Statistics Canada released housing market data on Friday. Building permits in Canada dropped 12.9% in January, missing expectations for a 5.5% gain, after a 6.1% rise in December. December's figure was revised down from a 7.7% increase.
That was the biggest drop since August 2014.
Building permits for non-residential construction plunged 22.8% in January, while permits in the residential sector fell 7.0%.
Lower non-residential permits were driven by weaker demand in the major provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.