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Should drinking be allowed in Toronto parks?

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / May 3, 2013

Drinking ParkWith spring in the air, it's time to revisit the most important of questions — should drinking be allowed in Toronto parks?

Nothing kills one's buzz quite like relaxing over a nice brew in the park, only to be rudely awakened from a semi-drunken stupor by an angry cop perched atop a frighteningly large steed. But that is what happens in Trinity Bellwoods and other parks around the city. It happens to the best of us, though most often to the more lackadaisical among us. Because drinking in public in Toronto is illegal, dear friends. But what about elsewhere? Is this a case of Toronto the Good or is park-drinking generally frowned upon in major cities?

Here, a look at how other cities compare to us on the public drink front:

Montreal

Surprise! In the most major city of La Belle Province, it is perfectly legal to enjoy some beer or wine with a picnic in a public outdoor space. You can casually head to the depanneur and purchase drinks there til 11 p.m. (or much later, if you know where to go). The moral of the story is, French people are more civilized than the rest of us.

New York City

The city that never sleeps is, in some ways, just as prudish as TO when it comes to public consumption of booze. According to this lawyer, "drinking alcohol in public is the most frequently issued Criminal Court Summons in New York City." In 2010 alone, there were 140,000 of them issued. NYC Administrative Code 10-125 prescribes a $25 dollar fine for such reckless behaviour.

Vancouver

Perhaps surprisingly, there's not much tolerance for public drinking in beautiful B.C., either. Hippies roam the hills there smoking joints the size of a child's arm, and yet getting caught in the park with a beer could cost you $230.

Chicago

Chicago is having a serious tantrum about people who want to enjoy a beer or two in the sunshine. Mayor Rahm Emanuel hates the very idea of it, so the fine for public drinking and urination (because those are absolutely related) could double to $1,000. And those who throw caution to the wind and urinate (haha) or drink in public anyway face the possibility of six months in jail if they skip an administrative hearing.

Seattle

Seattle is also a horrible place to drink in public as far as legality is concerned. Having an outdoor beverage could cost you up to $1,000. Or at least, those are Washington State's laws.

Toronto

In Toronto the Good, drinking in public can earn you a $125 fine under Ontario's Liquor License Act, which stipulates, "No person shall be in an intoxicated condition in a place to which the general public is invited or permitted access." Pretty hefty rules. There's also a bylaw under the municipal code:

"While in a park, no person shall consume, serve or sell alcoholic beverages unless in designated areas, authorized by permit, and with the approval of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario." Something about the language here tells me that approval will not extend to the hoards of hipsters in dire need of places to drink for free.

I get that (though some of these laws date back to Prohibition) the reason they're still in place is to protect the public from disorderly, and potentially dangerous, behaviour. But whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty,' hmm? One should be allowed to drink in a dignified manner and fined only if he/she crosses the boundaries of propriety by behaving in such a way as to adversely impact others. Or maybe I mean ANARCHY!!. I'm not sure.

In short, this summer, you might want to check out these handy guides from Slate and Grub Street on how to get ripped in public without anyone noticing. Or, just pull the hobo look (and my own personal favourite) and paper bag it. Covert and classic.

Do you think we should be able to drink alcoholic beverages in parks in the city? Or would it just cause total bedlam? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by M E Faulkner in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

130 Comments

vajazzle / May 3, 2013 at 01:48 pm
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YES
John / May 3, 2013 at 01:58 pm
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England allows drinking pretty much everywhere, unless specifically prohibited. A few years back, there was a bit of an issue with some people because London was actually banning it on public transit.

I leave the evaluation of whether England is total bedlam to others.
mezimeen / May 3, 2013 at 02:00 pm
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Beautiful evening in Bellwoods last night and everyone, and I mean everyone was drinking. But like always, cops were around to control the comfortable atmosphere. Saw a cop CAR literally drive on the grass and question 2 guys on a bench. Don't know what happened though. Sigh...sometimes the rules and regulations in this city make me sad.
French / May 3, 2013 at 02:04 pm
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Paris was pretty cool in this way... entrepreneurs walking around parks with bottles to sell... people sitting on the edge of the river with wine and glasses.
yes / May 3, 2013 at 02:08 pm
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Victim-less crime? Check. Nanny state prohibition? Check. Why yes grown adults should be able to do grown up things without asking the government's permission and that means yes we should be able to drink in the park.

