A guide to late night booze in Toronto
Plotting where one can find late night booze in Toronto is bound to be a frustrating task if only because there are so many places that offer post-LCBO and post-last call options that absolutely do not want anyone writing about them for fear of legal repercussions. I also don't want to spoil the fun by idiotically revealing the location of an after hours or which booze delivery services will come to your apartment at 4am. This information, for better or worse, will have to remain confined to word of mouth.
What I can do, on the other hand, is sketch out some of your options when it comes to securing liquor after the typical LCBO closure time of 9pm and what some of the more official options are when it comes to securing booze after most places have shut down.
LCBO locations open late
Depending on your definition of late, no LCBO locations actually fit this description, but it's worth noting that there is one store that remains open until 11pm six nights of the week. Located at 401 and Weston Rd. in the Crossways Mall, the sprawling store (fourth largest in the city) might be a hike for downtowners, but desperate times call for desperate measures and 11pm is one hour later than you'll get anywhere else in the city. There are a handful of locations open until 10pm, including Summerhill and Brock St. (later in the week).
The Beer Hunter
You shouldn't ever rely on the LCBO if you're looking for booze after 9pm. Your best bet is the Beer Hunter, which has been around for almost a decade and plots out all official sources of retail alcohol in the city. The first things that you'll realize when using it is that you have more options than you might of thought once 10pm has struck. For one, most Wine Rack locations across the city are open until 11pm six nights of the week, as is a brewery like Amsterdam. The Beer Hunter is also an excellent resource on holidays.
With the rapid rise of craft breweries in Toronto, the Beer Hunter just isn't as up to date as it could be anymore. While it does list hours for major players like Steam Whistle (sadly an early-closer) and Amsterdam, missing are crucial options like Bellwoods Brewery (retail shop open until 11pm every night of the week), the Indie Ale House (11pm six nights of the week) and Granite Brewery (six nights a week).
Extended Last Call
Don't hold your breathe for a permanent extension of last call until 4am in Toronto the Good, but at least the frequency with which temporary extended licences are granted has gone way up. If you like to drink past 2am, you can do so for Pride, NXNE, TIFF, Nuit Blanche, and Out of Sight (to name just a few of the major events that make the Alcohol and Gaming Commission feel generous).
Cold Tea (not the bar)
Ok, so this isn't official, but it's a well enough known perk of living in Toronto. For the uninitiated few, cold tea is just beer served in a teapot, typically made available in Chinatown. As to specific establishments, I won't say which ones to try your luck at. I've certainly been turned down for cold tea before, but I've also been granted my request the vast majority of times I've asked.
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