happy hour toronto

New rules mean Toronto bars and restaurants can start promoting Happy Hours

Doug Ford's provincial government released their first fiscal roadmap yesterday, and the budget looks boozy.

Alcohol reform is one of the main pillars of the Province's future plans, with several pieces of proposed legislation that will drastically change how people Ontario consume alcohol. 

One of those changes includes plans to overturn an AGCO law that prohibits licensed establishments in Ontario from advertising their Happy Hour deals. 

Though it's been legal since 2007 for places like bars, restaurants, and even golf courses to serve discounted alcoholic drinks, it's still illegal for those places to promote their beverage deals using catch phrases like "Happy Hour","Cheap Drinks", or other similar terms. 

According to the current Liquor Advertisement Guidelines, the rule is meant to ensure businesses don't "promote immoderate consumption."

When the law officially gets nixed (sometime in the summer, according to Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli), it'll be a far cry from 1984, when Premier Bill Davis' provincial government first banned Happy Hour deals outright. 

The rest of the budget is even less (or more, depending) sobering when it comes to alcohol. 

When Ford's plan goes into effect, municipalities in Ontario will be able to pass laws that allow people to drink in parks or other public areas. Plus you'll be able to find booze in convenience stores.

And let's not forget: the earliest you're currently able to order an alcoholic drink at a bar or restaurant is 11 a.m. The Province wants to change that to 9 a.m., with the possibility of being able to buy it past 2 a.m., too. 

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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