Big and Little Feet Provincial Profiles: Ontario


  • Sarah Dobson University of Calgary
  • G. Kent Fellows University of Calgary



This communiqué provides a summary of the production- and consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions accounts for Ontario, as well as their associated trade flows. It is part of a series of communiqués profiling the Canadian provinces and territories.1 In simplest terms, a production-based emissions account measures the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Ontario. In contrast, a consumption-based emissions account measures the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions generated during the production process for final goods and services that are consumed in Ontario through household purchases, investment by firms and government spending. Trade flows refer to the movement of emissions that are produced in Ontario but which support consumption in a different province, territory or country (and vice versa). For example, emissions associated with the production of an Ontario manufactured good that is exported to Quebec for sale are recorded as a trade flow from Ontario to Quebec. Moving in the opposite direction, emissions associated with the production of Alberta crude oil that is refined in Ontario and sold as motor gasoline to an Ontario consumer are recorded as a trade flow from Alberta to Ontario. For further details on these results in a national context, the methodology for generating them and their policy implications, please see the companion papers to this communiqué series: (1) Fellows and Dobson (2017); and (2) Dobson and Fellows (2017). Additionally, the consumption emissions and trade flow data for each of the provinces and territories are available at:


Dobson, Sarah and G. Kent Fellows. 2017. “Big and Little Feet: A Comparison of Provincial Level

Consumption- and Production-Based Footprints.” The School of Public Policy Publications: SPP

Research Paper, 10(23). September.

Fellows, G. Kent and Sarah Dobson. 2017. “Embodied Emissions in Inputs and Outputs: A ValueAdded

Approach to National Emissions Accounting.” Canadian Public Policy, 43(2): 140-164.

Ontario Ministry of Energy. 2017. “The End of Coal.” Accessed August.


Statistics Canada, 2017a. Table 127-0007 – Electric power generation, by class of electricity producer,

annual (megawatt hour). CANSIM (database). Accessed August.


Statistics Canada, 2017b. Table 379-0030 – Gross domestic production (GDP) at basic prices, by North

American Industry Classification System (NAICS), provinces and territories. CANSIM (database).

Accessed August.