The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced it will allow certain liquor-licensed establishments to extend their premises to increase capacity by expanding an existing area or adding a patio until 2022.
The AGCO notes that a licence holder with a valid liquor sales licence may apply to the Registrar to increase the capacity of an existing area, alter the licensed area(s) (e.g. expanding a room), relocate an area, or add a patio and/or additional areas.
Update for 2021
The AGCO says that “in an effort to support businesses as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” it is authorizing eligible “By the Glass” licensees to temporarily extend or add a temporary physical extension of their licensed premises, until January 1, 2022.
Eligible “By the Glass” licensees do not need to submit an application to extend their licensed premises for the duration of 2021, provided they meet certain requirements.
To be eligible for a temporary patio extension under the AGCO’s 2021 patio policy you must have a valid “By the Glass” licence, be permitted to open for on-site consumption, and must meet a set of criteria:
- The physical extension of the premises must be adjacent to 1) the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies, 2) a dock to which the boat is attached and may include land adjacent to the dock, or 3) the licensed premises under the “By the Glass” licence.
- The municipality in which the premises is situated must have indicated it does not object to an extension.
- The licensee must be able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
- There must not exist any condition on the licence prohibiting a patio.
- The capacity of any temporary extension must allow for at least 1.11 square metres per person.
- In the case of “By the Glass” licensees, the sale and service of the wine, beer, and/or spirits manufactured by the manufacturer within the physical extension of the premises must be primarily aimed at promoting the manufacturer’s product and either providing an enhanced tourist experience or fulfilling an educational purpose.
A temporary extension allows a liquor sales licence holder to extend the licensed area indoors or outdoors for events with the Registrar’s approval.
In addition, the AGCO notes that operators can make certain changes to licensed premises without approval from the Registrar, including:
- Changes to décor
- Installation or relocation of doors
- Installation of windows