COVID-19 Update – New Restrictions to Construction Activity
On April 3rd, 2020, the Government of Ontario reduced the list of businesses qualifying as “essential” and directed non-essential businesses to close by 11:59 pm on April 4, 2020. The closure is in effect for a two-week period that is subject to renewal, but the circumstances are rapidly evolving, and we will continue to monitor the situation.
With regards to the construction industry, only critical construction projects are deemed to be “essential” and therefore allowed to continue. Construction related activities that have been deemed essential are as follows:
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations, and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for healthcare space
- Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance
- 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
- Residential construction projects where
- a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
- the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020
- Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety
The Province has indicated that it will continue to perform safety inspections on all sites, and it has hired 60 new safety inspectors to help implement same. As stated above, activities that are necessary to maintain public safety on building sites are permitted and we recommend that developers ensure their sites are safe.
The team at Davies Howe will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation as it relates to land use planning and development. We stand ready to answer any questions you may have about how COVID-19 affects the land development industry.