tailgate parties toronto

Ontario is about to legalize tailgating for sports fans

If you like drinking beer and grilling meat in parking lots, Ontario's PC government has some good news for you and your kin.

Tailgating—the practice of partying in pickup truck beds outside sports venues on game days—is about to be legalized in our province, much like it is in most of the United States.

Citing an unnamed government source, The Toronto Sun reported early Monday morning that Finance Minister Vic Fedeli's highly-anticipated first provincial budget will include an amendment to Ontario regulation 389/91, which covers special occasion liquor permits.

The budget, set to be released on Thursday, will also reveal new license plate slogans, a new provincial logo and regulations for selling alcohol in convenience stores.

Premier Doug Ford's executive director of strategic communications, David Tarrant, confirmed the news on Twitter Monday morning by retweeting the Sun's report and saying that "sports fans should be fired up."

"The Ford Government is going to treat adults like adults by legalizing tailgating across Ontario," wrote Tarrant, including hashtags for the Blue Jays, Raptors, Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Argonauts and teams in other cities.

Under the new regulations, any parking lot or venue "within a reasonable distance from a major sports complex" like BMO Field or the Rogers Centre would be eligible for a tailgating permit.

This would allow sports fans to bring their own booze and food to consume in parking lots before, during and after the game, though permit holders would be allowed to sell their own alcohol as well.

Previously, tailgating events such as those hosted by the Toronto Argonauts or MLSE would each require expensive and difficult-to-obtain special occasion permits.

More details about how the new system will work and when it will come into effect are expected later this week.

Lead photo by

Ben Vardi


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