News Release - Report Recommends Permanently Allowing Alcohol in Parks After Resident Feedback

Pilot program evaluation found minimal issues at participating parks and strong support from residents.


TORONTO - City staff are recommending the consumption of alcohol be permanently allowed in a number of Toronto parks. This comes after staff’s evaluation of the Alcohol in Park Pilot Program found minimal issues and strong support from residents.

The staff report heading to the Economic and Community Development Committee tomorrow recommends alcohol be permitted in the 27 parks that participated in the pilot last year. They also recommend that alcohol be allowed in at least one park in all city wards.

“I am pleased we are proceeding with making the Alcohol in Parks Pilot Program permanent and expanding it to ensure residents in all areas of the city can responsibly enjoy an alcoholic beverage in a public park legally” said Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher.

Staff reported a minimal increase in 311 requests for noise, garbage or other issues at the 27 parks last year. In addition, staff found that police were not required at most of the 27 parks during the pilot and that there was no increase in alcohol-related EMS visits compared to 2022.

A strong majority of residents in a survey also supported allowing drinking alcohol in parks, including in Councillor Fletcher’s ward, which saw five parks participate in the pilot.

Visitors to these five parks reported overall satisfaction scores no lower than 89 per cent. There were no reports of disruptive behaviour and only six 311 requests for overflowing garbage and recycling bins and one for amplified noise across all five parks.

“I closely listened to residents – I kept hearing their support for the pilot and appreciation for being able to have a drink with their family and friends in our beautiful public parks” said Fletcher.

Staff were also able to collect data and feedback over a longer period after Councillor Fletcher successfully moved an October 2023 motion at City Council to extend the pilot.

“With many cities around the world now allowing some form of alcohol consumption in public spaces like parks, the pilot let city staff and Toronto's Medical Officer of Health assess impacts and hear from residents so we could develop a made-in-Toronto approach” added Fletcher.

Staff’s findings and recommendations will be considered by the Economic and Community Development Committee Thursday before heading to City Council in April for final approval.


Media inquiries: [email protected]

Paula Fletcher

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