No Liquor Stores!

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.)

So where must a Torontonian go to purchase some alcohol?  The answer is either The Beer Store (and that is what it’s called: The Beer Store) or LCBO.

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.  😉

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About iammonicasue

I'm just gal who was born and raised in So Cal, who has lived my whole life in California... until now. I moved to Toronto in August 2010 and this is my blog about the differences I'm discovering between the home I came from and the home I'm getting to know.
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2 Responses to No Liquor Stores!

  1. Chris says:

    When I think of purchasing alcohol in Canada, I just think of the scene in “Strange Brew” where they order the beer and it slides down the conveyor belt. “Hey, there’s a mouse in my beer bottle! Gimme some free beers, eh?!”

  2. Doug says:

    Some US states work that way too – there’s a couple of variations. In some you can only get the hard stuff at the state owned store and you can buy beer elsewhere, in others all alcohol’s at the state place. That’s part of why when you drive across state lines sometimes there’s big liquor stores that are cheaper and have more variety. (Usually right next to a fireworks stand!)

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