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Rental showrooms must close during new Ontario lockdown


January 12, 2021
By Patrick Flannery


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Updated anti-COVID measures announced by the Ontario government to take effect Jan. 13 suggest rental stores will not be able to keep showrooms open to the public for as long as the measures stay in place. Previous changes on Dec. 26 restricted rental stores to appointment-only services.

From the government statement:

Place of business may open for retail sales to the public if:

  • they use an alternative method of sale, such as curb side pick-up or delivery;
  • they have a public entrance that opens onto a street or exterior sidewalk; and
  • members of the public are not permitted to access the place of business, except in exceptional circumstances

The new list of essential services does not include equipment rental operations as it has in the past.

Ontario premier Doug Ford has released a list of construction projects that will be deemed essential during the emergency lockdown. New residential construction where a footing permit has been granted will be allowed to go forward, as will residential renovation work. Commercial construction is restricted to a list of essential buildings and to maintenance services.

Full list:

Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector and long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.

Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, mining and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.

Construction projects and services that support the operations of, and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

Construction projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

Construction projects and services that support the operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.

Critical industrial construction activities required for,

  • the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
  • significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
  • industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction projects that are due to be completed before July 2021 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products.

Construction projects that were commenced before January 12, 2021, and that would,

  • provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or
  • provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.

Residential construction projects where,

  • a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
  • the project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building, or
  •  the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021.

Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure.

Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety

Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums. The Ontario government also provided that businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.

Construction on any project intended to provide either,

  • affordable housing, or
  • shelter or supports for vulnerable persons,

If the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:

  • 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 in the Housing Services Act, 2011,
  • a registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Manufacturing activities are unchanged by the new lockdown orders.


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1 Comment » for Rental showrooms must close during new Ontario lockdown
  1. You may want to check page 19 of the (Updated) businesses Permitted to Open regulations:
    “Rental & Leasing Services, Including Automobile, Commercial
    and Light Industrial Machinery & equipment Rental are allowed to be open “by appointment only”,
    Your statement “The new list of essential services does not include equipment rental operations as it has in the past.” is misleading.

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