Canada

Toronto and Vancouver Insolvencies Make The Biggest Jump In Years

Toronto and Vancouver are both seeing an unusual surge of insolvency filings. Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) filings show a huge jump in March. Insolvencies, both bankruptcies, and consumer proposals, hit the highest level since the pandemic.

Toronto Insolvencies Jump 22% In March

Toronto insolvencies made an abrupt jump, claiming the biggest full pandemic month. The region saw 1,269 insolvency filings made in March, up 28.7% from the previous month. It was still down 22.1% from the same month a year before, but the monthly increase was the biggest in years. Let’s break these down by consumers and businesses, shall we?

Toronto Insolvency Filings

The total insolvency filings with addresses in Toronto CMA, including both businesses and consumers.
Source: OSB; Better Dwelling.

Consumer insolvencies in Toronto did reflect the abrupt monthly climb. There were 275 insolvency filings made in March, up 41.0% from the month before. It remains 30.6% below the same level last year. Not a surprise, since there’s a number of programs allowing typical volumes to defer. However, it was the highest level seen since December. If it’s not consumers filing more often, you know what that means? 

Toronto businesses are filing a lot more insolvencies, despite some resources being offered. Businesses filed 994 insolvencies in March, up 25.7% from the month before. It remains 19.5% below the same month a year before. Still, this was the highest monthly growth in years, along with the most filed since March of last year. The region is in its third lockdown since the pandemic began. 

Vancouver Insolvencies Rise Almost 23% In March

Vancouver insolvencies are nearly where they were last year. The region saw 402 insolvencies filed in March, up 22.9% from the month before. That brings the number just 1% lower than last year, or about 4 filings. The region normally sees fewer filings than most of Canada’s big cities. But it is surprising to see fillings already get back to last year’s levels.

Vancouver Insolvency Filings

The total insolvency filings with addresses in Vancouver CMA, including both businesses and consumers.
Source: OSB; Better Dwelling.

Vancouver consumer insolvencies made a big climb, but were still lower than last year. There were 109 consumer insolvencies filed in March, up 17.2% from the month before. It remains 13.5% lower than the same month a year before. This is the highest level since the pandemic first broke out. 

Vancouver businesses picked up most of the ground lost by consumer insolvency filings. Businesses made 293 insolvency filings in March, up 25.2% from the month before. This number is 4.6% higher than the same month a year before. It actually cleared last year’s levels.

Toronto and Vancouver insolvencies are picking up, but remain below pre-pandemic levels. Fewer filings are attributed to government payments, and lender deferrals. This made it much easier to at least delay filing for insolvency. The same trend is seen at the national level as well, but with one big difference. At the national level, business filings aren’t seeing nearly as much growth. 

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