OTTAWA Dec 6 - The value of Canadian building permits unexpectedly soared by 11.9 percent in October from September, as strength in the populous province of Ontario helped end three consecutive monthly falls, Statscan data indicated on Tuesday.
The increase -- much greater than the 1.6 percent anticipated by market operators -- was the largest since the 20.9 percent advance recorded in May 2011.
Statscan revised its figures for September to show a month-on-month drop of 4.1 percent versus 4.9 percent initially. The overall value of permits issued was 2.2 percent higher than in October 2010.
The value of non-residential permits rose by 32.8 percent in October, with institutional buildings in Ontario and industrial buildings in Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba responsible for most of the growth.
The value of permits in the residential sector edged down 0.1 percent. Overall, construction intentions were up in six provinces, with Ontario posting the largest increase.
Reporting by David Ljunggren