Here’s what’s considered essential construction in Ontario

essential construction

While the latest restrictions put in place by the Ontario government includes closing construction sites, many projects will continued to be considered essential construction.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced non-essential construction sites must close, effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m. in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

While many of the essential construction projects are similar to what was permitted when jobsites were closed in January, there are adjustments to project start dates.

Here’s which projects are considered essential construction and will be allowed to continue:

Construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services, that,

  • are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;
  • ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in,
  • municipal infrastructure, or
  • provincial infrastructure, including but not limited to, the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors;
  • Support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources;
  • Support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products.
  • support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;
  • are residential construction activities or projects and related services;
  • prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;
  • are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety.

Jobsites that are required for the the following projects are also considered essential construction:

  • the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
  • significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before April 17, 2021, or
  • industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well, jobsites may continue work that began before April 17, 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, or
  • provide additional capacity to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials.

Essential construction also includes any jobsite that’s funded in whole or in part by the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario, an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario, or a municipality.

Work may also continue where the construction will provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing; an being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by, the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario; an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario;  a municipality, a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011, or a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or a not-for-profit corporation.

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