Toronto wants to let bars and restaurants serve booze early for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
You might be able to get some serious early-morning drinking in for the 2022 FIFA World Cup this holiday season thanks to Toronto mayor John Tory's support of temporary early alcohol service hours for restaurants and bars across the city.
In a Wednesday press release, the mayor announced his support for early alcohol service to accommodate fans watching the international soccer tournament running Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 in Qatar.
Due to the World Cup's host country's time zone difference, games will start as early as 8 a.m. EST, but the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's regulations do not permit the sale of alcohol before 9 a.m.
Tory stated in his release that the city expects locals "will patronize local cafes and restaurants earlier than usual during this period," and is working to give establishments "the ability to serve alcohol one hour earlier than the provincial standard."
Luckily for soccer fans, boozehounds, and soccer-loving boozehounds, the Liquor License Act enables the City to pass by-laws extending the hours of sale by holders of licenses under the Act.
Tory will bring this issue to city council seeking immediate approval in its next meeting on Nov. 24, though this means that bars and restaurants will be limited to 9 a.m. service starts for the first few days of the tournament.
To support our bars and restaurants, I am in full support of earlier alcohol service hours in Toronto during the 2022 @FIFAWorldCup.— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) November 16, 2022
I will bring the issue to City Council at its first meeting next week for immediate approval on November 24.
Please read my full statement below. pic.twitter.com/wsimHdyuih
"To move forward with the timely implementation of the revised hours of alcohol sales and service hours, Mayor Tory has worked with City staff to make sure this item is dealt with at the first meeting of City Council next week," reads the statement.
A temporary revision to liquor laws would not be unprecedented, as similar measures have been taken for previous World Cup celebrations in Toronto.
The release states that "there were no issues when alcohol hours were extended during past World Cup tournaments."
The mayor said in his statement that he hopes "this extra hour of alcohol service will help establishments planning to show the 8 a.m. games," and he encourages "residents to visit their favourite restaurants and bars to watch the World Cup and support our local businesses."
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