Retail Closings Over The Holiday Season

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

    TORONTO, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - Shoppers and merchants are reminded that under
the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA), both Christmas Day, December 25, 2007
and New Year's Day, January 1, 2008, are among the nine 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 these holidays 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 and Consumer
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 and they are to close
on December 25, 2007 and January 1, 2008.
    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.

    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;
Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405

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