On March 17, 2020 the Province of Ontario, pursuant to an Order-in-Cabinet, invoked its powers under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to declare a state of emergency in Ontario due to COVID-19. Pursuant to section 7.02(4)5.of the EMPCA Cabinet has the power to Order the
Closing [of] any place, whether public or private, including any business, office, school, hospital or other establishment or institution.
On that same day, the Government of Ontario released lists of both essential and non-essential businesses and business activities. All non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down.
Under the original order most projects in the construction industry, including all of those in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) and residential sectors were deemed essential and exempt from closure.
On Friday, April 3, 2020, the Province announced that it had revised the list of businesses and business activities deemed to be essential. As it pertains to the construction industry, the following business activities remain essential and therefore exempt from closure: