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Ontario Enters the Second State of Emergency, Construction is Restricted but Mostly Open

Today, the Ontario government has announced that Ontario will be immediately put into a second State of Emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). The state of emergency will include a province-wide stay-at-home order and introduce a new set of essential and non-essential business effective Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m..


Across the Province of Ontario, non-essential construction has been further restricted, including below-grade construction. Despite this increase in restrictions, institutional, commercial and industrial construction will remain mostly operational.


You can find a full list of restrictions and what has been deemed essential under the state of emergency here.


The updated list of construction projects deemed essential include:

  • 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 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 actives required for:

  • The maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries

  • Significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already c commenced

  • Industrial construction and modification to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance and/or enhancement of PPE, medical devices (such as ventilators) and other identified products directly 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 and manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products

  • Construction projects that were commenced before January 21 that would,

1. Provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or

2. Provide additional capacity

  • Residential construction projects where,

  1. A footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes

  2. The project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building, or

  3. The project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021

  • Construction to prepare a site for institutional, commercial or industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure

  • Construction and maintenance actives necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to sure 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,

  1. Affordable housing, or

  2. 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:

  1. A. the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario

  2. B. an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

  3. C. a municipality,

  4. D. a service manager as defined in the Housing Services Act, 2011, or

  5. E. registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada)

Workplace Safety The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is also taking additional steps to protect workers with the launch of the "Stay Safe All Day" campaign, focusing workplace inspections in areas of high transmission, including break rooms, and providing new educational materials to employers to promote safe behaviour before, during and after work. Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontario's people from COVID-19.



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