TORONTO, ON – At a press conference held this morning at the Leslie and Lakeshore location of Loblaws in Toronto, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced that beer sales would be starting today at select grocery stores in Ontario, confirming earlier reports.
58 locations – including 13 independent stores and 45 branches of grocery chains – have been authorized to sell beer in this first wave, with a total of 450 planned to be approved over the next few years.
The stores have been mandated to allocate a minimum of 20% of shelf space to craft beer, although some will be offering more, with Loblaws devoting 50% of their stock to brands from small and medium brewers.
Maximum retail hours for beer sales at grocery stores will be 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM Monday to Saturday, and 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays. Selection is limited to single unit and six pack formats, and to beers with abv of 7.1% or less.
More details on the program including a map and list of all grocery stores that will be offering beer sales starting today – or soon after – can be found on the Government of Ontario website.