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.

Updated for December 2023.

2023 Consumer Insolvency Filings

In our annual Joe Debtor Bankruptcy Study, we identify the reasons why consumer insolvencies increased in 2023 and review the profile of the average insolvent debtor.

Consumer insolvencies ended the year up 26.2% in Ontario and 23.0% Canada-wide.

The pace of growth slowed marginally towards the end of the year because volumes were already experiencing significant increases at the end of 2022. Regardless, year-over-year growth in December remained well into the double digits. December consumer insolvencies in Ontario increased by 18.4% compared to 2022, while Canadian insolvencies rose by 18.2%.

While up significantly compared to 2022, annual insolvency volumes ended the year just slightly below pre-pandemic levels. Ontario insolvencies remained 2.3% below 2019, while Canadian volumes were 10.2% lower.

While proposals remain the predominant insolvency option for most heavily indebted consumers, bankruptcy levels are rising, which may reflect a feeling of income insecurity or uncertainty among filers. Bankruptcy growth accelerated in the last quarter of 2023, climbing to a total of 12.6% in Ontario for the year and 6.6% Canada-wide.

Below, we provide Ontario consumer insolvency statistics by region. All regions across Ontario experienced higher insolvencies in 2023. Larger markets with the highest average year-over-year insolvency growth included Oshawa/Bowmanville, Newmarket, Markham, Brantford and Niagara.

Ontario Consumer Insolvency Statistics by Region 2023

Ontario insolvencies ended the year up 26.2%, while Canadian consumer insolvencies grew by 23.0%. 

In total, 43,831 Ontarians across Ontario filed for insolvency in 2023. Personal bankruptcies increased by 12.6%, while consumer proposals grew by 29.7%. The trend toward more insolvent debtors choosing a consumer proposal over personal bankruptcy continued, driving the share of proposals to total insolvencies to 82%, up from 79% in 2022. In comparison, 79% of Canada-wide insolvencies are consumer proposals, up from 75% the year before.

To understand how the profile of the average consumer insolvency changed, read our annual Joe Debtor Bankruptcy Study.

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 123,233 23.0% 6.6% 28.3% 79%
Ontario 43,831 26.2% 12.6% 29.7% 82%
           

REGION*

         
Barrie Region 1,867 20% 15% 21% 83%
Belleville Region 921 30% 13% 35% 80%
Brampton 1,994 27% 30% 26% 85%
Brantford Region 861 35% 7% 40% 87%
Brockville Region 306 12% 5% 14% 73%
Cambridge 497 19% 35% 16% 83%
Chatham Region 515 38% 5% 49% 80%
City of Toronto 2,703 21% 27% 20% 82%
Cornwall Region 400 20% -22% 41% 79%
Essex-Leamington Region 299 35% 59% 30% 79%
Etobicoke 1,327 21% 18% 21% 84%
Guelph 433 19% 24% 18% 82%
Hamilton Region 2,145 25% 20% 26% 81%
Huron Region 522 28% 2% 40% 76%
Kingston Region 595 12% 1% 16% 74%
KW-Wellington Region 1,326 21% 6% 25% 84%
London Region 2,405 27% 11% 32% 81%
Markham 660 39% 3% 47% 86%
Mississauga 2,021 25% 8% 29% 84%
Newmarket & Area 849 39% 7% 47% 85%
Niagara Region 1,632 34% 19% 40% 78%
North Bay Region 446 29% 30% 29% 77%
North York 3,128 30% 11% 34% 86%
Burlington-Oakville Region 1,150 28% 15% 31% 82%
Orangeville & Area 332 31% 4% 37% 86%
Oshawa-Bowmanville Region 1,642 40% 22% 45% 84%
Ottawa Region 3,119 21% 2% 28% 78%
Parry Sound-Huntsville Region 286 15% 26% 13% 79%
Pembroke Region 272 30% -13% 48% 79%
Peterborough Region 768 17% 23% 16% 78%
Pickering 662 31% 24% 32% 87%
Richmond Hill 452 26% 7% 31% 83%
Sarnia Region 388 9% 6% 10% 71%
Sault Ste. Marie Region 449 33% 25% 37% 67%
Scarborough 2,235 29% 6% 34% 85%
Stratford Region 177 40% 39% 41% 76%
Sudbury Region 942 16% -11% 26% 79%
Thunder Bay Region 612 24% -4% 36% 77%
Timmins Region 503 6% -20% 12% 84%
Vaughan 450 25% 37% 23% 82%
Windsor Region 1,148 23% 46% 17% 77%
Woodstock Region 367 9% -12% 15% 82%
*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