The Value of the Profession of Landscape Architecture on Canadian Society

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In 2015, the CSLA’s Advocacy Task Force asked Analytic-OR, a firm of consultants based in PEI, to undertake a study on the value of the profession of landscape architecture on Canadian society. Our intent was to bring together data which could inform our advocacy efforts. A copy of the full report is available (in English only) upon request at executive-director@csla-aapc.ca.

Report on the Study of the Value of the Profession of Landscape Architecture on Canadian Society

This study provides an analysis of the social and economic impacts of the Landscape Architecture industry and profession in Canada.  It provides an estimate of the extent of the industry and profession’s economic and fiscal contributions.  Although this report includes some aspects of the positive social impact of the profession which were identified during the study, an assessment of the profession’s far-reaching social impact, resulting from the work of professionals and companies, was beyond the scope of this project.
Most of the data used in the analysis of the economic impact of the Landscape Architect industry and profession was obtained from Statistics Canada economic, industry, labour force and census data tables.  Data from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Canadian Occupations Projection System was also used.

As of June 2015, there were 851 Landscape Architectural firms in Canada, all of which were categorized as small businesses with employment sizes of fewer than 100 employees.  The majority of Landscape Architectural services were provided to businesses (56%) followed by sales to governments, not-for-profits organizations and public institutions (28%).  Sales to individuals and households accounted for 12% of total sales, and exports were approximately 5% of service activity.  In 2013 the operating revenue for the Landscape Architecture industry was $358,700,000, a ten percent increase from 2012.

On a national basis, the estimated GDP contribution from Landscape Architecture in 2014 was over $1B, and has typically grown by over 10% per year.  Economic activity in the Landscape Architecture industry has a multiplier effect nationally of 2.1, meaning that every dollar input into Landscape Architecture generates $2.10 of economic activity across the economy.

There were 1,735 Landscape Architects in Canada at the time of the 2011 Census.  The majority (75%) worked as employees and 25% were self-employed.  In 2012, those that worked directly for the Landscape Architecture service industry aggregated earnings of $158M in salaries, wages & benefits.

Future prospects for the industry are described as balanced, with supply and demand expected to be similar up through 2022.  The highest component of demand is from retirements within the industry, with school graduates making up the largest component of supply.  The industry is expected to experience total employment growth of approximately 5% from 2012 through 2022.

Study Highlights

  • On a national basis, the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution from Landscape Architecture in 2014 is over $1Billion, and has typically grown by over 10% per year.
  • Every $1 invested in Landscape Architecture at the national level generates $2.10 of economic activity.
  • Every $1Million dollars in Landscape Architecture project expenditures creates 12.83 jobs nationally.
  • About half of Landscape Architects work in Landscape Architecture firms, the other half work in a variety of different areas including public administration and education.
  • As of June 2015, according to Statistics Canada there were 851 Landscape Architectural firms in Canada.
  • In 2013, the majority of Landscape Architectural services were provided to businesses (56%) followed by sales to governments, not-for-profits organizations, and public institutions (28%). Sales to individuals and households accounted for 12% of total sales and exports were approximately, 5% of service activity.
  • Regionally, close to three-quarters (74%) of the Landscape Architecture firms are located in Ontario (40%), Quebec (23%), and British Columbia (16.7%).
  • Female representation in the Landscape Architecture profession is below average (38% in comparison to 48% female representation on average for all other occupations).
  • The Statistic Canada`s National Household Survey in 2011 found an employment rate of over 90% for 5-year Landscape Architect graduates.
  • Employment in Landscape Architecture is increasing, and the labour force supply is projected to match demand up to 2022.

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