LCBO new years eve

Toronto is getting ready for New Year's Eve at home by lining up outside LCBO stores

In a city known for lineups, on a calendar date known for lineups, during a year that saw people forced to line up more than ever before in history, Toronto is bustling with lineups right now.

Such was to be expected ahead of a holiday where most major grocery stores, banks, the LCBO, the Beer Store are closed... on top of everything else that's already been closed as part of the provincewide shutdown.

Compounding the crowds this year are capacity limits of 25 per cent for most places where indoor shopping is still permitted (read: essential retailers.)

You'd have been lucky to walk right into some LCBO locations in downtown Toronto on a weekend even before the pandemic hit, let alone now.

With the number of people allowed inside any store at one time now slashed by three quarters, and the liquor distributor closing everywhere in Ontario at 6 p.m., lineups are long and plentiful in the city (and beyond.)

It's not like anyone can go out for dinner or drinks like they normally might on New Year's Eve, either.

With restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas and event venues now closed in Toronto since late November, people need to hit up the stores now for supplies if they want to have a fun night in.

Grocery stores and some cannabis stores are also boasting long wait times in downtown Toronto right now on account of high demand.

But no one business seems to pulling as much of an outdoor, wait-in-line crowd than those that deal in booze.

If you've yet to head out for provisions, it might already be too late to score a spot in line that'll get you into the lickbo before it shuts down at six.

Fortunately, there are tons of independent restaurants and breweries selling beer, wine and alcohol for delivery or pickup right now. There's no better way to usher out 2020 than saying no to lineups and supporting local at the same time.

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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