Building Industry Supports Ontario Government’s Decision to Expand Construction Activity to Meet Ontario’s Housing Needs

May 1, 2020

Toronto, May 1, 2020 The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) welcome the Government of Ontario’s decision today to expand the list of allowable construction activities under the COVID-19 Emergency Orders. The resumption of more normal construction activities will allow the industry to meet the housing needs of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario. 


“Building new communities and residential housing is a multi-step and lengthy process,” said Dave Wilkes, President & CEO, BILD. “Given Canada’s climate, much of the work is seasonally dependent and the construction season for foundational activities is short. Extending the prohibition of critical work for much longer threatens the entire construction year, turning the GTA’s housing supply crunch into a full blown crisis and undermining one of the province’s most important economic engine.”


Today’s decision to resume earthworks or site grading makes sense as every operator is in their own machine, therefore ensuring physical distancing. Site grading is vital to every construction site as it must be completed before all other construction activity can start.


In addition, the decision allows for site and land-servicing projects to commence or continue on new residential, industrial, commercial and institutional developments. Underground servicing, the installation of storm water controls, water pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, road construction, including curbs and sidewalk, landscape works, trails, parks and utilities (telecommunications, water, gas, electricity, etc.) are necessary for the activation of new homes and eventual occupancy.


Work must be carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction site Health and Safety during COVID-19 and the industry supports shuttering any site that doesn’t meet this necessary  requirements.


“We all want safe jobsites,” said Joe Vaccaro, OHBA CEO. “Adding these new construction activities along with new provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines means members will continue to focus on worker safety while delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. We can keep each other safe while delivering housing supply across Ontario.”


With 1500 members companies, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. The building and renovation industry provides $34 billion in investment value and employs 270,000 people in the region.  BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders Association.


The Ontario Home Builders’ Association is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 27 local associations across the province. The residential construction industry contributes over $51 billion dollars to Ontario’s economy, employing more than 330,000 people across the province.




For additional information or to schedule an interview with BILD’s President and CEO Dave Wilkes, please contact John Provenzano, BILD Communications and Media Relations Manager at (416) 617-7994, and to schedule an interview with OHBA’s CEO Joe Vaccaro, contact Leah Sisnett, OHBA Communications, at

 (416) 525-8071.