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Calculating Store Capacity under the Roadmap to Reopen

June 8, 2021
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – As Ontario moves into Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen  on Friday, retailers will be able to welcome customers back into the store – in limited numbers.

While this is welcome news for both retailers and their customers, Step One does require the following restrictions on retailers,

  • Essential and select retail at 25% capacity and can sell all goods (including discount and big box)
  • Non-essential retail at 15% capacity
  • Retail stores in malls closed unless the stores have a street facing entrance

Store Capacity Calculator

The Retail Council of Canada has put together a handy online tool that will help retailers determine the maximum number of customers allowed in the store. Simply click on the following link to access the calculator.

The Retail Council of Canada will be updating the calculator as regulations change.

Occupancy Sign

Retailers can use the following link to download and print a sign to let their customers know how many people are in the store. Other posters are available in the Reopening Toolkit.

Calculations as Per the Order

For those who want to understand the math behind the Order, the following is an excerpt from the Ontario government order, which is available online here (and could be subject to change)

  • 2) For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor area accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by 8 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • (3) For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 25 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor area accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by 16 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • (3.1) For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 15 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor area accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by 26.67 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.

Additional information is available from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit which can provide guidance and directions. The Ontario Business call centre can also field questions from retailers at 1-888-444-3659.

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Business Reopening Toolkit

Cornwall Economic Development has put together a toolkit to help businesses reopen. The toolkit includes guidelines and a maximum occupancy calculator along with signs and posters that can be downloaded and printed:

Post Author: Candy Pollard