On-Site Magazine

Ontario to let construction run 24 hours a day to speed health care projects, help contractors stagger shifts

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April 9, 2020 by On-Site Staff

A warning sign outside the CAMH construction site in downtown Toronto. Contractors have implemented additional measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on job sites

Health care projects currently taking shape across Ontario will now be allowed to run all night without running afoul of city noise by-laws.

Premier Doug Ford, along with Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton, announced a new regulation April 8 that will supersede municipal by-laws related to construction noise for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re extending construction hours to allow us to build essential infrastructure faster, while ensuring construction workers can practice physical distancing on work sites to stay safe and healthy,” Ford said in a release.

Staggering work shifts to limit the amount of staff on projects at any one time is among several key steps contractors are taking to ensure workers are able to keep their distance from one another. The province says the temporary move will keep construction moving forward by adding hours to the work day.

The 24-hour work times apply only to projects within the healthcare sector, such as “new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care,” the province said.

All other types of construction will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., in spite of what current city by-laws may say.

Despite a move by the province last week to tighten its essential services list, forcing stoppages on a wide range of non-residential construction projects, much of the residential and infrastructure building sectors remain active.