Book publishing in Canada is a $1.7 billion industry, with two-thirds of revenues generated in Ontario.1

The Ontario publishing ecosystem includes large, foreign-owned publishing firms as well as smaller, Canadian-owned publishers. The Canadian-owned sector in Ontario comprises mainly long-established private corporations, with three-quarters of respondents to a recent survey having been in operation for more than 20 years.2 Most of Ontario’s book publishers are English-language and based in Toronto. Ontario’s five French-language publishers are located in Ottawa, Sudbury, and Toronto.3

Ontario authors and publishers are frequently lauded for their outstanding work:

Industry Size and Economic Impact

The following information on employment, revenue and the consumer market should be considered a snapshot of activity in the industry based on the best available information. Many of the figures for Canadian-owned publishers contained in this profile include a very small number of large corporations whose characteristics differ significantly from those of small- and medium-sized book publishers.

Employment and wages

Revenues and related figures

(N.B. Unless otherwise noted, the following figures include all book publishers in Canada, including both domestically-owned and foreign-owned.)

Ontario Book Publishers 2014

Ontario Book Publishers 2014 (In Thousands of dollars) Operating Revenue: $1,121; Operating Expenses: $986; Salaries, Wages and Benefits: $226; Operating Profit: $135 Source: Statistics Canada. Table  361-0088 -  Book publishers, summary statistics, every

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 361-0088 - Book publishers, summary statistics, every 2 years (dollars unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database). (accessed: April 24, 2017)

Canadian Book Publishing Operating Revenues by Region, 2014

Total Revenue = $1.68 Billion (Numbers on chart expressed in thousands of dollars)

Canadian Book Publishing Operating Revenues by Region, 2014 (Numbers may not add due to rounding at source)  Ontario: $1,120,800,000, 66.7%; Quebec: $447,000,000, 26.6%; British Columbia: $58,600,000, 3.5%; Alberta: $26,000,000, 1.5%; Rest of Canada:

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 361-0088 - Book publishers, summary statistics, every 2 years (dollars unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database). (accessed: April 24, 2017)

Consumer market

Trends and Issues

This section provides information on growth rates, trends and burgeoning issues in the global and domestic book industry.

Growth rate and industry trends

Global and domestic issues

Government support31

Profile current as of June 9, 2017


1 Statistics Canada, Table 361-0088 - Book publishers, summary statistics, every 2 years (dollars unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database). (accessed: May 12, 2017)

2 Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), An Economic Impact Study of the Ontario Book Publishing Industry, July 2013, p. 8.

3 Lucie Hotte et al., La Chaîne du livre en Ontario français: un état des lieux, June 2010, Chaire de recherche sur les cultures et les littératures francophones du Canada, p. 83. Hearst-based Éditions du Nordir ceased operations in 2012.

4 Sue Carter, “Sarah Polley to write and direct Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People,’” Quill & Quire, April 12, 2017.

5 Statistics Canada.

6 OMDC. N.B. The findings from this report only include Canadian-owned book publishers based in Ontario, and do not include data for multinational firms as does the Statistics Canada data, therefore direct comparisons with the Statistics Canada data cannot be drawn.

7 Statistics Canada.


9 ibid.

10 ibid.

11 BookNet Canada. Canadian Book Market 2016, March 2017.

12 ibid.; Ainsley Sparkes, “Canadian Book Market 2016: Infographic,” BookNet Canada Blog, March 8, 2017.

13 Laura Godfrey, “Canadian Publishing 2015: E-book Sales Level Off,” Publishers Weekly, September 18, 2015.

14 BookNet Canada. The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2016, May 2017.

15 BookNet Canada, The Canadian Book Buyer 2015, October 2015.

16 Scholastic Canada, Kids Family Reading Report (Canadian Edition), May 2017, p.44.

17 OMDC.

18 PwC, PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021: Book Publishing, June 2017.

19 ibid.

20 BookNet Canada, Are You Still Listening? Audiobook Use in Canada 2016, November 2016, p.30.

21 Becky Robertson. “Kobo’s ebook pricing appeal win upholds status quo (for now),” Quill & Quire, September 12, 2016.

22 Department of Canadian Heritage, Investing in the Future of Canadian Books Discussion Paper, July 2010.

23 Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), submission to the Department of Canadian Heritage on Review of the Revised Foreign Investment Policy in Book Publishing and Distribution, 2010.

24 Stuart Woods, “Universities push back against Access Copyright lawsuit,” Quill and Quire, April 18, 2013.

25 ibid.

26 Press Release, “Canada’s writers and publishers take a stand against damaging interpretations of fair dealing by the education sector,” Access Copyright, April 18, 2013; Association of Canadian Publishers, 2013 Annual Report.

27 eBOUND Canada, EBook Collection Practices: A Report to the Canadian Publishing Community on Trends, and Issues in Canada’s Public, University, and College Libraries, September 2015.

28 Press Release, “Canadian Education Research Council (CERC) to merge with Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC), combining major K-20 Canadian publishers’ interests,” Canadian Publishers’ Council and Canadian Education Research Council, February 1, 2017.

29 “NAFTA, dairy and softwood: What’s going on with Trump? A guide to the trade file,” The Globe & Mail, accessed May 12, 2017.

30 Global Affairs Canada, “Culture,”, accessed May 12, 2017.

31 The information included in this section is an overview of some of the government support to the book publishing sector. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of government support available.

32 Press Release, “Government of Canada Renews Investments in Canadian Books with an Emphasis on Digital Technologies,” Department of Canadian Heritage, September 22, 2009; Department of Finance Canada, The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities, February 11, 2014.