We should also be able to buy liquor in corner stores, have a casino in Toronto, legalize dope and open a red light district on Toronto island after we repeal the Toronto Islands Residential Community Stewardship Act.
John Brodenheizer / May 3, 2013 at 02:18 pm
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Dudes I was sipping some chilled brews in bellwoods last night. rolled up on my fixie to a couple of broads. chatted with them, but they wouldn't go home with me. ladies, if you aren't down to do some mma-style ground and pound post-bellwoods brews then you shouldn't be there at all.

I think Rob Ford should get the Toronto Police to enforce more stricter drinking rules in the parks. the sort of confusion that went on last night should not happen in 2013. WE ARE LIBERALS PEOPLE.
Mike Trollfield / May 3, 2013 at 02:19 pm
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When I was in Huston, I lived there for 2 years on a visa working for a small bakery, they allowed drinking in parks. I for one was okay with it at the start BUT by the end I had enough... To many hood rats if you ask me
EricM / May 3, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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I think having a few drinks in a park on a nice day is completely reasonable and fine. We should also be able to pick it up at the corner or grocery store as well. I can see it being a bit of a challenge to police in terms of who is having a casual drink, who is out of control drunk and who is drinking imperial sherry. On this, the city an province are mind blowingly puritanical. Anyone who has ever been to a tailgate party in the states knows that it's a blast as well. Booze and BBQ and probably never aloud here. Sad.
Started from the bottom / May 3, 2013 at 02:24 pm
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What's next, beastiality? Please... alcohol is something that the founding fathers did not drink, why should we, let alone in public parks? What's next, senior citizens drinking grape juice because they enjoy it?
Richard / May 3, 2013 at 02:25 pm
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Is it still legal to sip on cocks tho? Had this chick slurping and burping and asking for more. Shit was legal doe?
Billy / May 3, 2013 at 02:27 pm
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Started from the bottom are you kidding me??? The founding fathers of America drank alcohol and impregnated their live in work staff.
Jenny replying to a comment from Started from the bottom / May 3, 2013 at 02:27 pm
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lol I am almost certain that old Sir John A. may have at some point had a drink in a park... along with most other places. Arg... why can't we be treated like adults on this issue!
Started from the bottom replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:29 pm
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lol Jenny, because we aren't adults. We are all God's children.

REPENT JENNY! REPENT FOR YOUR SINS!
TrangChao / May 3, 2013 at 02:29 pm
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Jenny pm me I want to treat you like an adult
Todd / May 3, 2013 at 02:29 pm
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I frequently imbibe in the city's fantastic parks system.

Just don't be an obnoxious idiot about it and it's not an issue.

Hot day? People drink "water" on hot days.

Cold day? People drink "coffee" on cold days.
Alexander / May 3, 2013 at 02:29 pm
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Everyone reads this argument and thinks "couple enjoying a glass of wine" and "five people chilling over a beer"...and skips the rowdy early twenties types bombed out of their minds.

I am not a nanny state type...but I've spent lots of time in England (far more drunken violence) and Australia (far more drunken violence) and been very uncomfortable walking at 1am on a street with lots of bars and lots of drunks eager to start a fight.

It's easy to say "well, if somebody is rowdy then that's illegal" but nobody wants to be in a park at 4pm and desperate for a cop because six guys are smashed and brawling.

I'd love to have a beer in a park...but I'd have one or two...The negatives far outweigh the positives in allowing this.
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Jenny if you are not certain then please dont post.
Sarah Ratchethoeford replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Jenny, it is because of people like us. A couple of drinks in public and we're gagging on cocks in no time.

MAKE COCK GAGGING LEGAL
TrangChao replying to a comment from Sarah Ratchethoeford / May 3, 2013 at 02:32 pm
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pm me Sarah will make you gaga
Albin / May 3, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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I've had a number of nice picnics with wine at La Fontaine park in Montreal. But not only are French bureaucrats more civil but French drinkers are, too. There can be a drunk hoser problem in the ROC.

