Retail store closures on Remembrance Day

In recognition of the significance of Remembrance Day in honouring Canadian Veterans and those serving in the military currently, and in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Remembrance Day By-law 2008-355 , most retail businesses are required to close until 12:30 p.m. on November 11th each year. The exceptions to the closure requirement are:

  • Food/grocery, tobacco, antique and handicraft stores with less than 2400 square feet in total area used for serving/selling to the public
  • Pharmacies with less than 7500 square feet in total area used for serving/selling to the public. Therefore, pharmacies located inside larger stores must be closed until 12:30 p.m.
  • Book/newspaper dealers which store is less than 2400 square feet in total area used for serving/selling to the public
  • Convenience stores (e.g. “corner” stores)
  • Nurseries, gardening supply stores and florists
  • Gasoline/fuel stations
  • Businesses selling propane, diesel, natural gas and associated fuel products
  • Businesses dealing in the rental of motor vehicles and boats
  • Businesses dealing in the repair of motor vehicles and boats, which includes the portion of larger stores where vehicle repairs are being provided.

Note also that:

  • The by-law deals only with fixed, enclosed premises
  • The closure requirement under the by-law does not apply to:
    • hotels and motels
    • restaurants (take-out, fast food, sit-down)
    • recreational facilities and fitness centres
    • doctors’, dentists’, optometrists’ offices
    • medical centres
    • funeral homes
    • hair salons and spas
    • pet groomers
    • vehicle repair shops
    • repair services for computers, furnaces, air conditioners, pools
    • pay-day loan services
    • realtors
    • dry cleaners
    • vendors at outdoor markets (i.e. ByWard, Parkdale)
  • The closure requirement under the by-law does apply to:
    • tourist areas exempted by by-law from the Retail Business Holidays Act (which regulates retail store opening on Statutory Holidays) including the ByWard Market BIA, the Rideau Area Improvement Area, the Rideau Centre, Sparks Street Mall and the Loblaws Supermarket at 363 Rideau Street, unless any businesses within those areas fall under an exemption under the Remembrance Day By-law as noted above
      • in other words, their “tourist area exemption” cannot be used on November 11th. Many of their businesses will have to be closed until 12:30 p.m., unless they fall under an exemption in the by-law (e.g. news stand) or the by-law does not apply to them in general (e.g. restaurants)
    • Street vendors on:
      • Rideau Street or Wellington Street between Sussex Drive and Metcalfe Street
      • Elgin Street between Wellington Street and Queen Street
    • travel agents
    • video sale and rental stores
    • eyeglass retailers (i.e. the portion of the space in which eyeglasses are sold)
  • In the case of car dealerships that also operate repair shops, the retail sales portion of the dealership must be closed to the public. Where the repair portion does not have a separate entrance, clients should be notified that the retail portion is closed (e.g. via signage).

Note that retail businesses which are required to close under the by-law and are normally open 24 hours, are required to be closed from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on November 11th.

For more information, you may refer to the Remembrance Day By-law or contact the City of Ottawa’s By-law and Regulatory Services at 613-580-2424, ext. 12735.