News Release
August 2, 2023

Today, the City of Toronto officially launched a new pilot program that allows residents and visitors 19 years of age and older to responsibly consume their own alcoholic beverages in 27 parks. The pilot will run until Monday, October 9.

Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, and City staff were at Earlscourt Park this morning to officially introduce the new two-month pilot program. More information about the program, including park locations, regulations and restrictions, is available on the City’s Alcohol in Parks Pilot webpage.

In July, Toronto City Council approved the program to run in parks selected and confirmed in consultation with local Councillors. The item that Council considered is available on the City’s website.

The pilot is based on public health guidance, public safety and operational considerations, as well as the experiences of other Canadian cities.

Park users will be expected to know and follow all applicable bylaws and legislation in all parks including:

  • Compliance with the provincial Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 which prohibits public intoxication and supplying/serving alcohol to people under 19 years old.
  • Alcohol consumption is not permitted in non-pilot parks.
  • A permit and licence are still required to sell or serve liquor in any park.
  • Alcohol may not be consumed within the boundary of an outdoor swimming pool or deck; or within two metres of playgrounds, wading pools, splash pads or skateboard parks at the pilot program locations.

The City is the first Ontario municipality to introduce a pilot program since the Province of Ontario authorized municipalities to designate public spaces for personal alcohol consumption. Examples of other Canadian jurisdictions that have implemented similar pilot programs include Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

The City will evaluate the impact of the pilot on park users and neighbouring communities through 311 reporting, on-site observations and results of an online public survey. Residents and visitors can access the survey on the City’s Alcohol in Parks Pilot webpage.  Findings will be reported to Council in early 2024.

As part of their regular duties during the pilot, bylaw enforcement officers regularly visit public parks to educate people about the rules and City bylaws and will continue to visit parks throughout Toronto. As always, the City will address park complaints and prioritize investigations into matters that pose risks to public use and nuisance control.

The City will continue to work with Toronto Public Health to share information about safe alcohol consumption. Information on health risks associated with alcohol and safer drinking tips are available on the City’s Alcohol & Other Drugs webpage.


“We’re glad to launch this sensible pilot and give residents the opportunity to drink responsibly in select public spaces. The City’s Alcohol in Parks Pilot webpage, has all the details on the program, including the full list of participating parks, program guidelines and tips on safe drinking and harm reduction. This pilot will run until October 9, and I encourage everyone to share their feedback on the pilot through the online survey that is open now.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,

Visitors sit on the grassy slope at Riverdale Park East.