Having a separated, licensed facility like that controversial pub at Ashbridges, works fine for server control and to keep rowdies from bothering families, unescorted women, and guys who don't want to fight. No reason that the fast food joint at High Park couldn't be licensed in the same way.
Sarah Ratchethoeford replying to a comment from TrangChao / May 3, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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I wanna be coo coo for cocoa puffs tho...
Jenny replying to a comment from TrangChao / May 3, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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Not even in your dreams.
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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Come on Jenny... Get at TranChao.
Thierry / May 3, 2013 at 02:36 pm
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Parc lafontaine best felatio from homosexual male I ever had in my life! Great memories Toronto should have this salut les amis!!!
Niklas / May 3, 2013 at 02:36 pm
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Who cares? Just enjoy a drink in the park and if you get a ticket.. don't pay it. problem solved.
Sarah Ratchethoeford replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:36 pm
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Jenny, would you like to scissor some time?
TrangChao replying to a comment from Jenny / May 3, 2013 at 02:37 pm
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I will humble you Jenny
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from Niklas / May 3, 2013 at 02:38 pm
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True say. We all know the money goes straight into Rob Ford "AKA fatty mc fat fat" pockets
Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:39 pm
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Yes and yes.

If they want us drinking in pubs they can either write off our student debt or make alcohol cheaper. Since neither of those things are happening I'll spend $13 on 6 tallboys and enjoy them outdoors. Few things finer than sitting on the hill in Bellwoods overlooking the dog park at sunset and drinking a cold beer.
John Brodenheizer replying to a comment from Thierry / May 3, 2013 at 02:41 pm
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Have you gotten better from a hetero male?
AV / May 3, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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Probably the best thread of comments all week
John Brodenheizer replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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Bro, get at me
TrangChao replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:43 pm
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Get at me girl!!! Jenny from the thread is already down!!
Little mr sunshine / May 3, 2013 at 02:44 pm
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To everyone here!!! If you drink in the parks please pick up your garbage. Mosltry people in bellwoods, the place looks like a dump during summer weekend mornings.

Benny replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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You ever get lonely?
Big Mrs. Sunshine replying to a comment from Little mr sunshine / May 3, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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Could not agree more. But wont the garbage man do that. Is that not why we pay extremley high taxes
GET AT ME GURL replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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Come on gurl dont be SHY
I'M AN URBAN PLANNER / May 3, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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I think the issue here lies with the East-West divide of Toronto. We should move parks like Bellwoods and Christie Pitts to the East End so the more established, non-cock gagging, younger families can enjoy the grounds.

Once this has been established, it will get the west to smarten up and take charge of the lives and we will all enjoy a less segregated Toronto.
Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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I especially enjoy that Bellwoods has a dedicated team of
barbacks who make a killing on the weekends.

The park barback is an industrious creature and ingenious of parks where people who like parks and beer are drinking beer in parks.
Matt replying to a comment from Alexander / May 3, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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As a frequent park-goer and park-drinker, I have never, once, not one time, seen drunk people fighting. Sure you aren't mistaking a tai chi class for a gang battle, bruh?
Yo / May 3, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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Nigga what's a barbak??
Girls Drinking replying to a comment from TrangChao / May 3, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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Ahh poor little Trang. You know alcohol probably wont help you lose your virginity.
Thomas replying to a comment from Matt / May 3, 2013 at 02:51 pm
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Taichi haha soooo funny
Imposterspoter replying to a comment from Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:52 pm
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Will the real girls drinking please stand up
John Squire / May 3, 2013 at 02:52 pm
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Wow. Who needs drinking in public? You can just come here to the blogTO comment section and be an idiot!
Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 02:52 pm
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Uh....I am a dude.

/not sure if that's a deal-breaker or deal-maker
//depends on the amount of park beers I suppose
///I'll start the bidding at 14 beers
Keely / May 3, 2013 at 02:54 pm
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Go to 7 Eleven, get the biggest Big Gulp you can find, fill the cup with ice, get a can of delicious Vodka Rockstar/some other canned deliciousness,open it, and then wedge it into the ice, use that awesome long straw you get with Big Gulps and stick it in the can - Covert public drinking at its best!
hawking / May 3, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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don't forget the soda-can beer sleeve as an option (my fave instructables): http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-Soda-Can-Beer-Sleeve/
Girls Drinking replying to a comment from Keely / May 3, 2013 at 02:58 pm
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Get a giant Lime freezer, pour in tequila and you have a portable margarita beyond suspicion. Squire your incognito margarita about the park doffing your hat to all.
Jerry Poppycock / May 3, 2013 at 02:59 pm
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http://i.imgur.com/16cIx1n.gif
Pooja Desai / May 3, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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am I still blocked from commenting?
Jameel / May 3, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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You can also pop a molly in there too tho whoooooo
Ando / May 3, 2013 at 03:06 pm
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Yes and yes.
Patrick / May 3, 2013 at 03:06 pm
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Homeless people are constantly harassed and ticketed for drinking in parks. If you're homeless or under housed, where are you supposed to drink other than a park? And how are you supposed to pay your ticket when the pigs write you up? This city/country needs to get real. There is no evidence to suggest that prohibiting alcohol consumption in public, or after 2am, or on Sundays or whatever will cause public disorder. Prohibition doesn't work. If people want to drink they're going to do it whether its legal or not. Let's stop criminalizimg people.
Rachel / May 3, 2013 at 03:09 pm
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I think that if some public infrastructure was set up to support this, namely urinals and bathrooms, and it was clear that drinking, not being drunk, in public is OK, then this should be totally fine.
Girls Drinking / May 3, 2013 at 03:12 pm
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With Bacchus as my witness and drinking tickets be damned I plan on drinking outdoors until it snows.
TrangChao replying to a comment from Rachel / May 3, 2013 at 03:15 pm
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Racehl pm me pls
Prolapse / May 3, 2013 at 03:15 pm
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The real issue here is lack of freely available baby wipes.

