Holiday shopping a reality in the Glebe
Bank Street in Ottawa's Glebe district, Sep. 29, 2016
Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:50PM EDT
As you’re making your Thanksgiving plans you can now add shopping in the Glebe to the list of possibilities.
Businesses in the area not already exempt now have the option to remain open on statutory holidays, including Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Day, Family Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day.
City Council voted to grant the exemption earlier this year, but the Ottawa and District Labour Council appealed the by-law to the Ontario Municipal Board, arguing the holidays should be preserved for employers and employees to spend with their families.
On Thursday the O.M.B. denied the appeal, ruling that the Glebe met the conditions of the Retail Business Holidays Act which allows the exemption for areas considered tourist destinations. The Glebe B.I.A. argued that the re-developed Lansdowne Park and the nearby Rideau Canal has put the area on par with the Byward Market, the Rideau Centre and the Sparks Street Mall. "Tourism has always played a part in our local economy, but I think that this area has just blossomed,” says Andrew Peck, Executive Director of the Glebe B.I.A.
Reaction along Bank Street is mixed.
Anne Woolley is for the exemption. She says her family-owned business, Cats R Us, is the only cat-oriented boutique in Canada, making it a popular destination for out-of-towners. “Every day that we're not open is a loss of business and so that impacts our overall sales and our income," says Woolley.
Across the street at the J.D. Adam Kitchen Company, John Adam feels differently. "We're not going to be open. We're a family-oriented business, been here for 28 years, and we don't want to work and our staff doesn't really want to work" he says.
Andrew Peck, Executive Director of the Glebe B.I.A., says they will work to make sure employers and employees understand that working on a stat holiday is voluntary.
Anne Woolley says staff at Cats R Us won’t have to miss any family time. “It'll probably be myself and my family working on the statutory holidays," she says.