A sizable minority of Canadians have witnessed the permanent closure of stores and restaurants across the country.

HALIFAX, February 3, 2021

COVID-19 has had a marked impact on many businesses across the country, and a noteworthy minority of Canadians have noticed stores and restaurants closing permanently as a result of the pandemic. Overall, one-third of Canadians indicate that a store they regularly visited has closed permanently, and over four-in ten have seen the permanent closure of a preferred restaurant during the pandemic.

Across the country, store closures have been noticed most in the Prairie Provinces (40%) and Quebec (40%), and are least likely to have been witnessed in the Atlantic Provinces (25%).

A greater number of Ontario residents have seen restaurant closures (46%) compared with other parts of the country, though over 40% of those in BC, the Prairies and Quebec have also seen the permanent closure of a restaurant they regularly visited. By contrast, only a third of those in Atlantic Canada have had a regularly-visited restaurant permanently close.

Demographically, for both stores and restaurants, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to have seen a favourite location close, compared with Gen X or Boomers.

“The impact of stores and restaurants closing as a result of the pandemic should not be underestimated,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO and Partner at Narrative Research. “Despite many government assistance programs and community supports for small businesses, there is no doubt it’s been a challenging year for retail and those in food services.”

Results shown are from a survey conducted online January 15 – 19, 2021, with 1,233 Canadians 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Fielding every month, the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Omnibus surveys Canadians to ask their opinions and behaviours related to topical issues. Results were analyzed by Narrative Research. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied.

Questions included in this release include the following:

  • Have any stores you regularly visit (or regularly visited prior to the pandemic) permanently closed due to COVID-19?
  •  Have any restaurants you regularly visit (or regularly visited prior to the pandemic) permanently closed due to COVID-19?

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research – 902.222.7066, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca


Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca


Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company was recently certified as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.  Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented. 

Follow us on Twitter at @LogitGroup

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