Everyone likes to drink, but drinking leads to prolapse

Countless times after some drinks in bellwoods I’ve sought out a fine young gentleman to destroy my stinker. Issue here is that us girls like the guy to finish in the P. so where do you wipe the pre-santorum mixture? We’ve tried wiping it with a tuft of grass, but the pesticide inflames my P.

Rob Ford, if you’re watching, set up some baby wipe stations and this issue all goes away.
moe / May 3, 2013 at 03:16 pm
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wine and cheese with a throw in the park. what's less to ask?
jenn / May 3, 2013 at 03:19 pm
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i got a $120 fine for lying on the beach with a few beers on toronto island. the female officer was going to give me a warning, but the male officer told me i was "out of control"....i was lying down reading a magazine. seriously. go catch some crack dealers, asshole.
John / May 3, 2013 at 03:20 pm
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I love drinking in public parks. But I don't think it is a surprise that the city that lets you do that, Montreal, is the biggest over rated shit hole in the country.

Toronto has a low fine. There to be enforced if things get out of hand, but ignored most of the time. As with all things, moderation.

Ricky Ricardo / May 3, 2013 at 03:25 pm
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Is it illegal to drink if me and my bros are flinging our dinks around? Gracefully flinging, obvs!
Todd replying to a comment from jenn / May 3, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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Pretty much.

But that would require actual salary-and-pension-earning work.

As usual, TPS would rather harass citizens instead of protecting us.
nippleholic / May 3, 2013 at 03:36 pm
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I lived in Berlin for a month last summer and it's legal to drink pretty much anywhere in public there.

During the weekends, there were lots of entrepreneurs selling beer in the park near my apartment.
Hans replying to a comment from nippleholic / May 3, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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Did you get to enjoy some native Berlin sausage as well? Toronto could use that type of quality sausage in our parks!
JC / May 3, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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For sure. Most of Toronto does it already anyhow. What is the big deal? Let's grow up a little bit Toronto.
.... / May 3, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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So many people do it already anyway, and I've personally never seen cops do anything about it so just make it legal or stop criminalizing people for it.
Yes / May 3, 2013 at 03:50 pm
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Yes.
the lemur replying to a comment from jenn / May 3, 2013 at 03:56 pm
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Officially you're supposed to have a permit if you even want to bring alcohol over to the island, which is bullshit, of course.
Phill / May 3, 2013 at 04:09 pm
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I hate Rob Ford as much as the next person, but if it's up to the mayor of the city to change these kinds of laws, I would be surprised if our mayor didn't support such a change in policy... Doesn't the man like to drink?
I've been drinking in the park since moving here 5 years ago, and I just assumed the cops turned a blind eye, only this year did a friend of mine tell me that folks get tickets all the time. It's disheartening to say the least.
JJ / May 3, 2013 at 04:10 pm
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YES - let's beat Vancouver on this one. If the big concern is homeless people getting hammered there I wouldn't be too concerned about it. Lets face it- they are going to do it anyways. If the concern is it getting too rowdy in the park I say who cares. Let's try it anyways. I'm so sick of our prudish drinking laws. Lets live a little people!

If you want to be real Canadian about this we could have a certain section that allows drinking so the poor little kiddies and their over protective mothers don't have to be subjected to such offensive behaviour.
Robxxx / May 3, 2013 at 04:14 pm
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The comment from Alexander above about drunken violence in the UK is ridiculous. I'm not opposed to public drinking at all (being from the UK) and on a sunny day in the park people are happy having fun, not causing massive amounts of mayhem. The litter caused by people leaving their empty cans or whatever is one problem, but i'd like to think most adults behave responsibly whilst in the park on an afternoon.
Mikey / May 3, 2013 at 04:36 pm
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In Japan, the convenience stores are selling birus (along with Wine, Sake, Whiskey etc.) around the clock and they can be enjoyed any place, any time in as great a quantity as one wishes.

