Please note: New applications for payday loan establishments are not being accepted. Application requirements shared below are only for reference.

Payday loan establishments are any premises, or any part of the premises that operates as a payday lending business as defined by the Payday Loans Act.

The payday loan licence came into effect on August 1, 2018. Payday lending businesses must have obtained a payday loan licence by October 1, 2018 to operate in Toronto.

The number of payday loan establishment licences granted by the City is limited to 212. This represents the total number of licences that were valid under the Payday Loans Act, 2008, and were operating in Toronto as of May 1, 2018.

The current licensing cap protects consumers by limiting the proliferation of payday loan establishments, while allowing operators to meet consumer demand. The number of payday loan licences has declined from 212 in 2018 to 178 in September 2020, as new licence applications are not accepted and licensees are not permitted to sell or transfer their business.

The number of payday loan establishment locations permitted to operate in each ward is limited to the total number of locations that existed in each ward as of May 1, 2018.

Ward 1 Etobicoke North: 20
Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre: 3
Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore: 12
Ward 4 Parkdale-High Park: 5
Ward 5 York South–Weston: 21
Ward 6 York Centre: 14
Ward 7 Humber River–Black Creek: 8
Ward 8 Eglinton-Lawrence: 8
Ward 9 Davenport: 7
Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York: 8
Ward 11 University-Rosedale: 5
Ward 12 Toronto-St. Paul’s: 2
Ward 13 Toronto Centre: 14
Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth: 6
Ward 15 Don Valley West: 3
Ward 16 Don Valley East: 5
Ward 17 Don Valley North: 1
Ward 18 Willowdale: 3
Ward 19 Beaches-East York: 4
Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest: 10
Ward 21 Scarborough Centre: 21
Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt: 9
Ward 23 Scarborough North: 3
Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood: 18
Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park: 2

An operator of a payday loan business may change business or location addresses, but is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The operator must inform Municipal Licensing and Standards within five business days of any change;
  2. The operator must make a new application to the City of Toronto for an update to the licence, indicating the new location; and
  3. The operator must pay the applicable pro-rated fee.

The operator of a licensed payday loan business may move freely within its own ward, as it existed on May 1, 2018. A licence holder cannot relocate on or within 500 metres of the Woodbine Racetrack (555 Rexdale Boulevard).

An operator of a payday loan business may only move outside of its current Ward if the cap of the other ward has not been reached.

Zoning approval is required for the majority of new business licence applications. When zoning approval is required, City staff will initiate the approval process after the application is received.

Zoning approval is not required if an applicant is taking over an existing business that has a valid business licence or is expired less than one year prior to the time of new application (for the same licence category). When zoning approval is not required, you must complete and sign the Occupancy Declaration Form.

Your licence will expire annually on the anniversary of the date that the licence was first issued.

The renewal fee is $355.85

Existing licensees must renew their licences online. Licence renewal fees can be paid online or by sending a cheque.

Please have all required documents ready to upload before starting the renewal, as it requires 10-15 minutes to complete and cannot be saved. Download a step by step guide on how to renew a licence or permit.

Renew Licence

Business licences set to expire in 2021 will be cancelled for non-payment after 150 days and will not be subject to late fees. Find your outstanding business licence or permit renewal invoice.

If you fail to renew your licence according to the bylaw, your licence will be cancelled and you will have to reapply.

Who can apply

Individuals, partnerships or corporations.

Must hold a valid licence as of May 1, 2018 as a lender or a loan broker under the Payday Loans Act.

Application Fee


Identification Requirements

Original documents required for all applications (and renewal transactions).

Include two pieces of government-issued identification (one must be photo ID):

  • Canadian Passport
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • SIN Card (Social Insurance Number)
  • Valid Work Permit


  • First and last names must match on all identification.
  • We do not accept Health Cards.

Business Requirements

All applicants must also provide the following:

Corporations must also provide:

  • a copy of Articles of Incorporation (certificate and articles) (Note: If there has been a change to the list of officers and directors, please provide a current Corporate Profile Report)
  • the Annual Return for Corporation Form which lists all current directors & officers of the Corporation. This must be:
    • original as copies will not be accepted
    • signed by an officer/director of the Corporation. The Form cannot be signed by a designate of the Corporation.

If a director of the corporation is unable to apply in person at the Licence and Permit Issuing Office, a designate may apply on their behalf. The designate must:

  • have an original letter advising of their signing authority on corporation letterhead, signed by a director of the corporation dated within 30 days
  • provide two pieces of identification for themselves
  • provide two pieces of identification for each officer and director of the corporation, or, if original identification is not available, notarized photocopies of the identification will also be accepted.

Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Check

Applicants must provide an original Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.

A designate applying on behalf of a corporation must also provide a Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Check for each officer and director of the Corporation.

Individual Applicants

Individuals applying as sole proprietors must also provide:

  • all business locations/addresses
  • the address for the main office, if different from other locations or where multiple business locations are in operation
  • the name, telephone number, email address and mailing address of the sole proprietor
  • a copy of provincial business name registration or signed franchise agreement

Lender or Loan Broker Licence

Proof of a valid licence issues by the Province of Ontario under the Payday Loans Act, 2008, including the applicable licence number.

ML&S shall deny an application for, or a renewal, for all businesses required to be licenced under this chapter that has:

    1. Been convicted at any time of a sexual offence against a minor or a person with a disability under any of sections 151 to 153.1 of the Criminal Code;
    2. Been convicted of any sexual offence under the Criminal Code in the preceding ten years;
    3. Been convicted of an offence under the following Criminal Code sections in the preceding five years:
      1. 84 to 117.15 (Firearms and Other Weapons);
      2. 264.1 to 286.1 (Offences Against the Person);
      3. 321 to 378 (Offences Against Rights of Property);
      4. 379 to 462 (Fraudulent Transactions, Wilful and Forbidden Acts of Certain Property, Offences Relating to Currency);
      5. 462.3 to 462.5 (Proceeds of Crime).
    4. Been convicted at any time of an offence under the following Criminal Code sections:
      1. 83.01 to 83.33 (Terrorism);
      2. 219 to 248 (Major Offences Against the Person);
      3. 267, 268, 270.01, 272, 273 (Major Assaults or Major Sexual Assaults).
    5. Been convicted of an offence under the following Controlled Drugs and Substances Act sections in the preceding ten years:
      1. 5 (Trafficking);
      2. 6 (Importing and exporting);
      3. 7 (Production);
      4. 7.1 (Possession for use in production or trafficking).
    6. Been convicted of any offence under section 4 (Possession or obtaining) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the preceding five years;
    7. Been convicted of five or more offences under Chapter 545 or 546 of the Toronto Municipal Code in the preceding three years;
    8. Any overdue by-law fines, unless the applicant provides proof that such fines have been subsequently paid.

Despite these screening criteria, if a licence has been previously issued or renewed and the applicant’s or licensee’s record discloses no new breach of the screening criteria, the licence may be issued or renewed without the matter being referred to the Toronto Licensing Tribunal.

These screening criteria do not apply to any offence for which a licensee or applicant has been granted a criminal record suspension (i.e. a pardon) by the Parole Board of Canada.