COVID-19

Updated List of Essential Services in Ontario – Construction

As the Ontario economy begins to reopen, the province has continued to update its list of essential construction projects.

The Ontario government has updated the list of construction projects deemed essential, and that list includes:

  • Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
  • Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy 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.
  • Critical industrial construction activities required for,
    • 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 October 4, 2020 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products.
  • Construction projects that were commenced before April 4, 2020, and that would,
    • i.  provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or
    • ii.  provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.
  • Residential construction projects where,
    • a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
    • 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 April 4, 2020.
  • Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure.
  • 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.The Ontario government also provided that businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.

For more information about the Safety Guidelines for Employers for the gradual reopening of the economy, please refer to our In a Flash article Ontario Announces Safety Guidelines for Employers for the Gradual Re-Opening of the Economy

The complete list of essential businesses can be found on the Ontario Government website here.

The Government of Ontario’s “Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19” resource can be found here

Finally, the Ministry of Health has released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces, which may be accessed here

We will continue to update our clients with information as soon as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

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