Drunken violence? Maybe (none that I saw; I might have been the most violent person on that island at that moment in time).

Drinking on cable car rides with views of Mt. Fuji at 11 am with small, field-tripping children present?? Priceless.
Drinky / May 3, 2013 at 04:41 pm
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oh, we care that it's illegal to drink in public? Didn't realize, will have to stop doing that ALL THE TIME
W. K. Lis / May 3, 2013 at 04:42 pm
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But can an adult use the playground swings? Some places prohibit adults without children in playgrounds, so no man can push their sweetheart on a swing.

There are just too many rules for adults to enjoy the park, eat non-hot dogs from a food cart, or just live.
Ling Gu / May 3, 2013 at 04:50 pm
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Frequently as I pass by a bar in the morning on my way to work at Yonge and Sheppard, the sidewalk displays the results of someone having imbibed too much the night before. I hate walking past the vomit. Would public drinking produce greater public drunkenness? I fear yes. So, unfortunately that means retaining those laws from when the Anglicans ruled this province.
Robert / May 3, 2013 at 04:53 pm
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To quote Homer Simpson:

"To Alcohol! The cause of... and solution to... all of life's problems"
nardl blarn / May 3, 2013 at 04:57 pm
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Short answer: yes
Obvious Man / May 3, 2013 at 06:44 pm
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Problem drinkers already drink in public.
yes = crank/crackpot replying to a comment from yes / May 3, 2013 at 06:47 pm
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Yeah, let's legalize crack too, and free condos to people over the age of 16, man! Everyone grab a toke off this hot knife!
yes = crank/crackpot replying to a comment from Little mr sunshine / May 3, 2013 at 06:56 pm
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I read thirty comments and finally one worth commenting on:

If you drink in a park, be cool. And if what you are drinking comes in a can or bottle, PUT THEM IN THE TRASH or carry them out.

Otherwise, you spoil it for the rest of them. I too love to sit at the dog park (or with feet in sand at Sugar, watching Redpath ships unload) and drink a tall one. But more often than not, some giddy fuckwits begin acting all rowdy and uncool and a cop at that point HAS to roll over to see what the complaint is. What you see as having a god time, a young family might see as a dangerous gathering of "drunk youths". Crazy, I know...but why put them in the position to feel vunerable in the park, it's there for EVERYONE's enjoyment.

Next time you see a rowdy asshat getting a $125 ticket and having his booze poured out, once the cops leave, beat his god damn face in for ruining it for the rest of us.
Axle_Goalie / May 3, 2013 at 06:58 pm
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I like it the way it is. Right now, if you're smart about it, you can drink in the park. The only way you get a ticket is if a police officer has a reason to suspect you're drinking outside (being loud and obnoxious). So if you can keep control of yourself, you're usually safe. And people who can't control themselves get a fine. Works for me.
Patrick has his head up his ass, again. replying to a comment from Patrick / May 3, 2013 at 07:00 pm
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Patrick, most homeless are harassed because they are publicly intoxicated and SHOWING SIGNS of such. If they had a pleasant buzz going on and just smiled at folks, no cops would attend the scene. You can't just allow drinking so publicly because the parks would be dangerous zoos after hours.
Patrick has his head up his ass, again. replying to a comment from jenn / May 3, 2013 at 07:09 pm
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Sorry to hear it Jenn, this is, unfortunately, the other side of the coin. If we have to be "cool" about drinking, then the skull-crackin', G20-lovin' dickhead variety of cops have to back down a bit too. There is ALWAYS discretion in these matters, and a lot of cops are actually cool with letting things be if they can read the situation as being in-hand and safe. But there is always the Alpha Male mega-cockhead jerkwad po-po that'll mess things up.

I think it's chicken and egg...if we respect they have a job to do and be cool, then they'll lay low. It won't curtail the number of times you see them at the park --they have a job to do-- but they won't be getting out their ticket either, and isn't that what we want, everybody being 'adult' about this???
JJ--also a bit of a asshole replying to a comment from JJ / May 3, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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JJ,

You don't have kids obviously because you'd realize what a shitty thing it is you've just said. You can be a laid-back parent and still have your kids get scared because they don't understand why adults are acting funny in a public place.

