Starting today, 67 new independent and large grocers in communities across Ontario are authorized to sell wine, beer and cider – the closest additions near Muskoka on the list are in Orillia and Innisfil.
The Province says criteria were set to ensure fairness and geographic distribution.
The location in Innisfil is the Sobeys located at 2080 Jans Blvd., while the one in Orillia is the Food Basics at 975 West Ridge Rd.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, was at Coppa’s Fresh Market in Toronto today to announce the 67 store locations, including 20 independent grocery stores and 47 stores owned by large grocers.
These stores are in addition to the 57 across the province already selling beer and cider.
Ultimately, beer and cider will be available in up to 450 grocery stores across Ontario, including 300 that also sell wine.
“Being able to make one stop to pick up wine alongside other groceries will help make everyday life easier for Ontarians. Opening up this new retail channel for wine producers will also help encourage business to thrive while delivering economic growth and job creation in Ontario’s beverage alcohol, agriculture and tourism sectors.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
Ontario maintains a strong commitment to social responsibility. By law, grocers selling beer or wine must have designated sales areas and standard hours of sale, abide by limitations on package size and alcohol content, and follow staffing and social responsibility training requirements. Ontario will develop a comprehensive alcohol strategy to promote the responsible sale and use of alcohol in moderation.
Offering consumers more choice and convenience while improving opportunities for business is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their lives.
Social responsibility requirements:
Selling alcohol is a public trust the government takes very seriously. The following retail requirements apply to authorized grocers:
The sale of wine, beer and cider adheres to standard hours, which are: Monday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Limitations to alcohol by volume – maximum of 7.1 per cent for beer and cider, and 18 per cent for wine, beer and cider continue to be sold in a six-pack or less or up to 750 mL per container
Wine can be sold in maximum four-litre containers
Staff selling alcohol must be a minimum of 18 years of age and be trained on Ontario’s standards for social responsibility, including making sure customers under the age of 19 and intoxicated individuals do not purchase alcohol
Grocers will also be restricted to selling wines with a retail price of $10.95 (per 750 mL bottle) or higher
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will oversee these and other regulations.