Ontario Bankruptcy and Consumer Proposal Statistics

Ontarians continue to carry record levels of personal debt and for many residents, a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy becomes the only way out of financial trouble.

We update this page for monthly data trends as they are released by the Office of the Superintendent of Ontario.

2021 Consumer Insolvency Filings

In April, year-over-year consumer insolvencies increased for the first time since the pandemic began. April insolvencies were up 9.9% in Ontario and 19.5% across Canada. It must be noted, however, that this increase was over historically low volumes. Consumer insolvencies are still well below norms – with Ontario volumes 30% less than those of April 2019.

As we expected, volumes declined month-over-month, with April volumes down 14.1% from March in Ontario and 13.2% Canada-wide. Normal seasonal declines, combined with re-instated lockdowns in response to a third wave of the pandemic were the primary economic drivers of the drop.  Additionally, there were two fewer business days in April than March 2021.

We do not expect to see dramatic volume increases in insolvencies until the fall of 2021 at the earliest.  The extended length of the pandemic will have allowed some Canadians to avoid the need to file insolvency entirely. Some who remained working throughout the pandemic have paid down their debt to manageable levels.  Others will find their debt has now aged beyond the legal reach of debt collectors, and assuming they have not incurred new debt, may simply be able to ignore any collection calls.

Consumer proposals as a percentage of total consumer insolvencies declined slightly to 72.0% in April 2021 for Ontario and 67.1% Canada-wide.

Our Homeowners Bankruptcy Index increased slightly to 4.4% in May 2021, but overall remains very low.

Ontario Consumer Insolvency Statistics by Region 2020

COVID-19 had an unusual impact on consumer insolvencies in 2020.  Ontario insolvencies ended the year down 24.2% and Canadian consumer insolvencies declined 29.7%. 

In total, 33,992 Ontarians across Ontario filed insolvency in 2020. Personal bankruptcies fell 36.8% and consumer proposals declined 18.2%. Proposals as a share of Ontario insolvencies increased to 73% in 2020, from 66% in 2019.

To understand how the profile of the average consumer insolvency changed in 2020 read our annual Joe Debtor Bankruptcy Study as well as our report on how COVID-19 affected household debt.

Below is a summary of insolvencies by geographic region as summarized by Hoyes Michalos based on insolvency statistics by FSA provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). Regional FSA allocations may differ slightly from annual economic region data provided by the OSB as the regional data summarized by Hoyes Michalos provides additional location details than is available by economic region.

REGION*

Consumer Insolvencies Total Growth Growth Bankruptcy Growth Proposal % Proposals
Canada 96,458 -29.7% -40% -23.2% 66%
Ontario 33,992 -24.2% -37% -18.2% 73%
           

REGION*

         
Barrie Region 1,520 -24% -33% -21% 72%
Belleville Region 525 -41% -46% -38% 71%
Brampton 1,659 -23% -41% -18% 81%
Brantford Region 611 -19% -35% -12% 75%
Brockville Region 280 -45% -58% -33% 63%
Cambridge 405 -28% -44% -20% 75%
Chatham Region 299 -34% -51% -22% 70%
City of Toronto 2,181 -16% -36% -8% 78%
Cornwall Region 403 -28% -40% -18% 61%
Essex-Leamington Region 161 -43% -56% -34% 71%
Etobicoke 1,066 -15% -30% -8% 74%
Guelph 313 -29% -50% -15% 72%
Hamilton Region 1,503 -22% -33% -17% 72%
Huron Region 345 -19% -44% 7% 65%
Kingston Region 487 -24% -33% -19% 66%
KW-Wellington Region 1,049 -20% -37% -11% 72%
London Region 1,651 -28% -37% -23% 70%
Markham 540 -24% -28% -23% 79%
Mississauga 1,694 -19% -23% -17% 73%
Newmarket & Area 671 -22% -44% -11% 77%
Niagara Region 1,049 -28% -37% -23% 67%
North Bay Region 412 -31% -48% -22% 75%
North York 2,462 -18% -31% -14% 79%
Burlington-Oakville Region 922 -26% -35% -22% 75%
Orangeville & Area 255 -28% -45% -21% 78%
Oshawa-Bowmanville Region 1,179 -31% -42% -26% 76%
Ottawa Region 2,458 -28% -35% -23% 67%
Parry Sound-Huntsville Region 241 -43% -46% -41% 71%
Pembroke Region 245 -30% -52% -13% 72%
Peterborough Region 517 -33% -38% -30% 72%
Pickering 544 -24% -29% -22% 77%
Richmond Hill 432 -15% -27% -10% 77%
Sarnia Region 269 -30% -40% -22% 64%
Sault Ste. Marie Region 357 -22% -39% 3% 52%
Scarborough 1,826 -21% -34% -16% 79%
Stratford Region 104 -34% -40% -31% 69%
Sudbury Region 898 -27% -38% -21% 69%
Thunder Bay Region 466 -19% -28% -7% 50%
Timmins Region 499 -18% -41% -8% 77%
Vaughan 380 -10% -28% -3% 77%
Windsor Region 797 -26% -38% -18% 69%
Woodstock Region 290 -19% -35% -11% 71%
*Region includes surrounding rural areas

Who files insolvency in Ontario?

The average insolvent debtor looks much like the average person in Ontario. They are working and struggling to make ends meet. To read more about what the average bankrupt looks like, see our bankruptcy research study: Joe Debtor.

Press Inquiries

For commentary and information about consumer insolvencies and debt issues in Ontario, contact:

J. Douglas Hoyes
CA, CPA, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Email Doug

Ted Michalos
CA, CPA, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Email Ted