City’s Night Economy to get a boost as Toronto City Council approves new ways to generate growth

City of Toronto inviting public feedback as part of Night Economy Review

Toronto City Council approved three staff reports with recommendations that activate night culture in new ways and give a boost to the City of Toronto’s Night Economy. This work will support the evolving needs of businesses and inspire broader use of social, cultural, and recreational facilities.

The reports provide an approach to reclassify bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, which in turn, will foster new business opportunities and add to vibrant communities across the city. The reports also consider ways to stimulate Toronto’s economy outside of the downtown core through hybrid business opportunities and City strategies to support safe communities after dark.

Highlights include:
•       Modernizing licensing and zoning rules for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, through the adoption of bylaw amendments.
•       Expanding permitted nightclub areas to commercial zones city-wide, subject to conditions. Nightclubs are currently restricted to the downtown.
•       Increasing the permitted maximum area bars and restaurants can use for entertainment from six to 25 per cent of the interior floor area, allowing for more space for live music, cultural events, areas for dancing and games, including mini golf, bowling and amusement arcades.
•       Updating business licence categories to include a category that captures public halls, live music venues and rental spaces for entertainment; and amending provisions for nightclubs to focus on the purpose of the establishment and strengthening security requirements.
•       Strengthening compliance and enforcement including the requirement for businesses to meet additional licensing criteria based on an activity-based licensing framework and proactively addressing problematic establishments.
•       Continuing to support through the upcoming Night Economy Town Hall and the development of an industry guide that leads with safe space best practices and good neighbour principles for late-night businesses.

The City continues to engage in best practices to enhance inclusive social culture across Toronto at night including affordable and accessible spaces, equity, anti-violence and harm reduction training for nighttime businesses and more. Supporting nightlife offerings that are not alcohol-centered including family-friendly and outdoor activities also remains a priority.

Bylaw amendments will come into effect on January 1, 2025, to ensure sufficient education, outreach and support has been provided to operators during the transition.

Toronto Night Economy Town Hall
On January 17, 2024, the City will host a Toronto Night Economy Town Hall. The event will see participation from Residents’ Associations, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), entertainment, tourism and hospitality professionals, harm reduction groups, cultural event producers and more. The purpose will be to share information on the changes in these reports, highlight resources to support the year-long period of transition prior to implementation and for the City to learn what additional supports are needed to ensure the Night Economy benefits everyone. To register, visit the Night Economy Town Hall registration page:

Full details on approved recommendations and additional background information can be found on the City’s Night Economy Review webpage:


“Toronto is a world class city that can be as vibrant, accessible and safe after dark as it is during the daylight hours. Thank you to City staff for coming together and taking a thoughtful and wholistic approach to an opportunity that will better support businesses that operate in the evening hours while recognizing this work must lead with safety, inclusivity and courtesy.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow

“We want to get this right and unlock Toronto’s nightlife in a way that considers everyone’s needs. This is about being collaborative and listening to business leaders and neighbours so we can build more vibrant, economically viable and complete communities beyond the downtown.”
– Councillor Paul Ainslie (Scarborough Guildwood), Mayor’s Night Economy Champion

SOURCE City of Toronto

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