Toronto may make it legal to drink in city parks this summer.
On Friday (April 29th) councillor Josh Matlow announced that he’s re-introducing a motion at City Hall, which would allow people to drink alcoholic beverages in parks. While the issue has been brought up in City Hall and greatly debated many times over the years, Matlow has long championed the idea.
Matlow will be bringing the motion allowing people to drink in city parks to City Council this month. If approved, the new rules could be implemented very shortly after, possibly even in time for the summer.
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: Enjoying a Drink Outdoors: Providing Safe, Responsible and Equitable Options for All Torontonians… https://t.co/v4XpekFTlV
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) April 29, 2022
More from Josh Matlow:
“Over the pandemic, Torontonians have embraced outdoor areas for socializing more than ever,” Matlow writes on his website. “Council has recognized the importance of being able to enjoy a drink outside by loosening restrictions on patios with the successful CaféTO program, which will be brought back for a third year. Some residents will choose to enjoy a drink with loved ones in their backyards or on their balconies. However, what about Torontonians that can’t afford a drink in a bar or don’t have an outdoor space in their homes? These residents should not be left with potentially unsafe options such as gathering indoors or, like many, choosing to drink illegally in parks.”
Matlow’s recommendation, if adopted, would feature a pilot project which would allow people to drink in city parks, but it would only be beverages that don’t exceed 15 per cent alcohol by volume. These beverages could be consumed in public parks and beaches that have bathroom facilities from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May 31st to October 31st, 2022.
Parkgoers would not be allowed to consume alcohol in areas of the park near playgrounds and sports fields.