Just because you want to be a drunken asshole in public doesn't give you the right to push others out of the park who are also there to enjoy the space. That's like saying "I want to smoke, everyone else leave the theatre".

Give your head a shake.
Works for me too! replying to a comment from Axle_Goalie / May 3, 2013 at 07:17 pm
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Wise words, Axel!
with an obnoxious name like that... replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / May 3, 2013 at 07:18 pm
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....I'd ban you from a park too!

hahahahaha
Gabe / May 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm
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We all like a drink BUT the law is in place and until the law is removed it's not legal to drink in a park or in other public places. Sure drink in park have some fun but don't blame the police for killing you're buzz. I like to drink and ride my bike too, and have drove drunk multiple times and have been busted for it once BUT it's my fault when the I get busted for drinking in public or when I got busted for drunk driving. Can you go to a park and enjoy it without alcohol?
Tanya / May 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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I think we all know there are/were places around that are easier to get away with drinking and/or smoking pot in the city... Bellwoods, Nude Beach at Toronto Island, HotBox Cafe, etc. but as adults we all know were breaking the law when we do it and we're the ones that are accountable for our own actions. Same laws we were breaking when were were getting drunk at 14, 16, 18 years old. We had to have a drink and we broke the law to do it.
Josh / May 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm
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Can I also drink in my car on my commute home? Just one tall can, its not going to put me over the legal limit I just enjoy a drink after work and don't want to wait until I get home to have one... I see nothing wrong with it and will often pour it into a coffee cup or plastic cup so I'm not raising a beer can while on the road... again not over the legal limit I could have one beer at a bar then drive home but I don't have time for that
Jim R / May 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm
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I love getting pissed on the GoTrain into the city then just walking around the city and sipping on a mickey here and there, I don't need a park to drink at - this is a non-issue whats everyone saying now adays a 1st world issue. Get drunk, take a fine if you have to, I drink every day of the year and get the odd fine less than 10 year for 365 days of drinking who cares...
Geoff / May 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm
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I'm totally open with my drug and alcohol abuse and pay the price to do it BUT its what I choose to do and its my choice for the past 20 years. I've shot heroin done tons of coke, now to just be drinking 24/7 I'm an angel compared to what I used to do and it's harmless but I'm not gonna fight the law to do it. I do it and when the law gets involved I understand.
Tom replying to a comment from Jim R / May 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm
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Whatever Bro and cause I want to jerk off to magazine in the bushes out of sight should I be allowed to do that too? It's a harmless act, I'm just stroking my business its not illegal
Mike / May 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm
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I don't think it should be formally allowed. If you wanna take the risk sure enjoy yourself but it shouldn't be accepted by the city. Right now its hipster central at Bellwoods if its legally allowed the BUMS are gonna move in and are you still gonna feel cool drinking alongside some passed out bums and native indians when they all move in cause its accepted now. I don't think so...
Stan / May 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm
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Are there not greater issues to fight in the city besides you getting a $120 ticket once or twice a year for something you like/love to do? For F--- sakes it just the price of paying dues of any hobby or sport people are involved in. You not even paying bar prices to drink in a park your saving soo much $$$ with just a couple of tall cans so a ticket or two should not be an issue
Berry / May 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm
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I'd rather see a red light district or legalized prostitution or legalized pot before I'd actually put myself out and fight for drinking in parks...
Sasha / May 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm
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I can't even BBQ on my condo balcony and y'all are worried about drinking in the park? I'm fighting the condo board and trying to get the insurance policy changed for the better of the tenants and outdoor grillers
Polly / May 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm
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No Not allowed.
Shout from hell / May 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm
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Go to hell @ Mike. What a riffraff!!!
Steven / May 4, 2013 at 03:50 am
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If not, close the parks and put condos there instead.
Justin / May 4, 2013 at 09:40 am
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Come to the East side, right between Cabbagetown and Regent Park. It's happy hour in my back alley every afternoon. The cops won't do anything about it. I would rather hipsters drinking in my back alley then depressing mentally ill addicts from nearby shelters. Apparently the city didn't include alleys in that law.....
BBQ replying to a comment from Sasha / May 4, 2013 at 10:10 am
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This is a reply to Sasha: You obviously know the rules re: bbqs at your condo better than I do, but most people get confused with the rules about bbq's on balconies. The main issue with having a bbq on a balcony is that you cannot transport a propane tank in an elevator. So for those who live in an apartment building with this issue, you likely can have a bbq, you just will "have" to transport it by taking the stairs or get a charcoal one instead. However, for the condo dwellers, the declaration can have a whole bunch of silly rules that restrict you from having all sorts of things. I was in an older condo that would not allow you to have hardwood floors, that is just stupid because wall to wall carpeting is just gross (sorry old people-it is).
Pablo / May 4, 2013 at 11:18 am
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Except for maybe in some dry countries in the middle east, is there anywhere else in the world outside of North America that maintains this stupid rule?
When I first traveled abroad, I saw people having drinks in a public park and remarked "You are crazy! You can't drink in public!" Now, I realize it's really "We are crazy because we can't drink in Public!"
Accipiter replying to a comment from You totally missed the joke... / May 4, 2013 at 11:23 am
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Sorry, it's hard to tell if something's a joke or not when it's just in type. I come across a bunch of guys who think exactly like that, so I thought this was another case.
this is really an issue / May 4, 2013 at 11:25 am
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Why can't we just enjoy parks for the nature? Relax by a tree, run around the grass - just enjoy the wonderful Earth!
Have we become such an alcohol dependent society that this is actually an issue?
Brochivis replying to a comment from Gabe,Josh,JimR,Geoff,Tom,Mike,Stan / May 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm
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I drink, I smoke pot in public. What other laws do I break? Well I hop the queen street car at yonge for free everyday, I pay at the cineplex for one movie but stay for two movies, I buy alcohol for minors as long as I get $10 out of it. I do bumps of coke with my friends at various bars around the city. Because its my life style and I'm OK with it I should be allowed to do what I want
Sonjia / May 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm
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People this is a public park with children and a community centre in it. Drink at home drink at bars let's break the chain and not show our kids that are growing up in Toronto that drinking is an acceptable form of relaxation.
Juan Manuel / May 5, 2013 at 09:39 am
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In Buenos Aires, can drink in all places (but you can´t in shoppings or same places, o stadiums) , streets , etc...
Im not celebrate this, because i think the people are very stupids. I´m not drink because is my conviction, my reason.
I love Toronto and i think its OK don´t drink in the parks.
John Brodenheizer replying to a comment from Accipiter / May 5, 2013 at 11:54 am
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Obvi I was totes joking. Y'all have a choice... No means no after the third no, we all know that.

