imports

6.3.1. Floriculture and nursery[1] imports by province (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Newfoundland and Labrador 117 101 106 129 126
Prince Edward Island 6 10 4 0 8
Nova Scotia 1,302 1,459 1,627 1,839 1,883
New Brunswick 6,280 6,215 7,314 8,405 9,872
Quebec 61,321 66,070 64,910 59,996 56,685
Ontario 254,559 262,907 289,971 306,068 325,894
Manitoba 33,809 32,159 27,662 30,331 26,509
Saskatchewan 5,764 5,877 2,947 4,201 6,593
Alberta 7,222 7,687 15,307 11,238 10,798
British Columbia 118,565 115,915 121,226 125,035 128,934
Canada 488,945 498,399 531,074 547,243 567,303

Note:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

6.3.2. Top ten sources of Canada's floriculture and nursery[1] imports (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 227,716 230,182 251,838 261,485 276,635
Colombia 98,089 103,526 111,072 111,380 106,700
Netherlands 53,640 55,923 58,827 61,718 58,285
Ecuador 45,503 39,015 37,764 36,525 37,236
Mexico 7,391 8,495 8,719 10,594 13,815
Taiwan 6,606 6,780 6,660 8,280 11,182
Guatemala 4,119 5,726 6,289 7,522 7,431
China 3,928 3,932 4,365 4,020 5,870
Costa Rica 7,092 6,197 5,458 5,548 5,762
Israel 4,896 4,581 5,624 5,409 5,575
Others 29,966 34,042 34,458 34,762 38,811
Total 488,945 498,399 531,074 547,243 567,303

Note:

  1. Includes Christmas trees.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, August 2020)

7. World data

7.1. Top ten exporting countries for floriculture, nursery, and Christmas trees (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Netherlands 11,844,251 12,851,550 13,198,359 14,197,377 14,396,898
Colombia 1,665,208 1,758,789 1,846,648 1,913,830 1,986,219
Germany 1,195,246 1,344,479 1,335,156 1,465,103 1,431,446
Italy 973,549 1,113,879 1,212,402 1,365,030 1,350,415
Ecuador 1,048,778 1,071,972 1,159,629 1,110,364 1,177,241
Belgium 754,075 799,324 784,586 915,226 929,536
Kenya 684,999 750,210 787,804 815,550 864,849
Spain 400,736 476,963 530,577 625,139 639,635
Canada 442,212 485,166 509,041 548,893 633,394
Denmark 593,382 633,217 639,899 638,238 630,559
Others 4,560,263 4,890,052 5,032,314 5,342,000 5,828,939
Total 24,162,698 26,175,600 27,036,416 28,936,751 29,869,131

Source: Global Trade Tracker (August 2020)

7.2. Top ten importing countries for floriculture, nursery, and Christmas trees (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Germany 3,747,037 4,082,219 4,103,897 4,400,504 4,302,752
Netherlands 2,963,053 3,166,446 3,275,447 3,477,670 3,485,516
United States 2,559,786 2,874,627 2,969,817 3,146,159 3,432,769
United Kingdom 2,084,464 2,128,309 2,013,124 2,078,718 1,992,829
France 1,416,869 1,545,206 1,581,796 1,700,766 1,693,264
Japan 710,194 773,905 758,406 787,588 797,759
Italy 758,776 795,777 824,419 794,236 781,777
Switzerland 692,001 733,054 730,484 769,641 756,629
Russia 917,371 766,489 739,964 774,508 747,428
Belgium 504,559 589,458 569,895 657,714 727,594
Others[1] 6,324,257 6,879,785 7,546,713 8,334,825 8,467,854
Total 22,678,367 24,335,276 25,113,961 26,922,328 27,186,170

Note:

  1. In 2019, Canada ranked 13th globally with imports totaling $567 million.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (August 2020)

8. Key Resources

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