Is the project complete?

Date: July 2022

When speaking to clients about the status of a construction project, there is often confusion around the concept of whether it has been completed or not (assuming there is no certificate of substantial completion/certificate of completion).

In Ontario and British Columbia, the concept of “completion” differs substantially.

In Ontario, a project is “deemed completed” when the price of completion, correction of a known defect, or last supply is not more than the lesser of, (a) 1 per cent of the contract price; and (b) $5,000.

In British Columbia, the concept of completion is a lot different. An “improvement” is “completed” if the improvement or a substantial part of it is ready for use or is being used for the purpose intended.

In many circumstances, the concept of completion can be very important for the purpose of establishing the timeliness of a lien and in Ontario it is also important for determining the availability of adjudication.

In either province, determining whether the project is completed can be tricky, and so I always encourage clients to reach out to us as soon as possible to ensure liens are preserved in time. Always err on the side of caution!

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