Beer and Wine in Parks

Mayoral Candidate will make Wine and Alcohol Consumption Legal.

Toronto – Mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa today shared his Parks for Everyone plan at an afternoon party in Trinity Bellwoods park with branded cans of Gil Penalosa Toronto Park “Beer.” The cans – actually filled with sparkling water – highlight Gil’s plan to allow adults to responsibly consume wine and beer in parks until 9pm all year round within the first 100 days of becoming Mayor. 

 Residents enjoy a meal in a local park.

“The pandemic has shown us that our parks are essential for our physical and mental health,” said Penalosa. “Toronto’s park system has the potential to be the best in the world. Let’s follow the lead of most major cities in Canada and around the world by allowing the consumption of alcohol in parks until 9pm all year round.” 

Toronto is becoming an increasingly dense city. Parks serve as backyards for many residents living in apartments and condominiums. Public intoxication and underage drinking are illegal under provincial law. Littering, excessive noise and public urination are ticketable offences already enforced in many parks. Yet, despite repeated promises from John Tory, and enabling legislation from the provincial government, having a glass of wine or a beer with family and friends remains illegal in Toronto parks. This penalizes the majority of residents who are responsible due to concerns about a small number who might not be.

As Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta, told the CBC, “We don’t want to outlaw all behaviour just because taken to the extreme there can be problematic examples.”

Residents walk, cycle and picnic in a local park. 

In addition to allowing alcohol consumption in all city parks until 9pm, Gil’s Parks for Everyone Plan includes:

  • Expanding the PlayTO and Summer in the 6IX programs, including sports, crafts, nature walks for children, seniors, and everyone in between, by offering programs for all ages, all year round. 
  • Fostering vibrant year-round parks with support for winter activities like natural rinks, hot chocolate kiosks and public art projects.
  • Winterizing washrooms in large parks so Torontonians can use park washrooms, water fountains and facilities year round.
  • Leaving park washrooms open longer in summer months by shifting ward-based closing schedule from 8-10pm to 9-11pm on a rotating basis
  • Emptying waste more frequently instead of dumping additional unattractive waste bins across parks.

 

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