Retail closings on Family Day

    Ontario Government Reminds Consumers And Businesses Of Closings Under
    Retail Business Holidays Act

    QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Shoppers and merchants are reminded that
under the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA), Family Day, February 18, is one
of nine days per year when most stores in Ontario must be closed.
    This year is the first time that Family Day will be celebrated. The
holiday will take place on the third Monday of every February.
    The RBHA allows 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 to remain open on holidays.
    In some municipalities, local bylaws allow other stores to remain open in
locations established as tourist areas by specific municipal by-laws. Any
questions about tourism designations or local hours of retail operation should
be directed to the municipal clerk's office.
    Minimum fines for opening businesses on days when retail operation is
prohibited 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 and Consumer
Services and enforced by local police services in all municipalities, except
for the City of Toronto. Under the Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger
Ontario Act, 2006, Toronto is exempt from the RBHA and has its own closing
requirements under an interim by-law. Further information on Toronto's
requirements can be found at
    The RBHA strikes a balance between allowing certain retail 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 RBHA and
what businesses can remain open on Family Day, please call the ministry at
416-326-8800 or toll-free at 1-800-889-9768.
    For more information on Family Day and the Employment Standards Act,
please see the recent background release from Ontario's Ministry of Labour at:

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ref: Store Openings, Public Inquiries: (416)
326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government and Consumer
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;
Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405

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