Liquor Sales Licences and Special Occasion Permits

Permissible hours for the sale and service of alcohol for liquor sales licensed establishments and Special Occasion Permit* events are:

  • Monday to Sunday 11:00 a.m to 2:00 a.m.
  • New Year´s Eve (December 31st) 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.

All orders for liquor must be served before 2:00 a.m. (3:00 a.m. on New Year´s Eve). All signs of liquor must be cleared within 45 minutes after the end time on the licence; for most this is by 2:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m. on New Year´s Eve). This includes the clearing of all glasses and bottles off the tables.

*Some liquor sales licences and special occasion permits may have conditions that further limit the above noted permissible hours.

Clock Changes

Spring Time Change

In the spring the clocks move forward one hour at 2:00 a.m., moving to 3:00 a.m. on the clock. At this time the sale of liquor must stop. The liquor sales licence holder has 45 minutes after this stop service time to clear all signs of service, even though the clock has gone forward one hour.

Autumn Time Change

In the autumn the clocks move back one hour at 2:00 a.m., to show 1:00 a.m. The liquor sales licence holder may turn the clock back one hour and continue to sell until 2:00 a.m. (new autumn time) at which time the sale of liquor must stop. The liquor sales licence holder has 45 minutes after stopping service to clear all signs of service.

Retail Sale Hours

Permissible hours of sale for all retail stores that may sell liquor in Ontario are:

  • Monday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

*Note that some grocery stores may have general hours of operation that are outside the permissible hours of alcohol sale (e.g. a 24 hour store) noted above, however they are only permitted to sell alcohol within the permissible hours. Some authorizations may have conditions that further limit the above noted permissible hours.

Farmers’ MarketS

Permissible hours of sale for an occasional extension of an on-site winery retail store within a farmer’s market are the hours of sale of the farmer’s market.

Retail saleS on Holidays

Retail stores that sell alcohol may be permitted to open on a holiday in accordance with the permissible hours of sale depending on the laws or by-laws applicable to the business, such as the Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA) and municipal retail holiday by-laws.

Please note that the RBHA does not fall under the AGCO’s authority. Questions about the RBHA may be directed to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. More information about the RBHA can be found on the Ontario.ca website.