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Retail Closings During Easter Weekend


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

TORONTO - Shoppers and merchants are reminded that under the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA), both Good Friday (April 6) and Easter Sunday (April 8) are among the eight days per year when most stores 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 the development or maintenance of tourism. 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 greater.

The RBHA is administered by the Ministry of Government 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, the city now has its own closing requirements under an interim bylaw.

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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