Toronto city staff will take a look at ways to tighten the bylaws for cash-for-gold stores.

Coun. Josh Cole has asked the city’s municipal licensing and standards committee to look into the issue.

He says an unprecedented number of gold-buying stores are popping up in his north Toronto ward and it’s time for a review.

Cole has expressed concerns about the use of sandwich boards along busy streets, a common advertising tactic of jewelry stores in what is an increasingly competitive business.

"[It’s] really been driven by neighbours who don't feel comfortable with the amount of signage and people and sandwich boards and loitering," said Cole.

Cole also said many of the items bought and sold at cash-for-jewelry businesses "are the result of theft."

Tighter rules needed, jeweller says

Omni Jewelcrafters owner Jack Berkovits says new regulations are long overdue.

"There is no background check, anyone can post a sign and become a gold buyer and it does attract a lot of ... people who have some criminal tendencies," he said. "In many cases, there are too many [store operators] whose ethics and morals are beneath what we would expect of a regular merchant."

City staff will write a report looking at what can be done to better control the cash-for-gold industry.