December 12, 2019

As part of its ongoing work to modernize provincial rules in relation to beverage alcohol and provide consumers and businesses with enhanced choice, convenience and flexibility, the Government of Ontario has amended Regulation 719 (Licences to Sell Liquor) under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to allow the sale and service of liquor at certain airports in Ontario at any time.

Liquor Sales Licensees must be located in what is known as the “sterile area”, which is defined below. Eligible airports are those that have been designated by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as an Airport of Entry (AOE) or an Airport of Entry/15 (AOE/15).

This change is effective December 12, 2019.

Previously, all liquor licensed establishments in Ontario, including those located in airport terminals, were restricted to selling alcohol between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on December 31).

This step supports Ontario’s continued efforts to provide increased opportunities to those involved in the sale, service and consumption of alcohol. The proposal also aligns with the government’s ongoing alcohol modernization process across the province.  


Quick Facts:

  • AOE are airports that are designated to clear all classes of scheduled and unscheduled aircrafts without restriction and perform customs and immigration services.
  • AOE/15 are airports which are designated to clear unscheduled aircrafts whose number of non-paying travelers does not exceed 15.
  • A sterile area of an airport is defined under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012 made under the Aeronautics Act (Canada) as an area that is restricted that is used to segregate: passengers who have been screened; passengers exempted from screening; and other persons authorized to be in the area.  

The AGCO remains committed to protecting public safety and ensuring that alcohol is sold, served and consumed in a responsible manner. Licensees must continue to meet all other existing requirements in the LLA and regulations.

Licence holders should review the amendments to ensure that they are in compliance with all legislative and regulatory requirements. Links to electronic versions of the Liquor Licence Act and its regulations are available on our Acts and Regulations page.

For inquiries pertaining to the designation of airports as AOE or AOE/15, or what is considered a “sterile area”, please contact:

Canada Border Services Agency


Phone: 1-800-461-9999 (within Canada), or 1-204-983-3500 (outside Canada)


For more information contact:

AGCO Customer Service
Telephone: 416-326-8700
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876
Or via the iAGCO online portal

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