Ontario Government Announces Expansion Of Alcohol Sales To Nearly 300 Additional Stores

Photo courtesy of LCBO, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Government of Ontario is expanding beer and wine sales to nearly 300 new retail outlets across Ontario, and some of those locations are set to end up in or around the Muskoka area, according to an announcement from Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli on June 6.

Ontario is allowing 87 more grocery stores to sell wine, beer and cider, bringing the number of grocery store authorizations in the province up to 450. Grocers will be chosen through a lottery process, according to the announcement, and the selected grocers will be able to start selling wine, beer and cider starting in September. LCBO is also expanding its agency store program to about 200 underserved communities and up to 60 stores are expected to open this August. Up to 150 new locations are set to open by December with additional stores opening next spring. Milford Bay, Minett, Utterson, Emsdale, Sprucedale and Windermere are included in the LCBO’s list of underserved communities eligible to get one of the new locations known as LCBO Convenience Outlets. Other areas near Muskoka such as Balm Beach, Nobel, Rolphton, Wolseley Bay, Irondale, Norland and Harcourt are also included in the list of eligible communities.

“Whether driving to the cottage or running errands, consumers across Ontario will now have more places to pick up beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages,” Fedeli said. “Our government is committed to delivering greater choice and convenience to individuals and families, and this expansion is just the beginning.”

The new locations will be called LCBO Convenience Outlets to help consumers identify local alcohol retailers that offer similar products to LCBO stores. The LCBO will release a Request for Proposal to local retailers in the 200 identified communities, according to the release. All business applicants that meet the requirements for an authorization will be entered into a lottery for each community and those selected will be eligible for Convenience Outlet authorizations.

“LCBO Convenience Outlets provide socially responsible access to beverage alcohol products from Ontario and around the world, and this expansion, along with the increased number of grocery outlets, is a welcomed opportunity to provide greater accessibility and convenience to our valued customers across the province,” said George Soleas, president and CEO of LCBO.

To learn more about the expansion, read the Ontario Government’s announcement here. To see the full list of eligible communities for LCBO Convenience Outlets, click here.


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