Experiences Involving Alcohol in Toronto
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to include alcohol during my experience, is there anything I should be thinking about?
Yes. If you plan to include alcohol during your experience, we encourage you to please keep your safety, and that of your guests, front of mind.
Safe experiences do not involve providing alcohol to a guest:
- Who is under 19;
- Who will be driving or operating any type of vehicle;
- Who looks or acts inebriated;
- Who has informed you that they are ill or has a drinking problem; or
- Until after any portion of an experience involving physical activity (like yoga, swimming, hiking, biking) or activities that involve operating machinery is complete.
In addition, if you are hosting an experience with alcohol in a public venue or outdoor space, make sure alcohol is permitted to be consumed in that venue and consider whether a permit is required.
Do I need a license if I serve alcohol to my guests at my home, at a private venue or outdoors?
The purchase, sale, and consumption of alcohol is tightly regulated in Canada. To sell alcohol to your guests, you either need a license obtained through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) or you need to hire a licensed caterer. Selling alcohol includes situations where:
- You sell alcohol to your guest directly - by, for example, charging guests for a glass of wine you serve yourself.
- You sell alcohol to your guest indirectly - by, including a charge for the wine you serve to your guest in your experience price.
Hosts who sell, or otherwise offer alcohol as part of their experience, will need one or more licences to do this unless they take their guests to a licensed bar or restaurant. More information about the types of alcohol licences available in the greater Toronto area can be found on the AGCO website here.
The AGCO does not prohibit alcohol to be served at private, invitation-only events in private residences where there is no direct or indirect charge for that alcohol.
However, keep in mind that any direct or indirect charge for alcohol service without a license or permit may be a violation of the Liquor License Act. For example, an obvious indirect charge for alcohol service - charging one price for a meal without alcohol while charging a higher price for a meal with alcohol - could be considered a prohibited sale by the Liquor Authority.
What if my experience takes place at a business with a liquor license, like a bar or restaurant?
You would be unlikely to run afoul of regulations if you take your guests to your favorite local bars or restaurants that are fully licensed facilities. You can find more information on this through the AGCO or the City of Toronto.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If you are serving and selling alcohol, you should always be aware of age and location.
Selling alcohol without the required licenses or serving alcohol to underage persons are serious offenses, and may include financial penalties. See the official AGCO website here.
Additionally, if your experience takes place in more than one city (like if you are starting in Toronto and taking your Guests to another location outside of the Toronto city limits) you should check the rules for each municipality. These rules can found directly from a local municipal government office. Generally speaking, this is a tricky area and we encourage you to check with your local municipality’s alcoholic beverage control and speak to a lawyer to make sure you are correctly interpreting these provisions and are following your local laws.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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