You may be legally allowed to drink alcohol in some Toronto parks later this summer.

The City of Toronto is considering a pilot program that would permit adults aged 19 years and older to drink alcohol in 20 public parks, including Trinity Bellwoods, Christie Pitts, and Riverdale Park East.

If approved, the pilot will run from Wednesday, August 2, until Monday, October 9, in parks where local councillors have chosen to opt-in. Alcohol consumption will be allowed between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 12:00 a.m., and will not be permitted at outdoor pools or within 2 m of playgrounds, wading pools, splash pads, and skateboard parks.

Public intoxication and supplying or serving alcohol to those under the age of 19 will remain prohibited throughout the pilot. As well, those wishing to sell or serve liquor in any park will still be required to have a permit and licence to do so.

The City said the proposed pilot is based on public health guidance, public safety, and the experiences of other Canadian cities that have run similar programs, such as Vancouver and Montreal.

Alcohol toronto parks 1City of Toronto

In May, City Council directed staff to develop a pilot program, along with a list of suitable parks. The staff report will be considered by the Economic and Community Development Committee on July 6, and their recommendations will go before City Council at its meeting from July 19 to 21.

This marks the third consecutive summer that City Councillors will debate such a motion. Last year, a motion to allow consumption of alcohol in public parks was met with "immense pushback," and councillors ultimately voted to pass an amended motion that requested further consultation with professionals, stakeholders, and residents.

If the pilot program is approved, the 20 Toronto parks where you could legally drink alcohol are:

  • Eglinton Park
  • Earlscourt
  • Dufferin Grove Park
  • Campbell Avenue Playground and Park
  • Dovercourt Park
  • Roundhouse Park
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • Christie Pits Park
  • Queen's Park
  • Sir Winston Churchill Park
  • Corktown Common
  • Greenwood Park
  • Riverdale Park East
  • Withrow Park
  • Monarch Park
  • Skymark Park
  • Lee Lifeson Art Park
  • East Toronto Athletic Field
  • Milliken Park
  • Neilson Park