But seriously, set up some ground and pound stations in Bellwoods and Christie Pitts.

Chyeahhhhhhhhh
John Brodenheizer replying to a comment from Brochivis / May 5, 2013 at 11:56 am
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Bro, just don't infringe on my rights.
Tipple replying to a comment from John / May 5, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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I suppose you're trying to suggest that public drinking in England has not had many negative consequences. Having lived in England for a significant amount of time, I have to agree with Alexander above that there is far more drink-related violence in England (and all of the UK) than there is here in Canada. Or at least it is much more obvious and blatant there than here.

On the other hand, there is nothing like a summertime afternoon spent lazing in an English park or garden with a Pimm's No. 1!
Jake / May 5, 2013 at 05:10 pm
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Let people buy a license to drink in public parks, and put the proceeds toward extra police presence to suppress obnoxious behavior, and toward the additional maintenance and upkeep that will be required to clean up the shit and repair any damage all the dumbasses will leave in their wake (as well as extra bathroom facilities we'll need...unless you like your park smelling like piss).

mike / May 5, 2013 at 07:52 pm
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Parks will become filthy. People will be pissing all over the place.
Leave it as is now. Some people sneak a few in and are aware of the rules so they behave. If we open it up then there is no reason to hide it and clean up after yourself.

If you want multiple beers find a friend with a backyard and enjoy your summer the way you are supposed to.
the lemur / May 5, 2013 at 08:38 pm
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Some parks are already filthy anyway - it's not like people who 'sneak a few in' actually bother to clean up. I was in Moccasin Trail Park today and it was obvious someone had had a party around one of the firepits and made no effort to clean up (interesting taste in beer, guys!).
anon / May 6, 2013 at 04:50 am
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haha wow Ontario is lame. As if this is even a topic.
nicole replying to a comment from Albin / May 6, 2013 at 11:39 am
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Unfortunately there is a reason. The man who bequested the land that is now High Park to the city was a teetotaler. One of the conditions he laid out was that no alcohol ever be served in the park. Such a shame, but we're lucky to have the park.
Whatever replying to a comment from nicole / May 6, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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You're right, we are very lucky to have the park. But why is it such a "shame" that he decreed no alcohol in the park? I'm not a teetotaler, but I don't need to constantly have beer or wine on hand to have a good time. Can't people just enjoy nature?

