Pawnbroker and Second-Hand Goods Shop Licensing By-law Review

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Pawnbroker and Second-Hand Goods Shop Licensing By-law Review

Project Overview

The City of Ottawa is currently conducting a review of its licensing regime and regulations relating to pawnbrokers and second-hand goods shops contained in the Licensing By-law (Schedule 14 of By-law No. 2002-189, as amended).

As part of this by-law review process, City staff have collected feedback from stakeholders and the public via online surveys and comments. Staff would like to thank all those who participated. A summary of the feedback provided can be found below. 

Summary of survey results


In 2019, City Council directed staff to review Schedule 14 of the Licensing By-law as part of the by-law review workplan for this term of Council.

The by-law review will look at gaps created by the expected repeal of the provincial Pawnbrokers Act and explore the possibility of modernizing regulatory requirements. Given the different business models of pawnbrokers and second-hand goods shops, the review will also examine whether additional or different licensing requirements should be imposed depending on the nature of the business. The review will also look at practices in other municipalities and feedback from stakeholders and the public. 

A report on the by-law review, which would include any updated policy recommendations, was anticipated to be presented to the Community and Protective Services Committee and City Council in the Fall of 2020. However, as the Pawnbrokers Act has not yet been officially repealed by the Ontario government, and there is currently no indication as to when that repeal will take effect, staff are deferring the presentation of any new recommendations to a later date. Staff will continue to monitor the situation regarding the Act’s repeal and will prepare to potentially move forward with any applicable policy recommendations should the status of the repeal remain unchanged.


Issues under consideration include:

  • Transactional rules for pawning necessary for consumer protection, including regulations addressing a mandatory redemption period;
  • Which types of “second-hand goods” should be regulated, and which should be exempted from all or some of the regulations;
  • Electronic record-keeping and reporting requirements for operators who deal in second-hand goods that are purchased or pawned;
  • Categories of second-hand goods businesses that may warrant different licensing requirements or an exemption from regulations;
  • Potential regulation of purchase events;
  • Licensing requirements, regulations or standards to promote consumer protection and/or public health and safety.

Providing Input and Comments

You can also send any comments, concerns, or questions on this review via mail, telephone, or e-mail to the staff contact identified below. Comments received will be considered by staff in the preparation of a staff report.

For more information, contact:

David Kurs
Public Policy Development Branch
Emergency and Protective Services
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 27793

Personal information, if provided, will be retained exclusively by the City of Ottawa for no more than two years and will be kept confidential pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Any personal information you provide will only be used to contact you for the purposes of the by-law review. Summary results from the consultation will be retained in the City’s archives. Questions about how personal information may be used may be directed to the staff contact listed above.