Drinking In Toronto Parks This Summer Might Finally Be Legal Thanks To A City Councillor

Josh Matlow will put the motion forward this month.

Toronto Staff Writer
Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto. Right: Riverdale Park West in Toronto.

Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto. Right: Riverdale Park West in Toronto.

Toronto parks are magical in the summer, from slacklines and Spikeball in Trinity Bellwoods Park to picnics overlooking the city at Riverdale Park West and this year, you may be able to enjoy them with a beer in your hand, legally.

City Councillor Josh Matlow is once again putting a motion forward to City Hall to make drinking legal in Toronto parks, and he's proposing the city run a pilot project from May 21, 2022, to October 31, 2022.

Matlow announced his plans on Twitter on April 29, writing, "I'm moving a motion at City Council this month to request responsible adults finally be allowed to legally enjoy a drink together in our city's parks."

In a written statement, Matlow highlights that outdoor gatherings have become increasingly popular throughout the pandemic. Moreover, while some individuals can enjoy a beverage outdoors on their balconies or in their backyards, not everybody is afforded the same luxury.

He argues that residents who can't afford to drink on a patio and don't have access to private outdoor spaces shouldn't be left behind and that the issue comes down to equity.

"These residents should not be left with potentially unsafe options such as gathering indoors or, like many, choosing to drink illegally in parks."

The city councillor says that due to existing policies and laws against public intoxication, littering, underage drinking and excessive noise, those who already "behave irresponsibly are not concerned with existing policies."

"This motion seeks to increase and focus enforcement on problem behaviours that are already occurring by freeing up resources while loosening restrictions for responsible adults who wish to responsibly and safely enjoy a beer or glass of wine."

Matlow is asking City Council to approve the pilot project and allow for alcoholic beverages with a 15% and under alcohol content to be consumed by adults at Toronto beaches and parks with bathrooms between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Brooke Houghton
Toronto Staff Writer
Brooke Houghton is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on celebrity news and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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