Consultation results

Ontarians care about this issue

When it launched on February 28, 2017, we saw immediate interest in the online survey:

  • 34,702
    people in total completed the online survey
  • 16,000+
    people filled out the survey within the first 24 hours

Live entertainment plays an important role in people’s lives across the province.

  • 90%
    reported buying event tickets at least twice a year
  • 15%+
    reported buying tickets more than 10 times a year

However, while Ontarians are willing to spend money on the events they care about, survey results showed they want to know that the market is fair.

Who we heard from

Most of the survey responses came from people living in or near major cities where large ticketed events are often held. About half of respondents were in the Greater Toronto Area, while a significant number also lived near Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, London or Oshawa.

Respondents tended to be younger:

  • 18% were 16 to 24 years old
  • 41% were 25 to 34 years old
  • 21% were 35 to 44 years old
  • 12% were 45 to 54 years old
  • 6% were 55 to 64 years old
  • 1% were 65+ years old
  • N/A – 1%

What we heard

We heard from a lot of people who found the process of buying tickets online frustrating. Availability of tickets was the most common issue – while 96% of respondents get tickets from a primary seller, 90% of them indicated they have had a hard time doing so due to tickets being sold out.

For many, this means turning to resale websites, while for others it means not going to the event at all. Nearly two thirds of participants had bought tickets on a ticket resale website, and 94% of them said they did so because tickets were sold out on Ticketmaster or the event venue’s website.


The survey results showed us that people want to see rules that prevent unfairness when it comes to buying and selling tickets online:

  • 89%
    said ticket-buying software should be illegal
  • 85%
    said posting tickets on a resale site before selling to the public should be illegal

Stop the use of bots. Stop the high markup of ticket prices. Allow everyone a chance to purchase tickets at a fair price.

Survey response


The survey results showed us that people want to see rules that prevent unfair and excessive price mark-ups in the ticket resale market.

89% said that there should be a cap on resale mark-ups

Reselling tickets is a huge problem for the artists and the general public. I've gone to sold out shows and half the seats are empty because the resale price is so high, no one will buy the tickets.

Survey response


We also saw support for a more transparent ticket market. The survey put forward eight possible new transparency requirements – information that a ticket seller would have to disclose up front.

For primary ticket sellers or the event venue, these included:

Information that a primary ticket seller would have to disclose up frontSupport by respondents (per cent)
The total price of a ticket, including all taxes, and service and processing fees96%
The total number of tickets available for sale75%
The number of tickets being sold through fan clubs or membership programs69%
The number of tickets reserved for corporate partners, industry professionals and artists65%

For secondary sellers and resale websites, the survey’s proposed transparency requirements included:

Information that a primary ticket seller would have to disclose up frontSupport by respondents (per cent)
The original face value of the ticket being resold90%
The total price of the ticket, including taxes, service and processing fees90%
The location of the seat being resold82%
The name of the person or business selling the ticket70%

Over a third of participants favoured implementing all of these transparency rules, and 99% were in favour of implementing at least one of them.

The total price/currency should be visible before you have entered all credit card info and are ready to pay. It’s not until step 4/5 that you actually see the total cost to consumers.

Survey response

Not all reselling is unfair

The consultation also confirmed that not all ticket reselling activity is a problem, but rather most of the people reselling tickets are doing so occasionally and entirely legitimately.

On the survey, 15% of participants said they had sold tickets online in the past and 94% of those reported doing so less than five times per year.

Of the people who had previously sold tickets online, less than 2% had bought tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them, and more than three quarters supported a cap on resale markups.

While it has opened a window for unfair activities and unreasonable price markups, the online ticket market is useful for the many Ontarians who have a valid reason to resell tickets, and aren’t doing so to make a large profit.

Next steps

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultation. We are using the input gathered from the public and stakeholders to develop new rules that, if passed, would help address the public’s concerns about the accessibility, transparency and affordability of tickets online.


Over the past decade, there has been a big change in the way tickets are bought and sold. Tickets are mostly sold online, which has allowed for the rapid growth of ticket resale websites.

While the internet has given fans more and faster options to buy and sell tickets, it’s also created new challenges. Tickets often sell out within moments and many are then posted to resale websites at a much higher price.

Under Ontario’s Ticket Speculation Act, event tickets can be resold above face value if they are verified by the original seller or sold with a money-back guarantee. But there is growing concern about the fairness of these rules and whether all fans have an equal shot at buying affordable tickets to their favourite events.

About the consultation

Between February 28 and March 15, 2017, we asked people across Ontario to tell us about their experiences and help us understand what’s important to them when buying and selling tickets online.

To help us understand what rules need to change, we wanted to hear from people who buy and sell event tickets, as well as from performing artists. We asked for feedback in four key areas:

  1. Access – making sure everyone has a fair shot at buying tickets for popular events
  2. Affordability – addressing consumer concerns about resale prices and service charges
  3. Transparency – making more information available to consumers when they buy tickets
  4. Enforcement – making sure laws are followed