Policy, Research, Public Consultation and Events


Holiday Shopping Bylaw Review

The City of Toronto is undertaking a review of the existing Holiday Shopping Bylaw.

Have Your Say

Get involved and have your say on the City's review of holiday shopping in Toronto.

Attend a meeting:

Public Meeting

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, September 19 
North York Memorial Community Hall
Rooms Gold A & B
5110 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M2N 5E7

North York Memorial Community Hall is located at 5110 Yonge St., just steps away from North York Civic Centre and North York Centre subway station on the Yonge line.

Stakeholder Meeting

Two stakeholder meetings will be held during the week of September 18 for:

1. Businesses, trade and industry representatives involved in selling of prepared meals

2. Union and labour representatives

To be invited to these meetings or for more information, contact Mohamed Shuriye at Mohamed.Shuriye@toronto.ca

Please contact us as soon as possible if you require any accommodations to participate in the stakeholder or public consultation process.

Send us your comments:

In addition to the consultations, staff will continue to accept input through email.

Send us your feedback and comments to Mohamed.Shuriye@toronto.ca

About the review



On April 26, 2017, City Council received a report on the first phase of the Holiday Shopping Bylaw review.  As part of the second phase of this review, Council directed staff to conduct additional public consultations on the impact of allowing grocery stores and others that sell prepared meals to be open on public holidays.

Stores that sell prepared meals are permitted to be open on public holidays because of a "prepared meals exemption" in the Holiday Shopping Bylaw.

What is a prepared meal? The City has historically interpreted the "prepared meals exemption" to mean food sold only in restaurants, permitting them to be open on public holidays. Changing business practices in retail over time are now challenging the accepted convention of what businesses sell prepared meals. For example, retailers like grocery stores and some pharmacies are now selling what can be considered prepared meals.


All retail stores must be closed on public holidays unless they have an exemption in the bylaw. Public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day,
  • Family Day,
  • Good Friday,
  • Easter Sunday,
  • Victoria Day,
  • Canada Day,
  • Labour Day,
  • Thanksgiving Day,
  • Christmas Day. 


The bylaw currently permits the following retail stores to be open on public holidays:

  • Small retail establishments less than 2,400 square feet;
  • Pharmacies less than 7,500 square feet;
  • Art galleries, nurseries; gas stations; liquor licensed businesses;
  • Retail businesses for education; recreation and amusement;
  • Business in relation to prepared meals; living accommodations; laundromats; vehicle or boat rentals;
  • Businesses located in the following areas are also exempt from the By-law:
    • Queens Quay West;
    • Toronto Eaton Centre and the Hudson's Bay Company (Yonge & Queen location);
    • Downtown Yonge Street Business Improvement Area;
    • Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area; and
    • Distillery Historic District.


Legislation and additional information

Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 510, Holiday Shopping By-law

City of Toronto and Holiday Shopping


Phases of the review

Phase 1: Research and Analysis – August to October 2017

Phase 2: Public and Stakeholder Consultations – September 2017

Phase 3: The Final Report – October 2017 

Scheduled Stakeholder and Public Meetings:

The City is committed to an open and inclusive process that incorporates stakeholder and public participation. Staff will engage members of the general public, grocery and food services workers and unions, the Ontario/Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care and relevant business owners. See our consultation activities above in Have Your Say.

In addition to the consultations, staff will continue to accept input through email.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you require accommodation to participate in the public consultation process.


Decision history and related reports

Review of Chapter 510, Holiday Shopping - Next Steps

Report on the Recent Court Decision Dealing with the City's Holiday Shopping By-law, September 15, 2015

Holiday Shopping, October 4. 2012

Recommendations relating to the operation of retail stores on Public Holidays, May 11, 2010

Regulation of Holiday Shopping, March 3, 2008

Regulation of Holiday Shopping Upon Proclamation of the City of Toronto Act, November 25, 2006