“Tied House” Liquor Licences

The following municipal information and documentation must be provided to the AGCO in order to support an application for a new liquor sales licence (including a “tied house” liquor licence associated with a manufacturing site of a winery, distillery or brewery in Ontario) or an outdoor addition 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 returned to the AGCO.  Some municipalities prefer to return the form to the applicant for delivery to the AGCO, whereas others prefer to mail the form directly to the AGCO.  Either approach is acceptable.

Compliance letters

Three municipal agency letters of approval (also known as “compliance letters”) are required from applicants as part of their liquor sales 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.

The compliance letters must indicate that an applicant’s establishment meets 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’s fire department and health department must specify that the outdoor area was inspected.

“By the Glass” Manufacturer´s Limited Liquor Sales Licence

Wineries, breweries and distilleries that hold a manufacturer’s licence under the Liquor Licence Act may make an application to the AGCO for a Manufacturer´s Limited Liquor Sales Licence (commonly known as “by the glass”) to sell and serve their products for consumption on their manufacturing site(s) where the sale is primarily aimed at promoting the manufacturer´s product and either providing an enhanced tourist experience or fulfilling an educational purpose.

Under a “by the glass” licence, guests are allowed to carry and consume wine, beer and spirits on the manufacturing site in areas that are under the sole control of the manufacturer and approved under the licence.  Note that wine, beer and spirits are not be permitted in such areas as public roads, thoroughfares, driveways and parking lots, or in other areas that may raise public safety concerns.

In order to issue a “by the glass” licence, written notice must be received from the Council of the municipality within which the applicant’s manufacturing site is located confirming that it has passed a resolution in support of the licence.


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