Ontario: RCC’s store capacity limit calculation tool updated - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Ontario

Ontario: RCC’s store capacity limit calculation tool updated

December 14, 2020

To calculate your store capacity, see RCC’s store capacity calculator.

Grey/lockdown zones

RCC has had a lot of questions around how to calculate store capacity. Retailers in all zones (including Grey “lockdown” zones) must limit capacity to ensure there is enough space for members of the public to socially distance in retail facilities.

For retailers in the Grey “lockdown” zones, Ontario’s requirement is that essential business capacity is the smaller of:

  • A square metre figure that allows members of the public to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
  • 50% of building code occupancy for any room.

To calculate your Ontario store capacity, use RCC’s store capacity tool. Our tool quickly assesses capacity for retailers in all Ontario zones.

Calculation method

The government’s store capacity limit rules have been designed to be flexible to accommodate for various types of store layouts while ensuring that the maximum number of customers can be allowed in stores as long as they maintain a physical distance of at least two meters (6.65 ft) at all times, especially for regions experiencing Orange, Red or Grey level restrictions.

There are multiple ways to calculate capacity limits. To provide retailers with a simple calculation, RCC recommends the following method: total sales floor square metres, less fixtures, with the result divided by 4m2 (43 sq ft). See the step by step in the diagram below:

Please note: RCC’s calculation method results in a smaller capacity limit than the legal requirement technically allows. In theory, if stores account for circle packing (e.g. you can fit more 2 metre (6.65 ft) diameter circles in a space than you can fit 4m2 (43 sq ft) squares) a slightly higher, more exact capacity limit number could be determined.

For further information contact Sebastian Prins, Director, Government Relations (Ontario) at sprins@retailcouncil.org.