Retail Business Holidays Act

When certain retail businesses must close for holidays.


The Lieutenant Governor may declare any day a public holiday to be a "holiday" for the purposes of the act — that is, a day on which certain retail business establishments must be closed.

The act does not apply to the City of Toronto.

The act does not apply to businesses in municipalities that have their own retail business holiday rules, including a rule that the act does not apply to the municipality.

Other exemptions from this act include, but are not limited to:

  • certain small pharmacies
  • certain small businesses and the sale of certain goods or services
  • certain tourist establishments

The act also provides a right of appeal to any person who objects to a municipal bylaw that permits retail business establishments to be open on holidays for tourism and sets out penalties for non-compliance with the act.


To strike a balance between allowing retail business establishments to open and giving employees time off.

What we've heard

14 Eliminate it


Pat Howard (a business owner)

Created 4 months 2 weeks ago

Eliminate it

Other employment regulations cover this quite nicely.

bushlife (a business owner)

Created 4 months 3 weeks ago

Eliminate it

There are enough provisions already for workers time off. Small businesses and companies should not have to be under further burden of having to provide additional time off or paying overtime when routine required work is required to be done.

Stephen Murphy

Created 4 months 3 weeks ago

allow businesses that wish to open to do so. they will only open if there is demand from their customer base. this also helps to support our important tourism industry. the hours provided to employees will result in opportunities to earn additional income.

RedTapeComments (a professional service provider)

Created 5 months 1 week ago

Eliminate it

The current structure is very confusing for businesses. With so many exceptions allowed, what's the point?


Created 5 months 3 weeks ago

Eliminate it

Let the establishments aside!! Plenty of workers would welcome the time-and-a-half pay and be happy to work on a holiday.

Stephen Murphy

Created 5 months 3 weeks ago

Eliminate it

In this multi cultural country which encourages and welcomes visitors from around the world, businesses should have the opportunity to open when they wish. Employees will have greater opportunities to earn income.

Rob (a manager / supervisor)

Created 6 months 1 week ago

Eliminate it

Times change and in 2018 we should not force places to close "just because", it should be up to them. If the day is a STAT then they will factor that into the decision of whether they stay open or not. Additionally there's so many exemptions why bother having it at all?


Created 6 months 2 weeks ago

Eliminate it

Check which year your calendar is set to, it should read 2018 not 1940.