In September 2019, City Council approved new regulations for payday loan establishments operating within the City of Ottawa.
These include new zoning regulations and a municipal licensing regime.
The zoning changes require minimum separation distances between payday loan establishments to help reduce the number of these businesses and their clustering in certain areas, such as Montreal Road and Bank Street.
Please note that payday loan establishments that were lawfully established prior to the new planning rules may have legal non-conforming rights that permit them to continue to operate at the existing location provided there is no interruption of use.
Payday loan businesses present concerns due in part to potential predatory lending practices whereby lower-income residents can find themselves in deep financial trouble by taking out short-term, high-interest loans that often create a vicious cycle, sometimes ending in bankruptcy.
Starting in early 2020, all payday loan businesses in Ottawa will be required to pay an annual licensing fee and meet with other requirements, including compliance with Provincial legislation. They will also be required to display posters with financial and consumer protection information in accordance with municipal rules.