Ontario restaurants

Ontario restaurants can now include liquor in delivery orders

The change is effective immediately and will last until December

Toronto’s restaurant industry is getting a much-needed break from the provincial government. Starting Thursday, licensed restaurants and bars doing takeout and delivery across the province will be able to sell booze with their orders.

The announcement is a welcome one to restaurants struggling to offset their losses during the pandemic. The temporary change to the Liquor License Act will allow licensed establishments to sell beer, wine and spirits as part of a food order for takeout or delivery. It will last until Dec. 30, 2020.

Under previous Liquor Control Board of Ontario regulations, licensed restaurants were only able to sell liquor on-site in their establishments — which presented a significant problem under the current lockdown. The restriction prompted licensed restaurants across Ontario to speak out, arguing that alcohol sales represent a significant part of a restaurant’s income.

According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO), the new changes will not require any additional applications. Any establishment with a valid liquor license can participate without having to notify the AGCO.

Food and booze deliveries can be carried out every day between the hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. by restaurants and third-party apps.

Individuals who are not yet Smart Serve certified, can begin deliveries immediately, as long as they receive their certification by April 25. However those individuals will still be responsible to ensure the person ordering is over 19 years of age and not intoxicated.