To serve/sell alcohol in Toronto you need a liquor licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). You may also need documentation from the City to support your application to the AGCO for certain licences. These licences are:

  • retail store authorizations
  • permanent liquor sales licences
  • temporary licences
    • extensions of existing permanent licences
    • special occasion permits (SOP)

If you are unsure about the type of licence you require, contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

If you are applying to the AGCO for a Special Occasion Permit (SOP), you may need the City’s endorsement for your application (otherwise known as a declaration of municipal significance).

How to request the City’s Endorsement

  • Complete the application form and submit it to the City Clerk’s Office

Download Form

Deadlines to request the City’s Endorsement

  • 30 days prior to the event for small events
  • 60 days prior to the event for large events (defined as 5,000 or more people in attendance)

Additional Information

  • City Council authorized the City Clerk to process endorsements for public and private events in consultation with the ward councillor(s) for the areas where your event is taking place.
  • Exception: If your event is not a community event or festival, the City Clerk cannot endorse events with music or outdoor activities after 9 PM.

Helpful Links

City of Toronto guidance on planning events on public property.

AGCO Infographic on SOPs

AGCO Special Occasion Permit Application Guide

If you are an existing permanent liquor licence holder and are applying to the AGCO for a temporary extension, you may need an endorsement and a letter of non-objection from the City. This includes applications for temporary extensions of:

  • the premises (e.g., expanded patio area)
  • the serving hours (e.g., 4 AM extension)

How to request the City’s Endorsement

  • Complete the application form and submit it to the City Clerk’s Office

Download Form

Deadlines to request the City’s Endorsement

  • 30 days for small events
  • 60 days for large events (defined as 5,000 or more people in attendance)

Criteria for the City’s Endorsement

  • City Council authorized the City Clerk to process endorsements and letters of non-objection in consultation with the ward councillor(s) for the areas where your event is taking place.
  • Your event must be one of the following:
    • a local live sports game
    • a televised nationally- or internationally-recognized sports event in a different time zone
    • an arts performance (including multi-event festivals and associated events)
    • an event with special live performances throughout serving hours
  • Exception: the City Clerk cannot endorse applications for the following:
    • Serving of alcohol before 9 AM
    • Serving of alcohol outdoors after 11 PM
    • Serving of alcohol indoors later than 4 AM
    • Events with amplified music or sound outdoors after 9 PM, including sound emanating from inside

Larger Events

  • Event organizers for larger events can submit applications on behalf of multiple businesses and partners.
  • Email liquorlicence@toronto.ca with a cover letter listing the businesses included in your event. You must also submit a PDF application form for each of the participating businesses.

Municipal Clearance for a Liquor Sales Licence

As part of the liquor sales licence approval, the AGCO requires the Municipal Information Form to be signed by the City Clerk and municipal clearance/approval letters from Toronto Building, Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Public Health.

When submitting your documentation to the City Clerk’s Office:

  • You must include your business licence number from Municipal Licensing and Standards (if applicable)
  • Your establishment must be ready for inspection within 30 days from the day your application is submitted
  • If your application includes an outdoor patio, you must ensure that a building permit has been issued that includes the patio OR that you have obtained a preliminary zoning review for the patio. If you are unsure, call Toronto Building at 416-395-7000

The City Clerk’s Office will:

  • Complete your Municipal Information Form and submit it to the AGCO
  • Circulate your application and documentation to Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Building and Toronto Public Health for letters of approval/clearance
  • Give notice of your application to Toronto Police Services, Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards and the Ward Councillor

Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Building and Toronto Public Health will:

  • Contact you to arrange an inspection
  • Conduct the inspection
  • Provide the AGCO with the required approval or denial (compliance letter)
  • You will then be contacted by the AGCO

How to Submit your Documentation

Visit one of four City Clerk’s offices in person and submit:

  • Completed Municipal Information form provided by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)

Municipal Information Form

  • Floor plans identifying the proposed area to be licensed (format 8.5″x11″)
  • City of Toronto Municipal Liquor Licence Clearance Form

Municipal Liquor Licence Clearance Form

  • Administration fee of $817.36 (including HST)
  • Payments accepted: Cash, debit, credit card, money order or certified cheque payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto”

Retail Store Authorization

If you require a licence to operate a retail store that sells alcohol, the City Clerk’s Office will complete the Municipal Information Form and submit it to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). You will then be contacted by the AGCO.

How to Submit your Documentation

Visit one of four City Clerk’s Offices in person and submit:

  • The Municipal Information for a Retail Store Authorization form provided by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)

Municipal Information for a Retail Store Authorization From 

  • An administration fee of $101 (HST does not apply)
  • Payments accepted: Cash, debit, credit card, money order or certified cheque payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto”