After a long period of continuous growth that started in 1990, greenhouse expansion stalled in 2007, as operators had to adapt to the rising value of the Canadian dollar and higher labour and energy costs.

Total greenhouse area under plastic and glass edged down less than 1% from a year earlier to approximately 20.9 million square meters in 2007.

Greenhouse operators reported total sales of $2.3 billion, up less than 1% compared with 2006. Producers of flowers and plants accounted for two-thirds of total greenhouse sales, but, for the first time since 1993, vegetable area, which was 10.7 million square meters, exceeded plant and flower area, which stood at 10.3 million square meters in 2007.

Canadian greenhouses employed approximately 42,000 workers in 2007.

Sales of flowers and plants increased 1.5% in 2007, with Ontario growers accounting for 52% of all flowers and plants sold by Canadian growers.

Greenhouse growers sold $806 million of vegetables in 2007, virtually unchanged from a year earlier, with tomatoes accounting for 44% of total vegetable sales. However, some producers switched production from tomatoes, with area planted falling by 3.7%, to peppers (+11.1%) and cucumbers (+3.6%).

Ontario continued to lead the provinces with 64% of Canadian greenhouse vegetable area, followed by British Columbia (24%).

The total nursery area increased 1.3% to 21,507 hectares in 2007 following two years of decline. Nursery sales increased 5.5% to $630 million, with sales to landscapers and garden centres accounting for 46% of total sales. The sod area increased 1.8% to 23,862 hectares.

In 2007, 15,485 employees worked in the nursery and sod industries. Sales at nursery and sod operations reached $758 million in 2007, up 5.6% from a year earlier, with nursery operations accounting for most of the gain.

Note: As a result of the release of data from the 2006 Census of Agriculture on May 16, 2007, estimates of area figures for greenhouse, nursery and sod operations contained in the Greenhouse, Sod and Nursery Industries series have been revised, where necessary, to align with those from the Census. Other variables were also adjusted accordingly, where appropriate. New data points for the 2001 to 2006 period are now available upon request.

Available from Statistics Canada on CANSIM: table 001-0006.

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