A city councillor wants you to be able to crack a cold one in Trinity Bellwoods this summer. Councillor Josh Matlow is reintroducing a motion to allow drinking in Toronto’s public parks, which he says would be a huge plus for locals.
Matlow says that with the success of the CafeTO program and the rise of outdoor dining, those who don’t have backyards, balconies, or the budget for drinking in bars and restaurants shouldn’t miss out on enjoying a drink with friends outside.
Those without access to private outdoor spaces are left with “potentially unsafe options such as gathering indoors or, like many, choosing to drink illegally in parks.”
And to prevent “problem behaviours” as a result of public intoxication and underage drinking, the motion “seeks to increase and focus enforcement” by freeing up the existing resources, “while loosening restrictions for responsible adults who wish to responsibly and safely enjoy a beer or glass of wine.”
Matlow points out that other Canadian cities, including Montreal and Vancouver, as well as cities like London, Paris, and Sydney already permit residents to drink in parks.
When it comes to this by-law, Matlow claims that Toronto has “uneven enforcement with inequitable results,” and believes that it’s time for that to change.
The councillor proposes that the City approve a pilot project that would allow locals to drink beverages not exceeding 15% alcohol at public parks and beaches between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. from May 21 to October 31, 2022.
With this, more garbage and recycling bins as well as public bathrooms including portable toilets should be added at parks and beaches.
However, he proposes that drinking near playgrounds and sports fields should be banned, similar to the restrictions on smoking.
If the pilot is approved, we could be getting boozy on the beach all summer long. Fingers crossed!
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