drink parks toronto

Toronto might soon make it legal to drink in parks

No, this is not an April Fool's joke. Toronto might actually make it legal to drink in city parks this summer.

Just when we thought cracking open a beer in a park this year would be an impossibility, councillor Josh Matlow confirmed on Friday that he'll be re-introducing a motion at City Hall to permit people to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages in parks.

The issue has been endlessly discussed and sometimes considered over the years without much progress. 

Police have long ignored illegal drinking in parks, suggesting its wiser for them to devote resources and enforcement efforts toward other priorities.

Matlow has long been a champion of the idea, a practice that is permitted in other "world-class" cities like Berlin and Vienna. 

Mayor John Tory has also previously supported changing the rules.

Matlow says he'll bring the motion to City Council this month and, if approved, the new rules for responsibly drinking outdoors could be in place shortly thereafter.

Matlow's specific recommendation, if adopted, would support moving ahead with a pilot project to allow the consumption of  beverages that don't exceed 15 per cent alcohol by volume in public parks and beaches that have bathroom facilities between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. from May 31 through October 31, 2022.

Exceptions would be for areas of the park near playgrounds and sports fields where alcohol consumption would still be prohibited.

If the pilot project is approved and successful, drinking in Toronto parks could become permanent.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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