City of Toronto proposes pilot program allowing personal alcohol consumption in 20 parks

leisure and lifestyle
Higher percentage of Millennials serving as designated drivers while an aversion to social media shaming has a positive impact on Millennials choosing to drink less (CNW Group/Beer Canada)

On Thursday, July 6, the City of Toronto’s Economic and Community Development Committee will consider a pilot program to allow residents and visitors to drink alcohol in 20 parks. Starting Wednesday, August 2 and running until Monday, October 9, people ages 19 and older would be allowed to responsibly consume alcohol in 20 City parks that have been confirmed in consultation with local Councillors.

In May, Toronto City Council voted in support of a motion directing staff to develop a pilot program allowing personal alcohol consumption in some City parks this summer and fall: City staff were asked to consult interested Councillors on hosting a pilot park in their ward, provide Councillors with a list of parks most suited for the pilot and report back in July with a recommended approach, including required bylaw amendments.

The staff report on the Alcohol in Parks Pilot Program, including the list of 20 proposed parks, is available on the City’s website: Following review by the Economic Development and Community Committee on July 6, recommendations will go before Council at its meeting from July 19 to 21:

The proposed pilot is based on public health guidance, public safety and operational considerations and the experiences of other Canadian cities. For both pilot and non-pilot parks, park users would be expected to follow all applicable legislation, including:
•       A permit and licence are still required to sell or serve liquor in any park.
•       Park users must comply with the provincial Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 which prohibits public intoxication and supplying/serving alcohol to people under 19 years old.
•       Alcohol consumption is not permitted in non-pilot parks.

In all City parks, bylaw enforcement officers first educate people about park rules and City bylaws to enhance public awareness and achieve compliance. Bylaw enforcement officers visit parks regularly and will continue to visit parks as part of their regular duties throughout the pilot. As always, the City will address park complaints and prioritize investigations into matters that pose risks to public health and safety.

The City is working with Toronto Public Health to share information about safe alcohol consumption. Alcohol is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in Canada. Most adults drink alcohol in moderation. However, for some, alcohol can present harm to themselves or others including injuries and chronic diseases. Information on health risks associated with alcohol and safer drinking tips are available on the City’s Alcohol & Other Drugs webpage:


“I’m pleased that local Councillors have opted-in a broad range of parks in 12 wards across the city to participate in this sensible pilot to allow alcohol in parks this summer and fall. My thanks to City staff who have prepared this public health-informed approach and are ready to monitor and evaluate this pilot with added attention.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

SOURCE City of Toronto

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