Liquor Licence Applications
The following municipal information and documentation must be provided to the AGCO in order to support an application for a new liquor sales licence for an extension of a licensed premises to an existing liquor licence:
Municipal Information Form
A Municipal Information Form must be completed and signed by an applicant’s local municipal clerk’s office and uploaded to the iAGCO online portal. Some municipalities prefer to return the form to the applicant for submission to the AGCO, whereas other municipalitiess prefer to email the form directly to the AGCO at Agency.Letter@agco.ca. Either approach is acceptable.
Three municipal agency letters of approval (also known as “compliance letters”) are required from applicants as part of their liquor licence application:
- Building Department (Building Code Act, 1992)
- Fire Protection Officer or Fire Marshal (Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997)
- Public Health Department (Health Protection and Promotion Act)
The AGCO provides a template form of approval letter to be used by municipal officials; however, some municipal agencies prefer to use their own letterhead. Whatever the case, these letters must be signed and dated by the appropriate official and submitted to the AGCO via the iAGCO portal.
The compliance letters must indicate that an applicant’s premises meet the current standards or by-laws administered by each agency. The compliance letter from either the Building or Fire Department should indicate an occupant load for the licensed area.
If an applicant is applying to licence an outdoor area (patio), the compliance letters submitted from the local municipality must specify that the outdoor area was inspected.
Municipally significant events
The AGCO administers the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale, service and in most cases consumption of liquor on special occasions, such as cash bars at weddings or private receptions, as well as larger scale events that are open to the public, such as charity fundraisers.
The list below outlines the types of events and activities for which a Special Occasion Permit may be issued:
Private Events are limited to invited guests only and may not be publicly advertised. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of liquor at the event.
Public Events are open to the public. These events can be advertised and fundraising and/or profit from the sale of liquor at the event is permitted. There are several types of eligible public events:
Public events include events of provincial, national or international significance, or events designated by a municipal council or its delegate as an event of municipal significance.
Charity Events are public events conducted by a charitable organization registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada), or a non-profit association or organization for the advancement of charitable, educational, religious or community objects.
Tailgate Events are public events that are held in connection with, and in proximity to, a live sporting event and where attendees may bring their own liquor (BYOB) for consumption at the event.
Industry Promotional Events are public events held to promote a manufacturer’s product(s). Manufacturers or a licensed representative can provide or sell samples and take orders for liquor purchases.
- Auctions are conducted by a charitable organization, administrator or executor of an estate or law enforcement officer acting within the scope of their duties. Auctions may be conducted wholly or partly online.
Public Event permits can be issued for events of “municipal significance”.
An event of municipal significance requires a designation by the municipality in which the event will take place. SOP applications for a municipally significant public event must be accompanied by either a municipal resolution or a letter from a delegated municipal official designating the event as municipally significant.
See the Special Occasion Permits – Public Events portal for more information.
Extensions of hours of sale and service can also be requested for municipally significant events. The AGCO has authority for extending the standard hours of sale and service in licensed premises across the province: (i) during events of provincial, national or international significance, or (ii) during events of municipal significance. Please note that the permissible hours for the sale and service of liquor are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
In order to be deemed an event of municipal significance, it requires a designation by the applicable municipal council or a delegated official.
In order to be recognized as an event of provincial, national or international significance, it must be determined as such by the Registrar.
Any liquor sales licensee or special event organizer applying for an extension of hours for the sale and service of liquor must notify the local municipality (where the event is taking place) that they have applied to the AGCO for an extension of hours. The notification must include the name, date(s) and location of the event, as well as the date(s) and time(s) of the extension requested. All applications submitted to the AGCO for a temporary extension of hours for events of provincial, national and international significance must be accompanied by a copy of the written notification the applicant has sent to the local municipality.
For more information, contact the AGCO Customer Service anytime via the iAGCO portal or Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm at 416-326-8700 or toll-free 1-800-522-2876 or in Toronto at 416-326-8700.