Ontario government announces plans to modernize alcohol sales

Published November 22, 2018

The LCBO, The Beer Store, and authorized grocery stores will soon be allowed to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, according to an announcement from Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli during his first Fall Economic Statement on Nov. 15.

Currently, alcohol can be sold by licensed retail establishments within those hours from Monday to Saturday, but only from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Minister Fedeli said the Ontario government intends to undertake a “comprehensive review” of existing legislation and regulations, and give consumers and businesses an opportunity to weigh in on the rules surrounding alcohol sales. No time frame was provided for when this would take place, however it is expected that the changes are being targeted for implementation to align retail alcohol sales with cannabis sales by the time that recreational pot shops are permitted to open on April 1, 2019.

No mention was made of any plans to allow licensed bars or restaurants to serve alcohol before 11 a.m. Restaurants Canada will work with the Ontario government to ensure the voice of foodservice is represented in discussions around potential changes to the province’s liquor laws.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada, at jrilett@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4241.

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