Ontario Government Reminds Consumers And Businesses Of Closings Under
Retail Business Holidays Act
TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Shoppers and merchants are reminded that under
the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA), Thanksgiving Day, October 8, is one
of the eight days per year when most stores in Ontario must be closed.
Exempt from the act are book or magazine stores under 2,400 square feet
with a maximum of three employees, pharmacies under 7,500 square feet, flower
shops and gas stations.
Stores may also be open on this holiday if exempted under specific
municipal bylaws for tourism purposes. Any questions about tourism
designations or local hours of retail operation should be directed to the
municipal clerk's office in your municipality.
Minimum fines for opening businesses on prohibited days of retail
operation are $500 for the first offence, $2,000 for a second offence and
$5,000 for a third or subsequent offence. Retail outlets may be fined up to
$50,000 or the total amount of gross sales for the holiday, whichever is
The RBHA is administered by the Ministry of Government Services, except
for the City of Toronto, and enforced by local police services in all
municipalities. Under the Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger Ontario Act,
2006, the city now has its own closing requirements under an interim bylaw.
The city has indicated that the same closing requirements will apply to retail
businesses in Toronto to close on October 8, 2007.
The RBHA strikes the appropriate balance between allowing businesses to
remain open and providing employees and consumers with a common day of pause.
To inquire about which types of retail operations are exempt from the act,
please call the ministry at 416-326-8800 or toll-free at 1-800-889-9768.
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For further information:
For further information: Ref: Store Openings: Public Inquiries: (416)
326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government Services,
(416) 325-8659; Ref: Rates of pay and other labour-related issues: Public
Inquiries (Employers and Workers): (416) 326-7160 or 1-800-531-5551; Belinda
Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405