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Community Comparisons

 Index Pic, various veiw scapes

Given that municipalities range in size, geographical location and composition, the Municipal Competitiveness Study, was developed in 2001 by BMA Management Consulting as a consistent and measurable way to compare and rate a city's performance in various areas.  
The database has since expanded to include close to 100 Ontario municipalities. 


The City of Orillia boasts a number of competitive advantages over communities both across the region and the Province. This includes a number of financial advantages related to housing costs, industrial development charges and cost of living.

Orillia continues to participate in the BMA Municipal Comparison Study, which provides a comparison of 104 Ontario municipalities, citing; socio-economic factors, municipal tax rates, water and sewer rates, development charges, and building permit costs, all of which are key cost factors of new and expanding developments.  A summary of Orillia's current standings are provided below.


For more information ON Orillia's competitive advantages, please contact us at

Socio-Economic Factors

The following charts provide basic socio-economic comparison information such as population demographics, land and income values for Orillia, neighbouring municipalities and in some instances all communities in the BMA study. The information can be found in Section 2 of the BMA Report which includes information to assist municipalities in understanding some basic facts included in the study.

Orillia Socio-economic table


Population Base

Chart showing current Age Demographics


Population Change

While not yet represented in the BMA results, Orillia is currently experiencing an increase in residential building permits, which is expected to result in a greater increase in population in the coming years. Numbers are expected to rise as intake at Orillia's post-secondary institutions, development and employment opportunities expand in and around the region.

Chart showing change in population

Cost of Living

The average household income often varies by geographic location and population demographics among other variables. Cost of living is generally higher in major metropolis, resulting in the need for higher incomes. 

The household income in Orillia is lower than average. This can be attributed to several factors, including a higher than average retired population and a significant population employed in the retail and tourism sectors. The City of Orillia is also home to several major employers such as public utilities, public administration agencies, post-secondary educational institutions, and health care institutions, all of which pay higher than average wages

The average single detached house price in Orillia is lower than the regional and provincial average at $227,000, and therefore is a contributing factor to the low cost of living within the City of Orillia.  

Chart showing average household income


 Average Residential Sale Price

Residential Property Values


 Comparison of Relative Taxes 

The following table summarizes the relative tax burden rankings of Orillia and participating municipalities. In total, 12 property types were defined based on those property types that were of most interest to the participating municipalities and that represented all potential optional classes. 

There are many reasons for differences in relative tax burdens across municipalities and across property classes. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The values of like properties vary significantly across municipalities
  • The tax burden are the different property classes within a municipality which varies based on the tax ratios
  • The use of optional property classes
  • Non-uniform education tax rates in the non-residential classes
  • The level of service provided and the associated costs of providing these services
  • Access to other sources of revenues such as dividends from hydro utilities, gaming and casino
  • Revenues, user fees, etc.

For more information about Orillia property taxes, please see the municipal tax page on our website.

 Taxes by Percentage rates


Industrial Tax Comparison

Orillia has the third lowest Standard Industrial taxes per square foot among communities surveyed in Ontario with populations between 30,000 and 99,000 and is the lowest in our region.

chart showing Regional Industrial property taxes per sqft.

Building Permit Comparison 

Over the last 5 years, over 900 new residential units were constructed.  It's estimated that by the end of 2016 that number will exceed 1000.  Click here for more information about building permits and current development activity

Building Permit Fee Comparion


Water and Sewer Rates

Orillia's water and sewer rates are among the lowest in the study.

Water and Sewer Rate

Development Charge Comparisons

Development Charges (DC) are collected by Ontario municipalities to offset the costs of capital infrastructure required to support new growth and is governed by the Development Charges Act (1997) and supporting regulations.

The City extended its Industrial Development Charges Moratorium until 2017, making Orillia an even more attractive place for industries to call home. The moratorium on municipal development charges means industrial developments in Orillia are subject only to the $0.47 per square foot educational development charge, making Orillia's industrial DCs the lowest in the region

Follow the link for more information on municipal and educational Development Charges.

Development Charges Comparision


The City of Orillia attempts to make our website documents accessible however, some of these documents, such as the BMA Studies, are produced by third party consultants and may not completely meet the AODA Accessibility requirements.  If you require assistance or communication support, please contact Jasvinder Rattigan at 705-329-7240.

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