Permitted construction activities under Ontario’s new stay at home order

Ontario has declared a state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order that will take effect Thursday January 13 at 12:01 a.m. in response to surging COVID-19 infections that threaten to overrun the health-care system. According to the Province, the COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones) is paused during this time.

Residents will be required to stay home, leaving only for essentials like work, food, health-care services, work or exercise, for at least 28 days.

The state of emergency gives police and bylaw officers authority to enforce the public health rules with tickets.

From the Government of Ontario: Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown –

Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures: Refer to O. Reg. 82/20 1 for details:


  • Permitted construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 July 2021 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 January 12, 2021, 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 January 12, 2021.
  • 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.

Construction on any project intended to provide either, affordable housing, or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons,

If the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:

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 in the Housing Services Act, 2011, or
E. a registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Enhanced with: Workplace testing

Additional enforcement to ensure compliance

See full list of measures in: ‘Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown’

See further information:  Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures to Reduce Mobility

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