LOL replying to a comment from yes / May 7, 2013 at 08:12 pm
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Nanny state. HAHAHAHA!
Me / May 8, 2013 at 05:50 pm
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Canadians aren't civilized enough to behave in public now. The last thing we need is to encourage them.
Me / May 8, 2013 at 05:55 pm
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" the hoards of hipsters in dire need of places to drink for free."

Sooo, basically they're alcoholics?
Aaron replying to a comment from Whatever / May 8, 2013 at 05:58 pm
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It's always the same response from people like you. The implication being that people must have some sort of 'drinking problem' if they'd like to take a bottle of wine to the park, have a cooler or two at a street festival or pop down to the corner store for a beer. They "must constantly have beer or wine on hand to have a good time." In reality, most people would simply like to be treated like an adult and have a drink or two at the time and place of their choosing without fear of being fined several hundred dollars. Like in much of the rest of the non tight-ass world.
Tom / May 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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The govenment doesn't even own the land. Its a designated parkland that belongs the people they have no regulation over it. This is free public space and I'll have a few tall beers there if I please....thank you... just try me...
NativeTorontonian / May 9, 2013 at 01:14 pm
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No, at least not here or any place in North America. We just don't have the culture and etiquette towards alcohol overall. We have come a long way and matured because a lot of Canadians now treat alcohol as an artform and culture and possess CONTROL rather than stereotypical American-style binging or simply the aim to get drunk and puke, but it's not enough. Same with the UK as well. Overall, it's just not in the culture naturally. Besides, some say that whenever there would be relaxing of anything alcohol, that it would just be to boost sales and power to the LCBO. Honestly, it's exploitation of the vulnerable and naive, and to keep the people distracted. Be mindful!
RobKG / May 9, 2013 at 03:55 pm
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It's also legal to fuck animals in Berlin and and they have weekly parties where you can shit and piss in peoples mouths so I'd say Berlin is just a tad more liberal than Toronto the Good.
IchBin / May 9, 2013 at 04:50 pm
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Ah, Berlin. Thanks for the memories!
lister / May 9, 2013 at 07:33 pm
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Having visited a few places where public drinking isn't against the law (other than in certain cases), Ontario's laws need updating. There's nothing wrong with a few drinks in a park, on the street or wherever. If someone has too much and gets unruly, abusive or violent then the surrounding public needs to step up, call the police and get that person arrested.

If the fullest extent of the law is nothing more than a hand slap then the law needs revisiting and broad publicization.
Whatever replying to a comment from Aaron / May 14, 2013 at 05:35 pm
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Indeed. And it is always the same response from people like you, assuming that people who support current alcohol restrictions are big party poopers. Did I say that anyone had a drinking problem? I asked whether it is possible to simply enjoy the natural beauty of a space without requiring an aloholic beverage, as John G. Howard (the donor of the park) had intended. I would like to respect his wishes on the matter.

Really, what is wrong with having a public space where alcohol is not permitted? I have BBQ get-togethers in my backyard all the time in the summer and we always enjoy cold beers with it. I have wine nearly every time I go out to a restaurant for dinner. (When I go out for Indian or Thai food, a bottle of beer is almost a necessity!) But why is it such a "shame" that you can't drink in High Park? There are plenty of opportunities and occassions for me or any other adult to enjoy alcohol in the company of other responsible adults.

Are Torontonians being treated like infants if they are prohibited from drinking in parks? You sound like a responsible adult. Great, good for you -- you deserve a medal! There are plenty of adults who are not as responsible as you. As NativeTorontonian pointed out, we don't in general have a culture and etiquette that allows us to control our drink. In Toronto, and perhaps North America in general (and the UK), we tend to use alcohol as a convenient excuse for rowdy behaviour and lowering of inhibitions. As NativeTorontonian put it, relaxing of currents laws would probably only serve to exploit "the vulnerable and naive".
hamishbeauregard replying to a comment from Whatever / July 11, 2013 at 04:44 pm
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"Rowdy behaviour and lowering of inhibitions?" Next thing you know kids will be swiveling their hips to the devil's music and hanging out with coloured folks. What are you, like a thousand years old?
Jeff / July 29, 2013 at 02:44 pm
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The fatality at Bellwoods yesterday... Anyone want to guess if the teen was drinking some sodas at TBP?? I bet he had a few too many, not too hip now, is he?

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