Regulating Retail Business Holiday Shopping

After conducting background research and consulting with approximately 4,000 stakeholders through online surveys and workshops, on June 14, 2018 Council enacted the Peel Retail Business Closings By-law (No. 34-2018). The Peel Retail Business Closings By-law regulates retail business openings on holidays in the Region.

Holidays Included in the Peel Retail Business Closings By-law

The Region of Peel Retail Business Closings By-law specifies that most businesses must close on the following holidays during the year:

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

Exemptions to the Peel Retail Business Closings By-law

In order to be permitted to open on a holiday, a retail business must meet one of the exceptions outlined in the By-law. The exceptions include:

  • Small retail establishments selling foodstuff, tobacco, antiques or crafts that are less than 3,000 square feet.
  • Businesses where the principal business is the pharmacy.
  • Businesses providing special services such as gas stations, nurseries and book stores.
  • Art galleries and tourism establishments.
  • Retail businesses for education, recreation and amusement.
  • Liquor licensed businesses.

A summary of the exemptions are listed above, however for a full listing, please refer to Section 4 of By-law No. 34-2018. In order to open on a holiday in Peel, a retail business must meet one of these exemption criteria.

Inclusion in a Local Municipal Tourism Strategy

If a retail business does not meet the exemption criteria included in the By-law, the business can only open on holidays if it is delineated and identified in a tourism area within a local tourism strategy. In addition to being within a tourism area, local tourism strategies may include additional criteria or details that need to be met in order for a business to be eligible to be open on holidays.

Grandfathered Exemptions

Businesses that were granted exemptions to open on holidays under the Provincial Retail Business Holidays Act, will be grandfathered until further notice. Council asked staff to report to a future Regional Council meeting with options to phase out the grandfathering provisions.


Should a business open on a statutory holiday in contravention of the provisions of the Peel Retail Business Closings By-law, the minimum fine for each offence is $500 and can be issued to owners/operators or employees that:

  • conduct business on a holiday;
  • admit the public to a retail establishment on a holiday;
  • conduct or offer sales in a retail establishment on a holiday; and,
  • do not cooperate with an Officer for inspections.

The maximum is $5,000 per person in accordance with Schedule A, Section 6, and Schedule B, Set Fines of By-law No. 34-2018.

Additional Information:

By-law and Regional Council Direction

Provincial legislation



If you would like further information on the by-law, please contact Region of Peel Planning

Revised: Wednesday October 16 2019

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