This one took me a while to notice: there are no liquor stores in Toronto. There are convenience stores all around, but they don’t sell any alcohol at all. Their main item for sale is milk. (That’s right, milk! And I’ll have a later post about the milk itself.)
Turns out that Ontario also had prohibition back in the day, but when prohibition ended, they created the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (or LCBO) to regulate liquor consumption in the province.
It’s now 2010 and LCBO is still controlling liquor sales within the province. The only other place you can go to buy wine is at a winery itself! LCBO also sells beer, hard liquor, coolers and ciders. All bars and restaurants also have to purchase their alcohol through LCBO.
The Beer Store turns out to be conglomerate of Molson Coors, InBev and Sapporo Brewery. Guess what they sell there? Whenever I see one, I kind of crack up. I mean, I think of a bunch frat boys going, “Hey dude! We need to party. Let’s go the Beer Store!”
Some folks in Canada don’t like how much government regulates the alcohol. They particularly don’t like the prices. The lowest priced bottle of Chardonnay we could find was $7.75! (Oh, for Two-Buck Chuck!)
There has been lots of talk of privatizing the liquor industry in Ontario, but when put to a poll, the majority of citizens want the LCBO to stay in place, higher prices and all.
I think I can see why. I must admit that it’s nice to not have a liquor store on every city block. If you want to drink, you have to make an effort to do so, and you have to be able to afford it.
I think I also don’t mind, because we have an LCBO and a Beer Store within walking distance. You know, just in case. 😉