Local Breweries & Zoning By-laws
Upcoming Consultation Meetings
The City is holding the following community consultation meetings where you can learn more about the proposed Zoning By-law amendments, ask questions, and share your comments with City staff. Meeting details are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Henderson Brewing Company – 128A Sterling Rd.
The meeting at Henderson Brewing Company will be a drop-in meeting where City staff will be present with information detailing the proposed amendments on handouts and display boards. A brief presentation by the Cask Force team will occur at 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Time: 12 noon – 5 p.m.
Location: Ontario Investment and Trade Centre, 35th Floor Galleria Room – 250 Yonge St.
The meeting at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre will be a drop-in information meeting with handouts and display boards and brief presentations the Cask Force Team on the proposed By-law amendments occurring at 12 noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Supporting Toronto’s Local Brewery Industry
The number of local breweries in Toronto has grown considerably over the last decade, during which time they have become an increasingly important part of the City’s economic and cultural identity.
On May 5, 2015, City Council requested that City staff work with owners and operators of local breweries to create a supportive regulatory environment and help grow the City’s beer sector. City staff convened a meeting with a number of local Toronto Brewers to discuss how the City could support the City’s brewing industry. This group came to be known as the Cask Force.
Cask Force has met on several occasions since 2015 and continues to meet to discuss regulatory and economic development matters concerning the craft beer industry.
On May 31, 2017, City Council requested that staff review Zoning By-law permissions for breweries, restaurants, and related uses and make recommendations to help support and grow the local brewery industry.
Local Breweries and the Zoning By-law
Craft breweries in Toronto vary significantly in size and function, and are located across the City. Some operations produce beer to support an on-site restaurant, while others operate a retail store to sell beer produced on site, and others have both an ancillary eating establishment (restaurant) and retail store.
The City’s Zoning By-laws, and primarily the City-wide Zoning By-law 569-2013, permits and regulates breweries, eating establishments and retail stores, among other uses, and generally permits the range of craft brewery operations found in the city. However, as the number of breweries in the city began to increase, it became apparent that the diverse operating models were not being interpreted consistently under the various zoning by-laws. This led to uncertainty and confusion for the industry.
Proposed Zoning By-law Amendments
Through the meetings of Cask Force held since 2015, the City is undertaking a range of initiatives to resolve this uncertainty and support the growing local brewery industry. In 2019, the Cask Force staff City team will be reporting to the City’s Planning and Housing Committee and City Council with recommendations to amend the Zoning By-law regarding breweries and related uses. Changes are summarized as follows:
Retail stores with on-site beer production in Commercial-Residential zones
As a response to a recent change in provincial legislation, the brewing industry has indicated a desire to establish retail stores (bottle shops) which include limited on-site production in Commercial Residential (CR) zones. On-site production and an ancillary retail store is currently permitted by the By-law as part of a restaurant in (CR) zones.
Staff are recommending that retail stores in the CR zone permit on-site beverage manufacturing up to a total floor area of 400 square metres.
Outdoor patio permissions in certain Employment-Industrial zones
The Zoning By-law currently allows stand-alone restaurants in Employment Zones(E) and Employment Office Industrial Zones(EO) and the Light Employment Zone(EL) allows restaurants as part of a manufacturing use. While patios are typically permitted as part of a restaurant, only the (EO) zone currently permits outdoor patios.
The City’s review of Employment Area policies in 2013 resulted in the inclusion of small-scale, stand-alone and ancillary restaurants, which may include a patio, in both Core and General Employment Areas, provided the restaurant and patio are small-scale in nature.
City Planning Staff are recommending that outdoor patios be permitted ancillary to restaurants and/or tasting rooms operating as part of breweries in all (EL) Zones and certain (E) Zones subject to criteria similar to the current requirements for a patio in the (EO) Zone.
Removal of requirement for a partition wall between beer production and restaurant / retail store areas in Employment-Industrial zones
Zoning by-law 569-2013 requires a floor-to-ceiling wall between a manufacturing use and a retail store or eating establishment to prevent public access.
City Planning staff are recommending that this requirement be removed from the Zoning By-law. Ontario Building Code requirements for separation between certain uses would still apply.
Beer Production and Restaurant floor area
The City is also recommending that areas used for beer production and related spaces, within a restaurant, be excluded from the maximum restaurant size in any site or area specific By-laws, similar to how kitchen space is currently treated.
Beer Production and Restaurants Employment-Industrial zones
The Zoning By-law currently allows stand-alone restaurants in (E) and (EO) zones and the (EL) zone allows restaurants as part of a manufacturing use.
The City is recommending that the Zoning By-law be amended to clearly permit restaurant and retail store space as a percentage of beer production space in (E), (EL) and (EO) zones.
The City is also recommending that beer production, and related space, within a restaurant not be counted towards the maximum restaurant size allowed in either the general By-law or any site and area specific By-laws, similar to how kitchen space is currently treated.