Toronto Wants To Allow Legal Drinking In Parks This Summer & Here's Where It Could Happen

You may soon be able to (legally) sip beer in the park. 🍺

People in Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto.

People in Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto.

Your days spent hanging in the park this summer could include a frosty, boozy beverage of your choice, depending on how a proposed pilot program fares with the City of Toronto.

The idea would make it legal to drink alcohol in several city parks, and that would mean more summer sips in places like Trinity Bellwoods, Christie Pits and more. Because no one drinks there illegally, right?

Per a press release by the city, the Economic and Community Development Committee is looking at "a pilot program to allow residents and visitors to drink alcohol in 20 parks."

If the pilot program gets approved, it would mean that as of August 2 all the way to October 9, Torontonians and visitors aged 19 and older would be allowed drink in the designated city parks, responsibly, of course.

However, the idea has a few hoops to go through before it launches.

According to the agenda item, this program was recommended by the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation and needs to be considered and passed along by the aforementioned Economic and Community Development Committee on July 6.

After that, it will be City Council's move to make it happen, depending on what the committee says. That decision is slated to take place as early as July 19, and it will be up to the councillor for each ward to decide if it applies to their parks.

But what parks are expected to be included in this decision? They are the following:

  • Eglinton Park
  • Earlscourt
  • Dufferin Grove Park
  • Campbell Avenue Playground and Park
  • Dovercourt Park
  • Roundhouse Park
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • Christie Pits Park
  • Queen's Park (110 Wellesley St W)
  • Sir Winston Churchill Park
  • Corktown Common
  • Greenwood Park
  • Riverdale Park East
  • Withrow Park
  • Monarch Park
  • Skymark Park
  • Lee Lifeson Art Park
  • East Toronto Athletic Field
  • Milliken Park
  • Neilson Park
If the program does end up going ahead, it will then be the committee's job to figure out the next moves based on the results of the pilot program.
That evaluation is set for the "first quarter of 2024." So, if everything lines up, that could mean permanently allowing alcohol in Toronto parks next year.
Of course, don't go counting your chickens before they hatch, as there are still several steps of approval needed between now and then.
And, until that pilot program launches, you'll just have to go without seeing any alcohol being consumed at Trinity Bellwoods Park — as always (sarcasm).

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance use, help is available across the provinces and territories. If you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital.

Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.