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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Halloween is big business. Bigger than I thought.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 3,870,938 children of prime trick-or-treating children age (5 -14 years old) in 2016, up 1.5 per cent from 2015.

Jack-o'-lanterns and squash autumn favourites are harvested in 2,569 pumpkin patches in Canada, at an estimated value of $25.9 million. That number climbs to $38 million for the 3,476 squash and zucchini patches in the country, according to the 2016 Census of Agriculture. 

In some parts of Canada, it's all about Halloween apples and in some francophone regions, trick-or-treaters must sing a song for their reward. 

For many, it is all about the costume. As of June 2017, there were 158 businesses in Canada in the formal wear and costume rental business, with those items manufactured at an estimated value of $20.1 million in 2015.

Finally, for most, candy is the reward for trick-or-treating. The value of monthly sales of candy, confectionary and snack foods at large retailers in October 2016 reached almost $400 million. However, December was the month with the highest monthly sales in 2016 at $480.2 million.

Don’t forget, Oct. 31 is largely considered to be "Devil's Night" and the number of criminal incidents to police would support that notion:

  • 7.1 per cent more criminal incidents were reported to police on Halloween 2015 than the previous week 
  • 50.5 per cent of criminal incidents were violations against property
  • 17.3 per cent were violations against a person

Happy Halloween​!