This past Friday we published a story on the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on Toronto's booming real estate and construction industries. In this uncertain time, increasing pressure on most businesses to operate remotely or close, and for social distancing measures to be ramped up, has led to a rapid shutdown of condominium sales centres, real estate open houses and launches, while some construction sites have also shut down. 

Toronto skyline, image by Forum contributor Razz

With and City Council and committee meetings suspended, Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) hearings postponed, and building permit and zoning reviews halted, Toronto's City Planning Division is also at a standstill. While the City says "some exceptions may be made for large-scale or time-sensitive projects," most City Planning services have been suspended. 

With many jobs currently on pause, and trade unions are urging the federal government to shut down construction, UrbanToronto is still operating at full strength with our team working remotely. Now, it has been announced that "to further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow."

As a means to keep the public in the loop about these shutdowns, we're seeking information from anyone working in related fields to share status updates that can be passed on to our audience. Everyone from construction workers to brokers to real estate executives are encouraged to share tips on what work and events have stopped, what is proceeding, and how their businesses are being affected by the various shutdowns. You can share information by emailing us, or by posting in our dedicated Forum thread for industry tips.

For our initial report, we've combed together some early updates and releases, including pages created specifically to provide regular updates regarding the pandemic. 

City of Toronto: COVID-19: Affected City Services & Facilities (including City construction project status)

Urban Land Institute (ULI) Members Only 'Virtual Lunch'

BILD creates COVID-19 section on webpage

Robins Appleby Guidance to Builders on Tarion’s Unavoidable Delay Bulletin (PDF download)

COVID-19: What you need to know about Health and Safety and Working On-Site (PDF download)

Enbridge’s Guidance to Residential New Construction Builders, Local Home Builder Associations and Ontario Home Builder Association (PDF download)

BILD Chapter Updates in the Status of Municipal Staffing and Implications for permitting, approvals and day to day operations

City of Vaughan Waives Late Penalty Charge on Interim Property Tax Bills

—Edward Skira, Co-Publisher