Don’t expect to walk around the gaybourhood with a cocktail at Pride. Ontario’s new liquor laws won’t benefit Pride Toronto this year.
Festival spokesperson Peter McHugh says the new laws would apply only if the festival is held in a fenced-in area, such as Queen’s Park.
But since the Church and Wellesley Village is ground zero, there’s no way to control revellers, he says. “We can’t fence off the Village.”
Ontario’s new relaxed rules should take effect in time for the summer, Attorney General Chris Bentley has said. Bentley first floated his proposal to loosen Ontario’s liquor laws, which could do away with beer tents at festivals, in February.
Still, in keeping with previous years, a fistful of Toronto clubs — both gay and straight — have applied for and won the right to serve liquor until 4am over Pride Week, rather than having to shutter their bars at 2am. Those extensions last from June 30 to July 3. (See below for a full list.)
And those headed to house parties also have an addition consideration: because the Friday night of Pride Week falls on Canada Day, the province’s liquor stores and beer stores will be closed all day.
Bars with extended licences
Woody’s, 467 Church St
The Barn, 414-418 Church St
Goodhandy’s, 120 Church St
Footwork, 425 Adelaide St W
Bovine Club, 542 Queen St W
VIP Billiard Club, 385-389 Yonge St, lower level
Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W
Bars and patios with extended licences
Crews & Tangos, 508-510 Church St
Slack’s Restaurant and Bar, 562 Church St
Byzantium, 499 Church St
Zipperz Bar, 72 Carlton St
Fire on the East Side, 6 Gloucester St
Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St W
The Opera House, 737 Queen St E