2017 Retail Business Holiday Act (RBHA) Exemption Questionnaire 2016

The City of Ottawa is conducting a questionnaire to gather feedback from retail businesses on if they would support an exemption to the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA) in 2017 for Canada’s 150th Birthday. The RBHA is provincial legislation which prohibits retail businesses in Ontario from conducting business or admitting the public on certain prescribed holidays.


City Council may pass an exemption by-law to allow retail businesses to remain open on certain prescribed holidays under the RBHA, for the maintenance or development of tourism. An exemption in 2017, a year when Ottawa is poised to receive an extraordinary number of tourists, would allow retail businesses the choice to open on six statutory holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Family Day (the third Monday of February)
  • Victoria Day (the last Monday before or on May 24)
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Labour Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving Day (the second Monday in October)


In Ottawa, there are currently five areas that are exempt from the RBHA, allowing them to remain open on holidays. These areas include the Byward Market, Sparks Street Mall, Rideau Centre, Rideau Area Business Improvement Area and Loblaws Supermarket on Rideau Street.


In addition to the above areas, there are certain retail businesses that are exempt under the legislation. These businesses include small stores that sell foodstuffs, handicrafts, antiques or tobacco and that use less than 2,400 square feet for serving the public with a maximum of three employees; pharmacies under 7,500 square feet; liquor stores; businesses serving prepared meals such as restaurants; boat or car rental businesses; and nurseries, flower shops, gardening centres and gas stations.


Participation in this survey is voluntary, and all responses will be kept confidential. The questionnaire should take about 2 minutes to complete.




If you would prefer to fill out a paper copy of the survey, please complete the following survey and call my office at 613-580-2752 and we would be happy to stop by and pick it up.



Allan Hubley
Allan Hubley | Councillor Ward 23-Kanata South
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West | Ottawa, ON | K1P 1J1
Allan.Hubley@Ottawa.ca | 613-580-2752

Twitter: @AllanHubley_23