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Essential Construction List – Effective April 17th

 Essential Construction Project List

The Government of Ontario has released its essential construction project types that will be able to continue during this enhanced state of emergency

The new rules came into effect on Saturday, April 17th at 12:01 a.m., for all of Ontario.

Under the Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures, all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector will be closed, with only essential construction permitted to operate.


Ontario One Call remains fully operational to accept locate requests.

  • We encourage Excavators to only request locates for essential projects
  • We encourage Members to respond in good faith to all locate requests within the obligated timelines

If you suspect an excavation is non-essential and does not fall within the essential construction list, fulfill your obligation to provide a locate and contact your local Public Health Unit, by-law, or non-emergency law enforcement to file a complaint.

The list of essential construction projects (as of April 17th, 2021):

Construction activities or projects and related services (including land surveying and demolition services) are essential if they:

  • are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space
  • ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in: municipal infrastructure;  provincial infrastructure, including but not limited to, the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors
  • support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources
  • support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
  • are required for: the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries; significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before April 17, 2021; industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products
  • were started before April 17, 2021 and would provide additional capacity: for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services; in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services; to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials 
  • support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services
  • are residential construction activities or projects and related services
  • prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure
  • are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety
  • are funded in whole or in part by: the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario; an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario; a municipality
  • are intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing
  • being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by: the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario; an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario; a municipality a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011; a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada); a not-for-profit corporation

(source: COVID-19: enhanced public health and workplace safety measures)

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