A Closer Look at the Franchising Industry in Canada

According to the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the franchising industry is ranked 12th overall among all business categories, employing an estimated two million workers. Franchises are split among at least 50 different industries and business sectors, everything from fast casual restaurants to fitness and home services to education.


In this edition of FranNet of Canada’s blog, we take a closer look at the data, statistics, and figures that make up the franchising industry among Canada’s five provinces.

Population Growth

According to the most recent census information from Statistics Canada, the total number of people in Canada increased by 1.2 per cent, almost half a million, to 38.5 million in 2021. That’s an increase of 160,273 from the previous year, as Canada continues to close in on a new record for population-growth levels, pre-pandemic.

Economic Impact

Canada ranks 2nd – only to the U.S. – when it comes to the sheer size of its franchising industry. It’s estimated that there are approximately 1,250 franchise companies doing business in more than 75,000 individual franchise locations. How many new franchises open for business each year? More than 4,000, meaning a new franchise unit opens for business, on average, every two hours, 365 days a year! As a whole, the industry contributes more than $100 billion CAD in sales to the Canadian economy, responsible for approximately 5% of the nation’s GDP.

Women Owners

In the past decade, Canada has seen a 30% increase in the number of female-owned small businesses, spurred in part by a $2 billion government program meant to support and encourage more women to participate. This is becoming quite the rebound, considering that women aged 25-54 suffered twice the rate of job loss over the past two years as a result of the pandemic.

Franchising’s Epicentre in Canada

Where has the franchising industry found the most footing among Canada’s provinces? That would be Ontario, with more than half of all franchise brands represented and 65% of all operating franchise units. The highest concentration is in the greater Toronto area. 85% of all franchises in Canada are not surprisingly located in its three most populous provinces, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Rising Popularity of Franchising

In the past five years, the number of franchise brands has noted an increase of 23%, with a rise in the number of new Canadian establishments up by more than four percent.

Top Franchise Industries in Canada

Based on a CFA survey of prospective franchise owners in Canada, the food industry (26%) is the leading sector for those looking to investigate concepts and brands, followed closely by services (25%). The remainder of the top five includes retail (23%), home-based franchises (20%), and others.

One final statistic we saved until the end, just to provide that feel-good sign-off to this blog edition. It’s estimated that almost all franchise operations (97%) successfully reach the five years in business stage. And 86% of those are still under the same leadership.

If you’re ready to begin your entrepreneurial journey, FranNet of Canada can help you get started. With consultants serving every Canadian province, there’s a representative near you, who also lives and works in your area. To find your local province consultant, simply follow this link and select “Canada” on the FranNet Franchise Consultant Directory page of our website.

Apr 8, 2022