Are general contractors licensed in Ontario?

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Posted by: from Whitby
8/8/2012 at 10:14:17 PM

Also would like to know can I terminate an exsisting contract if the contractor hired has breached the contract within 8 days of starting the job?

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Costel from Stone Trend in Mississauga
Date/Time8/9/2012 at 12:24:12 AM

Hi Claudia,

It depends on the job he was hired to do.

Best thing is to mediate because eventually both parties will have to loose.

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Date/Time8/9/2012 at 7:28:51 AM

Sadly there are no requirements for a license to operate as a General Contractor in Ontario. Certain trades such as plumber, electrician and gas fitters (to name a few)are required to have licenses but not the person or company that organizes them all for you.

It is very common in the states to require licenses and even specific forms of contracts but not here. I got told that (but didn't verify) when Nortel went out of business there were 400 new renovators in Ottawa the next year. Which makes it hard for those of us who take the responsibility seriously and are professional about it.

That being said you are in a difficult position if you are already not happy with your contractor. Subject to the terms of your contract you can refuse anyone access to your house and you are under no obligation ever to continue working with someone you don't trust or who isn't doing a good job.

If you do part ways with your contractor he has a legitimate claim to get paid a fair price for any work and/or material that has been delivered to your home (or the work site if it is somewhere else).

The best scenario is if you can have a discussion with him and come to a fair agreement of payment and then part ways. There are legal options available which you should discuss with a lawyer but be aware that in general going this route usually costs money and a lot of time. (a full court case can take two or more years before you reach resolution...and it is not always favorable to you)

The bottom line is you need to have trust in the contractor working in your home and if you don't you should get out of the agreement. However this can and likely will cost you a few bucks to do so and you need to accept that in advance. But it is money well spent to be able to free you to find the right contractor and enjoy the process and end result of your renovations.



cell 613-913-0389

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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time8/9/2012 at 8:40:19 AM


Some are some are not but ether way they need to be registered at the government for there business number or really stay away from them, from a contract breached?

As a Certified and Registered Carpenter and Inspector, If I would breached a contract I would be so embarrassed that I would probably leave if you tell me so!

And explanation of course, the best way to know is ask him alone on a meeting and talk to him about your problems (Pros and Cons) about the situation and he might realise some things and make it better if not just tell him to leave your property until this situation is fix.

Good luck

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Steve from OMC Contracting in Kitchener
Date/Time8/9/2012 at 9:27:14 AM

Very good question!, We think that we have law in this country that You can rely on, WRONG, there is no industry that is more vulnerable and more used and abused. Large construction corporations Bancroft more small guys then any body can imagine, they rule the industry as they please, think if someone go's to the bank and robs the bank for $1000,00 hi's going to end up behind bars, but in the construction industry You can do that openly and You are reworded for it.

What I'm trying to tel You this industry is mess and you are allowed to do as you please, of course any body can find the reason and is always good enough in the corrupted industry. Small thieves running around grabbing deposits from the people and never finishing or starting the job, all this is permitted in the corrupted industry.

Construction unions are telling you where you can work, where not, and we amuse our self's by talking about discrimination, We are discriminated every single day one way or the other, I guess the answer is very clear.

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David from Chetco Homes in Fort Erie
Date/Time8/9/2012 at 11:55:49 AM

Yes some are and some are not. If you signed a contract and you are not happy with the work you can stop the contractor and settle up as to what you owe him. If he is failing to perform the work in the time frame you agreed on without a good explanation then you can stop the work.

I an not a Lawyer but I am a contractor. I would not want to proceed on a job were the home owner was not happy with my performance.

Good luck


Chetco Homes

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Claudia in Whitby
Date/Time8/9/2012 at 12:30:11 PM

Thank you inquiry was regarding a contract my mom entered into..the contractor has been quite dishonest and wanted some answers and thank you for the responses.

She asked what the license stamp on the contract pertained to and he become very insulting and verbally abusive towards my mom.

I'm a mediator and understand both sides..we are int he process of writing up a letter stating that we have decided to terminate the contract on the grounds that part A and B are being completed as agreed upon and stated in the contract..our trust of his competence in completing the job as agreed upon has been dissolved ..we will pay for all the material used in the job completed up to now and the hours of work the contractors employee has worked in the premises..we are requesting copies of the reciepts of the material used and asking what the hourly rate is for the job.

Hopefully there will be a quick resolution to this.

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Date/Time8/9/2012 at 10:02:44 PM

Unfortunately in Ontario anyone can call themselves a contractor with any amount of experience. My advice to people is, if your contractor wants a deposit before he starts work then dont walk

If you are not happy with your contractor, regardless of your contract, then come to an agreement to part company. If your contractor refuses to cooperate with this, then get your lawyer to write a letter to support your position. This may very well be money well spent to give you some peace of mind. If youe contractor is smart, he will let you move on without him.

Paul Justice

Justice Construction

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Caesar from Ernesto Voss Inc in Toronto
Date/Time8/13/2012 at 5:55:33 PM

Hi Claudia

Yes you can, but it really depends how the contract was structured.

For my company I have an out clause saying the client has a right to get out of the contract within the first 10 days of starting the project without any penalty.

I believe there are countless circumstances on why i client may have buyers remorse, and we as contractors should afford she/he the options to bow out of the agreement. But this is just my company, I certainly wouldn't criticize other companies for not doing the same, there are many reasons why this wouldn't be feasible for other contractors.

Good luck.


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Claudia in Whitby
Date/Time8/13/2012 at 9:20:01 PM

Thanks again for all the feedback.

My mother received a letter from a lawyer and it stated alot of mis information, I'll be in contact with the lawyer with pictures and contact in hand to talk about a possible settlement..we never spoke of not paying..we just don't trust him, work is not being completed as promised and material promised is not the material being used..apparently is threatening to place a construction lien on a $7000 job that he has already received $2000.00 for and only 1 third of the job is complete.

I feel disappointed that there are people out there that do this and sleep at night,,unfortunately like other trades it doesn't aid in having trust in the industry.

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