Which Ontario licences are needed for independent construction worker?

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Posted by: from Calgary
2/23/2015 at 9:31:03 PM

Moving to Ontario soon (Hawkesbury region). Presently in Calgary and here I work as an independent worker, mostly renovations (roofing and siding) and jobs come from a subcontractor. I do not contract jobs of my own.

Would like to know once in Ontario is there a licence I have to obtain to continue working this way. Adding that I would like to contract also (in the division of roofing and siding.) What are the licences, insurance, etc I would need?

I have been going from one website to another but can't find a precise answers.

Thanks in advance!

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Date/Time2/24/2015 at 1:03:53 AM

Hi Marcel,

Gary Prenevost here with Alair Homes. Licensing will depend on what level of work you want to do; in some cases no licensing is required. If you'd like to consider "getting off the tools" to build a long-term business, we offer a franchise opportunity; both Cornwall and Ottawa area are available. For more information please visit, or e-mail me at [email protected]

I hope to have the opportunity to speak with you; all the best!


Gary Prenevost

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Date/Time2/24/2015 at 6:56:16 AM

Hi Marcel,

There is no licensing required in Ontario for the type of work you do. If you are working for other contractors you are required to carry worker's compensation insurance.

Best of luck,


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Date/Time2/24/2015 at 8:01:03 AM

Hi Marcel,

Here in Ontario you don't need any special licenses to do that kind of work but if you work peace work for a contractor you will need a wsib clearance certificate for that contractor or different companies your working for. You have to keep your wsib premiums up to date and your all set. And of course if you expect making more than 28,000 a year you should get your HST number.

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Date/Time2/24/2015 at 10:44:24 AM

Just as a side note, there are new requirements for "Working At Heights" in Ontario effective 1 April 2015.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Marcel in Calgary
Date/Time2/24/2015 at 9:57:08 PM

Thank you all for your helpfull advice, appreciate it!

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G A Fraser Custom Contracting Inc in Norwood
Date/Time2/25/2015 at 10:56:09 AM

Hi Marcel

There are 4 things you need when setting up business in construction:

1. First thing you need when self-employed in Ontario is a master business license; you can apply online at service Ontario

2. Trade licenses - however in your case, for roofing & siding, none are required.

3. Commercial liability insurance in order to be an "insured contractor" - an insured contractor is not a contractor who simply has WSIB. WSIB, although a legal requirement, is basically just accident insurance - it is not business insurance. Although you will be working for GC's I don't believe liability insurance covers sub-contractors...& in any event, unfortunately, there are a ton of uninsured GC's in Ontario so personally I wouldn't take the risk of being uninsured. Plus you will also be covered to work independently if a job pops up for a home owner/property owner direct.

4. & finally WSIB as you will be working for GC's. If you were intending to work without employees for homeowners direct it is not required. However, if you have employees or work for GC's or carry out any kind of commercial work it is a legal necessity.

Best of luck to you!

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