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November 8, 2012
Committee recommends changes to Toronto's holiday shopping rules
The City of Toronto's Economic Development Committee has approved a subcommittee recommendation that would allow all retailers to open on Victoria Day beginning next year.

The committee is asking City Council to amend the Municipal Code (Chapter 510) to permit all Toronto retailers to open on Victoria Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and for Council to request that the Province review the Employment Standards Act around holiday shopping in consultation with retail workers and business owners.

The recommendation follows extensive public consultations held between November 2011 and July 2012 that included stakeholder and public meetings, a telephone poll and an online survey. A review of holiday shopping regulations in other southern Ontario municipalities was also conducted.

"The proposed amendment to the Municipal Code gives all retailers in Toronto the right to operate on the Victoria Day holiday," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of Toronto's Economic Development Committee. "By no means is it mandatory. Retailers and employees should understand that provincial rules and regulations protect employees from being forced to work on public holidays."

The committee is also asking Council to amend one of the exemptions in the Municipal Code (Chapter 510, Section 4, Clause B), in order to permit pharmacies with up to 15,000 square feet (1394 square metres) to be open on all public holidays. The current limitation is 7,500 square feet (697 square metres).

City Council will consider these matters at its next meeting on November 27 and 28.

More information about the recommendations is available in the documentation at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Communications Coordinator



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