The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 510, Holiday Shopping and the Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act generally require retail stores to be closed on Public or Retail Holidays (i.e. New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).

Both the Municipal Code and provincial statute provide for exemptions by type and size of retail store that enable some stores to open while others must remain closed. In addition to exemptions by type and size of store, five areas within the City of Toronto and many other areas throughout Ontario have been granted 'tourist area' exemptions allowing stores located within those areas to open on retail holidays.

The current regulations in effect in the City of Toronto were adopted in 2006 as a temporary measure. City Council is now seeking to develop a long term policy.