This webpage is intended to provide basic information that you will need to consider prior to starting, constructing or renovating a food premise in the City of Toronto.

Food Premise Definition

A food premise is where food is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale. A home kitchen in which food is being prepared for commercial purposes would also be considered a food premise.

Regulatory Requirements

All food premises are subject to the requirements of the Health Protection and Promotion Act and Ontario Food Premises Regulation including allowing entry to Public Health Inspectors to conduct inspections.

The City of Toronto posts inspection results online on the DineSafe website. An Inspection Notice is also posted at the location of the premises.

Before You Begin

Every person who intends to operate a food premises within the City of Toronto must notify the Medical Officer of Health before starting. This requirement also applies to operators purchasing an existing food premise.

Notify Toronto Public Health of a New Food Premises if you are planning to open one of the following food premises types:

  • Fixed food premises (e.g. commercial/food store/restaurant location)
  • Mobile food premises (e.g. food truck, food cart, etc.)
  • Home-based food premises 

After receiving notification, a Toronto Public Health Inspector will contact you and provide more information regarding the legislative requirements for starting a food business. Toronto Public Health Inspectors will be able to assist you with the following:

  • Structural Requirements – Provides an overview of the structural requirements for food premises
  • Submitting Plans – TPH will review building plans for newly constructed or renovated food premises

Remember to research what additional legislation and bylaws may impact your business before you sign a lease. You may need to confirm zoning bylaws or submit building plans.

Contact Toronto Building for information on the following:

  • Zoning
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) permit
  • Plumbing and mechanical permits
  • Sign permit
  • Building permit
  • Plan reviews

Municipal Licensing and Standards issues licences to different types of business, trades and mobile businesses.

The AGCO regulates the sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The CFIA administers and enforces all federal legislation related to food inspections and animal and plant health. The CFIA is responsible for inspecting and regulating federally registered establishments (generally those that move food products across provincial or national boundaries).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs administers and enforces a number of provincial statutes designed to minimize food safety risks for the following:

  • dairy farms, dairy products and dairy processing plants
  • the slaughter of animals and primary processing of meat
  • fruit and vegetables, honey and maple products
  • eggs and livestock
  • edible oil products


The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for fish and fish plant inspections for products harvested and offered for sale in Ontario.