Retail Main Streets are centres of employment, economic activity, culture expression and social diversity, and are integral to the well-being and prosperity of the city and the local neighbourhoods they serve. In an effort to ensure the sustainability of retail main streets and small, independent businesses, the City has undertaken a Study of the current state and future of Toronto’s main streets.

The findings and recommendations of this Study will inform and guide City policies, programs and advocacy positions.

Small, independent businesses are critical to the ongoing vibrancy and economic viability of the city’s retail main streets.

This Study will provide an understanding of the current economic, policy and regulatory environment in which retail main streets operate, the key issues they face, and the types of supports that will be most helpful to them.

The findings and recommendations of this Study will inform and guide City policies, programs and advocacy positions.

Survey closes on June 10.

The Retail Main Streets project will:

  • Document the role played by small independent businesses in the City’s main streets
  • Identify and analyze the key factors that are critical to their successful operation and survival
  • Identify and analyze recent trends impacting those key factors and offer informed opinions about what the future may hold
  • Identify public policy responses being taken in other jurisdictions around the world to
    address similar challenges
  • Develop recommended policies, programs and advocacy positions the City should consider to ensure the economic viability of its retail main streets and small independent main street businesses in the future owners.

Planning: January – February 2019
Market Research: March – September 2019

This phase will be research driven and will identify the major challenges affecting Toronto’s main street business owners.

The goal is to gain an understanding of the current economic, policy and regulatory environment in which they operate, the key issues they face, and the types of supports that would be most helpful to them and identifying factors, trends, opportunities and threats.

Stakeholder engagement will include interviews with retail business owners, an online survey for business owners, an online survey for City of Toronto residents and a public meeting.

In addition the team will be defining, mapping and profiling Main Street Retail Areas and Small, Independent Main Street Businesses.

Analysis: September – October 2019
Final Report: November 2019

The City of Toronto will report on practical policy, program and advocacy recommendations which the City could implement to better ensure the sustainability of small and independent main street businesses in the future.

Subscribe for E-Updates

Subscribe to receive updates, reports and information on upcoming meetings related to the Retail Main Streets Study.