Purchasing Materials For a Recreational Course or Workshop


Signing up for a course or workshop often involves purchasing materials. When buying online or directly from a person, organization or business, make sure you know your rights!  

If you are buying online

Specific rules apply when you purchase your material online:

  • You must receive a copy of your purchase contract within 15 days of your purchase. 
    If you did not receive your contract within this timeframe, you can cancel your purchase within 30 days of the date of purchase. 
  • Before completing your purchase, you must have access to all the information that will be contained in the contract. You must also have the opportunity to correct any errors in the information before confirming the purchase. Finally, the person, organization or business selling the material must provide you with a means for contacting them online, for example, by email.  
    If any these rules were not followed, you have seven days from the date you received the contract to cancel your purchase.

Purchasing material when registering for the course

The person, organization or business offering the course cannot require you to purchase the material through them. If you need books, sports equipment or any other material, you can purchase it wherever you wish.

Of course, you may decide to purchase the material directly from whoever is offering the course. In this case, you must receive a written contract if the total value if the purchase is more than $100.

This contract must include a description of the material purchased, the price of each item, and the total amount due with taxes included. A cancellation form must be included with your contract. This form can be used to cancel the purchase contract if you so choose, as explained in the next section. 

Cancelling your purchase and returning the material

When you purchase material directly from the person, organization or business offering the course, you can cancel the purchase of the material, without giving a reason and without penalty, if you do so within 10 days of any of the following:

  • the delivery of the material
  • the beginning of your course
  • the moment at which you cancel your course

In this last situation, you must have been in possession of this material for less than two months and for less than one-third of the duration of the main contract.


You’re taking guitar lessons for a three-month period. You bought the guitar at the school giving the course, and you’ve been in possession of the instrument for six weeks now.

You can no longer cancel the purchase, because you’ve been in possession of the guitar for more than one-third of the duration of the course. (The course is for three months and you’ve had the guitar for six weeks).

To cancel the purchase of the material (if you’re eligible to do so under the above rules) you have two options:

  • Return the material purchased to the person, organization or business offering the course
  • Send (ideally by registered mail) one of the following two documents:
    • The cancellation form included with the contract you received when you purchased the material
    • A written notice informing them of your cancellation of the purchase

You must then return the material within 10 days following the cancellation of the purchase. The refund must be sent to you within that same 10 days.

If you rented the material

If you rented the material from the person, organization or business offering the course, cancellation of the rental occurs under the same conditions as cancelling a course.

Important: exceptions to the rule

The rules governing the purchase and return of material to a person, organization or business offering the course does not apply if the course is given in one session or one day.

In addition, these rules do not apply when the course is offered by:

  • a CEGEP, university, school board, or school, as part of their educational program
    • The rules detailed above apply, therefore, to swimming lessons offered to children by a college or university at its sports centre, for example.
  • a municipality or the government
    • The rules detailed above do not apply, therefore, to activities organized by the recreation department of a municipality, but do apply to courses given by a private organization in a municipal recreation centre.
  • the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec
  • a person who is a member of a professional order (for example, parenting workshops given by a social worker)