labatt water

Labatt is now making canned water and giving it to the homeless in Toronto

Just one month after mobilizing its breweries to produce some 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for Food Banks Canada, the homegrown beer giant Labatt is turning its attentions to canned water for vulnerable Toronto residents.

Labatt Breweries of Canada just announced that it intends to deliver six truckloads filled with 223,000 cans of free drinking water to the City of Toronto for distribution among people experiencing homelessness.

"The need for canned drinking water is a result of reduced opportunities for those who are street involved or experiencing homelessness to access drinking water," wrote the company in a press release on Sunday.

"With the majority of daytime drop-in providers having moved to a takeaway meal service model, there is a high demand for single-use, portable drinks."

Enter Labatt's Canadian Disaster Relief Program, which sees the company's London, Ontario brewery periodically pause all beer production to can drinking water in the case of emergencies.

"This allows service providers to distribute drinks, along with takeaway meals, while maintaining public health guidelines for appropriate physical distancing," the release continues. 

"It also helps by eliminating practices that could possibly transmit COVID-19 such as using shared drinking water sources (e.g. water fountains) or shared or uncleaned re-useable bottles."

The cans will be distributed equally between the Toronto Drop-In Network and the Streets to Home Program, both of which have been faced with unique new problems amid the pandemic.

"The support of private partners like Labatt have helped our City in our non-stop efforts to respond to this emergency – to protect the health of residents and save lives," said Toronto Mayor John Tory of the donation. 

"While our own Toronto tap water continues to be safe and reliable, we know that these challenging times call for extraordinary measures and we are grateful to our corporate partners who are helping us deliver."

Lead photo by

Anne Petersen


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