In another blow to the construction industry in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced sweeping new restrictions last week regarding what types of construction can continue and what must shut down. The permitted construction activities is nearly identical to the list of permitted construction activities as the shut down orders issued in January 2021, with two notable expansions of permitted construction activities. Briefly, here are the changes:

  • If the construction was commenced before April 17, 2021 and it would provide additional capacity to, or enhance the efficiency of operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, it is considered essential and permitted.
  • All residential construction is now considered essential and permitted if it is “residential construction activities or projects and related services”.

All other construction work was slated to stop on April 18th. That being said, Ontario continues to allow “necessary construction and maintenance” activities to continue on active sites for to prevent dangerous outcomes to the general public. It was also announced that the Province is launching inspection enforcement blitzes commencing April 19, including for construction projects. Over 200 inspectors will be visiting over 1,300 construction sites in the coming weeks.

Despite the advice from health experts, the Province is reacting to the pandemic in its own way. It is not unlikely there will be further amendments and clarifications. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about any of the foregoing.

Written by Jeremy Power, Attorney at Cotney Attorneys & Consultants' Toronto Office.

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