Here’s what is considered essential construction in Ontario

essential construction

The Province of Ontario has released its list of essential construction project types that will be able to continue under a new stay-at-home order issued to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the new regulations, all non-essential construction is closed, and all businesses must ensure that employees that are able to, work from home.

The new rules come into effect on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 12:01 a.m., and are expected to last for 28 days.

RELATED: Ontario closes non-essential construction as part of stay-at-home order

Under the new measures, construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector and long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space will be allowed to continue.

The list of essential construction projects also includes:

  • Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, provincial and municipal infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, mining and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
  • Construction projects and services that support the operations of, and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • Construction projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
  • Construction projects and services that support the operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.
  • The maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries.
  • Significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced.
  • Industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction projects that are due to be completed before July 2021 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products are also essential construction projects.

Construction projects that were commenced before January 12, 2021, and that would provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.

Residential Construction

Residential projects fall under “essential construction if a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes. As well, work may continue if the project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building or the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021.

ICI Construction

 Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure is considered essential, alongside:

  • Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.
  • Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums.
  • Construction on any project intended to provide either, affordable housing, or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons.