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BREAKING: Ontario outlines essential construction projects

BREAKING: Ontario outlines essential construction projects

TORONTO – The Ontario government has issued a list of construction projects and activities that are considered essential under expanded emergency orders issued today to deal with the pandemic.

The measures are “targeted at stopping the rapid growth in COVID-19 case rates and relieving mounting pressures on the province’s health care system,” a government statement said.

The new regulations take effect Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

Permitted construction activities include:

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

(a)  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;

(b)  ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in,

(i)  municipal infrastructure, or

(ii)  provincial infrastructure, including but not limited to, the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors;

(c)  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;

(d)  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;

(e)  are required for,

(i)  the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,

(ii)  significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before April 17, 2021, or

(iii)  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;

(f)  would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products;

(g)  were commenced before April 17, 2021 and that would,

(i)  provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services,

(ii)  provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services, or

(iii)  provide additional capacity to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials.

(h)  support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;

(i)  are residential construction activities or projects and related services;

(j)  prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;

(k)  are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety;

(l)  are funded in whole or in part by,

(i)  the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

(ii)  an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario, or

(iii)  a municipality;

(m)  are,

(i)  intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing; and

(ii)  being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by,

(A)  the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

(B)  an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

(C)  a municipality,

(D)  a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011, or

(E)  a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or

(F)  a not-for-profit corporation.


During the last lockdown in January, those with questions were asked to call the information line.
A full list of the regulations can be found here:

Recent Comments (60 comments)

comments for this post are closed

Brad Kelly Image Brad Kelly

So residential construction is able to continue but nothing ia mentioned in regards to residential renovations. Are we in the same category?

Lindsay Smith Image Lindsay Smith

Does that mean residential interior/exterior painting can continue?

Melinna Sue Stewart Image Melinna Sue Stewart

I am a house painter. Can I paint, by myself, in a home that is not yet being lived in?

Denise Image Denise

I have water damage insurance claim and construction that requires work to be done to prevent mold growth and further extensive damage and an unhealthy home. This has to take place and a deposit was made with work to commence on Monday. What now? Massive property damage and a sick home to live in? Help, I have asked my insurance company for a letter.

Chris Stacey Image Chris Stacey

There is no science behind closing down people’s places of employment me having two daughters and a wife working on the covid floors in BGH these are the people we need to protect neither my daughter’s nor my wife have the vaccination shot and ford talking let’s police the public hippocrit is all we are dealing with at this point he is about his failing sing business that is now not closing it doors and has had record sales of signs your read stuck to doors and floors let’s police who needs it our leaders should be fined and jailed for treeson then we will be getting some where same on you DOUG FORD you will have your day and it will be a good day for all Ontario I also feel sorry for our black and Asian and Hindu populations we are about to see how racist Canada really is same on all of you way off course to fight pendemic when worried about your millions in income

Robert Dauchapt Image Robert Dauchapt

After reading what the government considers essential construction it becomes apparent that nothing has changed, pretty much every construction activity is allowed to continue. What was the point of that exercise, meet to discuss and draft this extensive list just to say that everything is still allowed.

Kevin Tomlinson Image Kevin Tomlinson

I wish it was enforced. The condo construction start before 7am Churcj Dundas area showing this bylaw is flawed as most of Ont bylaw to lower COVID.

Mr Grasser Image Mr Grasser

Is it a privilege to be able to work with our hands and contribute to the people and community by the grace of God and the Crown , yes it is.
Purchased a million widgets back when Bitcoin was valued at 0$ . Yes I did. I took all that the chinese woman could supply. One million widgets. For a small fee.
What are the odds of that?

Mike Moore Image Mike Moore

It seems that everything will stay open. The companies will move , redistribute the workers from closed sites to the live ones.
The live sites will b even more crowded.
The inspection will b again bogus and superficial like last spring.
List please the locked down construction sites. You are not doing that list because people will see that almost everything is open for work.
Money talk!!! You care about your money not about people’s getting infected and infecting others.
You should close ALL construction for 6 weeks!!!!
By, and stay safe!!!

Mark Mailloux Image Mark Mailloux

I’m a siding contractor I work alone my customers stay inside when lwork on their house shouldn’t that be a safe and essential job what is your view

Greg Hogg Image Greg Hogg

Would it be possible to get one example of what the Govt considers non essential construction

Kyle Image Kyle

Is concrete pouring and landscaping aloud outside of your home ? If already started also ?

Steve Image Steve

To sum up all construction is essential. No construction site will shut down.
The government is playing politics in the midst of a pandemic.

Rick Image Rick

Again and again and again
Nothing is clear cut
Is lawn care essential and why????

Blair Image Blair

I own a residential contracting company and I am a Sole Proprietor.
I am errecting a pressure treated fence around a pool that was started 2 weeks ago. It is not finished. It has orange construction fencing between the two properties. Can I continue and finish this project under the new restrictions?

Georganne Drews Image Georganne Drews

These exceptions seem to cover pretty much every project. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to just list the one or two construction jobs that actually have to shut down? Better yet… Just avoid the confusion all together and don’t bother saying you are shutting down any construction projects.

Neil Blythin Image Neil Blythin

Thank you for posting this list. However, your article does not reference the source for this list (i.e. the applicable O.Reg). Can you please clarify where this list was obtained?

George S Image George S

Can you please post your official source link for this information?

Thank you

Ian Alexander Image Ian Alexander

Film business while not listed here or concidered essential has been handed a green light to continue. The reason given is that the film union practices gold star prevention techniques. It is interesting that no other industry was offered this as a way to stay open.

Sandra Olschewski Image Sandra Olschewski

Where is this information from? I cannot find it on the website to confirm it. At the time of my comment the O. Reg. Has not yet been updated.

brian Image brian

Can I do basement renovation and deck for house now?

Rob Image Rob

So what construction activity, in a nutshell, is non-essential?

Tania Dixon Image Tania Dixon

The Homestead office has decided to tear off balconies at the 44 old oak rd Apts. I work at kgh and my balcony was my back yard where I sat before and after work to relax and enjoy my privacy and quiet. There is now no balconies on half of the building and my mental health has suffered severely. I did not move in to be locked in a box with one window for the remover of covid. Why this construction even started during a pandemic is ridiculous. I want my space back!. I work I go home and now I can’t even sit outside not to mention if there is a fire I cannot get out of my apt at all. This is totally unfair and unjust to do to people who alrwsdy cannot go anywere!. Home was my sanctuary now its a prison!.

Sk Image Sk

The list might be shorter for what is not essential construction

Dave Image Dave

Are strippers on the site still allowed?

Pat Image Pat

Can I still apply for building permit? Of a residential home

Gary Brown Image Gary Brown

Why if I am locked in jail everybody should be your new rules are only ones you choose, my father a veteran fought for our freedom and you are allowing certain people freedom and not others, and FYI auto motive is not essential

Candida Image Candida

All the construction project types listed are non essential unless this is a fake pandemic and a plandemic.

Jacquie Lyn Image Jacquie Lyn

It would be easier to list non essential construction.

Jasbir Guron Image Jasbir Guron

Residential renovation works in vacant residential properties allowed or not ?

Imran Haniff Image Imran Haniff

I think this government like to wait until they have to shit and then they go and build a toilet.

Rob Image Rob


Dan Sguigna Image Dan Sguigna

Can you advise if Transit is considered essential service, as we provide transit service in Markham, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Newmarket and Vaughan under contract with York Region Transit

Mark Pearl Image Mark Pearl

So basically business as usual like the rest of the lock down

Len Image Len

Roofing maintenance on absolutely every building is essential or subsequent expense and safety are extremely threatened

Chris Dunneman Image Chris Dunneman

Can residential renovations that started before April 15 continue to completion?

Roy Jones Image Roy Jones

I would like to know the reason golf courses are closed,when it’s an outdoor activity and a means of exercise? I have lost some respect for the premier.

Earl Famme Image Earl Famme

If I interpret the above Ontario government guidelines correctly –legal essential construction under part (i) are residential construction activities or projects and related services would mean that building backyard decks in a residential area is acceptable during this restricted times .! –PLEASE CONFIRM.

Dave Watt Image Dave Watt

What about handy persons in the service of newly built condominium units for deficiencies?

Don Image Don

Called ‘Stop the Spread Business’ hotline @ 888 444 3659 to see if they could confirm the status of continuing a residential construction job.

All they will do is send you back to ‘’.

Not much use.

Juanita Hardy Image Juanita Hardy

Isn’t it time to stop non essential real estate sales too. 125 viewings on one home…major Covid spreader. …sales to speculators and flippers should have been halted long ago during the pandemic and we wouldn’t be in this bubble mess. Greedy realtors, Sellers and buyers are all equally to blame.

Cabral Image Cabral

Just about everything in construction is open, residential construction you have a lot of small contractors most won’t follow the covid rules.

Liane Image Liane

So, which construction projects ARE NOT allowed? It seems that the list above covers most of all the projects in that sector.

Help Image Help

Seem to be lot favourtism going on. Mean while I don’t see any help for businesses that still have overhead and expenses and have no monies coming in.

Roger Image Roger

Or projects that Doug Ford’s developer buddies have been granted to continue ….

Laura Image Laura

So….basically ALL construction. Can’t think of what is excluded.

Dan Dan Image Dan Dan

So basically no construction projects got shut down. Check!

Matthew Dixon Image Matthew Dixon

Or any construction company that donated to drugs campaign

Anthony Image Anthony

Would the installation of water heaters for the purposes of sanitation be considered essential?

Robert Loiello Image Robert Loiello

We have an extremely noisy construction site across the street and we unfortunately have to follow a stay at home order. I see the workers from my front window and very few are following the social distancing rules through no fault of their own, simply due to the nature of the job. The noise level surpasses 80 decibels at times and we have to wear industrial hearing protection. It’s a 22 storey condominium. In what universe is this an essential construction site?

Zoe Poury Image Zoe Poury

This list is hilarious!!! They have gone through the pain of listing every single construction project imaginable which started before Apr 17, 2021 !!!!! Why not just say any construction project started before April 17, 2021 is not impacted by the current lock down? Hence, GO projects at some point were the hot spots of work related outbreaks. What is it with Ford and construction???

Olga O Image Olga O

Good afternoon i would like to know if renovating the balconies in my building is consider essential specially there is a lot of people working from home due to COVID.
please advise.


Ravi Beheshti Image Ravi Beheshti

Good afternoon,
Due to new restrictions, we have a major issue here which has not been clarified by website of Government of Canada. My husband is a contractor and regarding the “residential construction”we need to make sure if he is able to continue his job.

In your website below it says (article i):

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

(i) are residential construction activities or projects and related services;

I will appreciate if you inform me based on what credible source did you announce this news?

Valerie Image Valerie

Can someone please explain why outbreaks in essential construction sites aren’t being taken seriously? Why are these sites not being closed down?

Jason regnier Image Jason regnier

Is one allowed to do siding gutters roofing during stay at home order

D Hazell Image D Hazell

So being in an apartment building the landlord can renovate? I really don’t appreciate the floor above my bedroom being drilled at 8:30 am for the next several months because the people they hire take so long to complete a simple job! It shouldn’t be allowed..


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