Ontario Co-operatives

Ontario's co-operatives are an important part of the social and economic fabric of the province and play a key role in building a more sustainable and equitable economy.

Unbeknownst to many, there are close to 1,200 co-operatives operating in Ontario, with combined assets of $76B. Ontario’s financial co-operatives have more than $70B in assets, and generate $2.9B in revenue annually. Ontario's non-financial co-operatives have $6B in assets, and generate $5B in revenue annually.

In addition, 72% of Ontario's co-operative businesses are not-for profit in nature, and the remaining 28% are for-profit. There are over 19,000 individuals employed full-time by a co-operative business. Combined, they earn $891M in annual income.  



Ontario’s co-operative sector is diverse and is comprised of many key industries including: financial co-operatives  (credit unions, caisse populaires and insurance companies) which make up 7% of the provinces co-op sector, and non-financial co-operatives, which make up 92% of the sector, and operate in about 20 key sectors of the Ontario economy. The largest sector is housing co-ops (43%), health care and social assistance co-ops (14%) and financial services (8%). The fastest growing sectors are local (often also organic) food and renewable energy co-operatives.

While strong, Ontario's co-operative sector has not grown in proportion to other provinces. The province of Ontario counts for nearly 40% of both population and GDP of Canada, yet its co-operative sector accounted for only 20% of the total co-operatives in the country. Much of this slow growth is attributed to the overall lack of public understanding of the co-operative model, as well as our outdated legislation that makes investing in and developing new co-operatives a complex and challenging process.

Visit our Government Relations page to learn more about how we are working to create a more favourable environment for co-operatives to grow and thrive in Ontario!

Other useful resources to learn more about Ontario co-operatives: