WEB EXCLUSIVE: Construction Law in Canada

The new edition of Construction Law in Canada provides a concise, organized and informed narrative of the law that governs the development, ownership, financing and completion of construction projects in Canada. Topics include:  acquiring property, amendments to the Ontario Planning Act, environmental issues, procurement and tendering processes, financing, public private partnerships (PPPs), insurance and surety bonds, occupational health and safety, construction disputes, the Construction Lien Act, and construction hypothecs under Quebec law.


One such chapter discusses Construction Delivery Methods, where parties entering a construction project contractual relationship seek to assign responsibilities and allocate risk. In the construction context, various project delivery methods have been developed to structure the different ways owners, developers, contractors, consultants and public entities handle responsibility and risk. There are standard form contracts created by organizations like the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) and the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) that accommodate these project delivery methods.


The traditional delivery methods are the stipulated price method and the cost plus method. More recently the design-build, construction management and public private partnership (P3) delivery methods have gained popularity. Each of these delivery models has certain benefits and drawbacks for each of the parties involved. Which method is chosen will depend on factors such as the sophistication of the parties, the complexity of the project and the manner in which the project is financed.


This chapter first provides an overview of each of the construction delivery methods referred to above. A more detailed analysis of each method is then provided, setting out the players and the various contracts which may be involved. As part of this analysis, key advantages and disadvantages for each method are also discussed, focusing on the owner’s perspective and the chapter concludes with some practical tips on documenting the construction project. To read an expanded version of this chapter, click here (reprinted by permission LexisNexis Canada Inc.).



Timothy J. Murphy, BA, LLB, LLM, is a partner at McMillan LLP focusing on transactions that include a public component with a particular emphasis on public private partnerships and construction law matters. He advises all players within the construction pyramid, and is ranked as a “Leading Lawyer” in Project Finance in Chambers Global. Formerly Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and to the Finance Minister of Canada, and a Member of Parliament in Ontario, Tim has been a strategic advisor to governments at all levels.

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