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Store Closings This Holiday Season

Archived News Release

Store Closings This Holiday Season

Mcguinty Government Reminds Ontarians To Plan Ahead

Ministry of Consumer Services

A reminder as Ontarians get ready for the Holiday Season - plan ahead and get your shopping done early for both Christmas and New Years celebrations.

Under the Retail Business Holidays Act, most stores in Ontario will be closed on December 25, 2008, and on January 1, 2009, with the following exemptions:

  • Book or magazine stores under 2,400 square feet with a maximum of three employees
  • Pharmacies under 7,500 square feet
  • Flower shops 
  • Gas stations, and
  • Stores exempted under specific municipal bylaws for tourism purposes. 

The Retail Business Holidays Act is enforced by local police services in all municipalities except the City of Toronto.  For more information on the City of Toronto's retail stores closing bylaw, visit the City of Toronto's website at www.toronto.ca


Most stores in Ontario must be closed during nine holidays each year:

  • New Year's Day
  • Family Day (which falls on the third Monday of February)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Fines for opening businesses on these holidays are as follows:

  • $500 for a first offence
  • $2,000 for a second offence
  • $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

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