Liquor Licence Applications
The following municipal information and documentation must be provided to the AGCO in order to support an application for a new liquor sales licence or an outdoor addition to an existing liquor licence:
Municipal Information Form
A Municipal Information Form must be completed and signed by an applicant’s local municipal clerk’s office and returned to the AGCO. Some municipalities prefer to return the form to the applicant for delivery to the AGCO, whereas others prefer to mail the form directly to the AGCO. Either approach is acceptable.
Three municipal agency letters of approval (also known as “compliance letters”) are required from applicants as part of their liquor licence application:
- Building Department (Building Code Act, 1992)
- Fire Protection Officer or Fire Marshal (Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997)
- Public Health Department (Health Protection and Promotion Act)
The AGCO provides a template form of approval letter to be used by municipal officials; however, some municipal agencies prefer to use their own letterhead. Whatever the case, these letters must be signed and dated by the appropriate official.
The compliance letters must indicate that an applicant’s establishment meets the current standards or by-laws administered by each agency. The compliance letter from either the Building or Fire Department should indicate an occupant load for the licensed area.
If an applicant is applying to licence an outdoor area (patio), the compliance letters submitted from the local municipality’s fire department and health department must specify that the outdoor area was inspected.
Municipally significant events
The AGCO administers the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale and service of alcohol on special occasions, such as cash bars at weddings or private receptions, as well as larger scale events that are open to the public, such as charity fundraisers.
There are three types of special occasions for which a permit may be issued:
- Private Event: For events where only invited guests will attend. These events cannot be advertised and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.
- Public Events: For events that are open to the public. Public events can be advertised and allow for fundraising/profit from the sale of alcohol.
- Industry Promotional Events: For events held to promote a manufacturer’s product through sampling. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.
Public Event permits can be issued for events of “municipal significance”.
In order to be deemed an event of municipal significance, it requires a designation by the municipality in which the event will take place. SOP applications for a municipally significant Public Event must be accompanied by either a municipal resolution or a letter from a delegated municipal official designating the event as municipally significant.
See the Special Occasion Permits – Public Events portal for more information.
Extensions of hours of sale and service are also possible for municipally significant events. The AGCO has authority for extending the standard hours of sale and service in licensed establishments across the province (generally 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.): (i) during events of provincial, national or international significance, or (ii) during events of municipal significance.
In order to be deemed an event of municipal significance, it requires a designation by the applicable municipal council or a delegated official.
In order to be recognized as an event of provincial, national or international significance, it must be determined as such by the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing.
Effective January 2018, any liquor sales licensee or special event organizer applying for an extension of hours for the sale and service of alcohol must notify the local municipality (where the event is taking place) that they have applied to the AGCO for an extension of hours. The notification must include the name, date(s) and location of the event, as well as the date(s) and time(s) of the extension requested. All applications submitted to the AGCO for a temporary extension of hours for events of provincial, national and international significance must now be accompanied by a copy of the written notification the applicant has sent to the local municipality. See Information Bulletin 48 for more information.
For more information, contact the AGCO Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-522-2876 or in Toronto at 416-326-8700.