In Ontario, there are a few different types of licenses that you may need to work as a contractor. The most ordinary kind of license is the general contractor license. This license allows you to work on a wide variety of big and small projects. This writing will answer the question: Do you need a license to be a general contractor in Ontario? Keep reading to find out!

Need of License

In Ontario, specific trades require the appropriate certification for tradespeople to work in the province. These trades are called compulsory trades. The Ontario College of Trades sets out to protect Ontarians by regulating skilled trades. It is paramount that mandatory trades have the appropriate training and certification to practice legally in Ontario.

The Ontario College of Trades is responsible for establishing apprenticeship/training programs and issuing Certificates of Qualification, among other things.


The Ontario College of Trades is a government body that protects the public and tradespeople. To lawfully function, journeypersons and apprentices must satisfy The Ontario College of Trades’ standards. The complaint, enforcement, and incident processes are part of being a member of the Ontario College of Trades.

The Ontario College of Trades investigates allegations against its members through investigations and inspections. If an offense has been reported against a member of St. Charles College, the school is authorized to impose fines, penalties, and violations on them. Members have the option of appealing their fines.

Certifications and Qualifications

According to provincial standards, a Certificate of Apprenticeship from Ontario indicates that the tradesperson has completed the essential training for their skilled trade in the province under the regulatory body. If an individual fulfills all apprenticeship program criteria, they can write a Certificate of Qualification Exam.

A certificate of qualification (C of Q) is a document that identifies highly qualified workers. It implies that the individual has been certified to practice their profession in Ontario.

Ontario’s Trades Qualification Assessment (TEA) assists tradespeople from other jurisdictions in acquiring the necessary qualifications to work in the province. Even though they may satisfy standards set by another jurisdiction, they may not be certified or have adequate expertise and skills in Ontario.

Journeypersons or registered apprentices must be legally authorized to practice their trade professionally under compulsory trade legislation. Individuals who have obtained a TEA certificate may work in Ontario temporarily while studying for the Certificate of Equivalence examination. Completing this test allows a tradesperson to take and pass the C of Q with The Ontario College of Trades and practice their trade in Ontario.

The requirements of a C of Q are not the same for every transaction. The C of Q is not required for all tradespeople in Ontario. 


In conclusion, depending on the trade you plan to practice, you may need a license to be a general contractor in Ontario. The Ontario College of Trades regulates skilled trades and ensures that tradespeople have the appropriate training and certification to work in the province. In case you are unsure whether you need a license, it is best to contact the Ontario College of Trades for more information. Thanks for reading!

Need a licensed general contractor for your next project? Contact J Bond Construction today to see how we can help!

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