Photo: James Bombales

Following a steady decline of COVID-19 cases across the province, the Ontario government will lift essential workplace restrictions on construction activity.

Beginning on Tuesday, May 19th, all construction operations will resume as part of stage one of Ontario’s three-stage reopening plan, which was introduced by Premier Doug Ford in late April. Since mid-March, construction has operated with limited capacity. Restrictions gradually eased in recent weeks as the situation stabilized, including the revival of below-grade and multi-unit residential construction earlier this month.

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“Today’s decision recognizes the strong commitment and record of health and safety on the job sites,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) in a press release. “The full resumption of construction activity will help to jump start the stalled economy, permit workers to provide for their families and meet the needs of residents and businesses of the GTA.”

According to BILD, today’s announcement allows for the full resumption of construction for all residential and non-residential projects, including renovations. Stage one also permits the reopening of animal-related services, seasonal businesses, recreational activities for individual or single competitors, and retailers outside of shopping malls. As early as Saturday, May 16th, private parks, pet boarding services and golf courses will also be permitted to open with some limitations in place.

“We commend the leadership and thoughtful approach by the Ford government as it addresses the opening up of the province,” said Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), in a press release. “The economic recovery will not be without its challenges, but the residential construction industry will continue to do its best to ensure that the Ontario economy is firing on all cylinders as quickly and safely as possible.”

To ensure the continuation of successful reopening across the province, the Ontario government has released health and safety guidelines for multiple industry sectors, including construction. Should the first phase be successful, the second stage of the provincial plan will reopen additional workplaces, community spaces and public services.

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