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Toronto considers pilot project to allow alcohol consumption in 20 parks

Toronto residents could be allowed to consume alcohol in 20 parks in the coming months if city council approves a proposed pilot program. 

Next week, a city committee will be considering the program proposed by municipal staff, with recommendations then going to city council for consideration next month. 

If approved, the pilot program would allow those 19 and older to drink alcohol between Aug. 2 and Oct. 9 in the 20 selected parks. 

The city says parks were selected in consultation with local city councillors.

They include Queen’s Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park and Corktown Common in downtown Toronto, along with Milliken Park and Neilson Park in the east-end area of Scarborough, as well as Riverdale Park East, Eglinton Park and Dufferin Grove Park. 

City officials say the proposed program is based on “public health guidance, public safety and operational considerations and the experiences of other Canadian cities.”

They say a permit and licence are still required to sell or serve liquor in any park and park users are prohibited from being publicly intoxicated and from supplying or serving alcohol to anyone under the age of 19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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