April 19, 2022

The Government of Ontario is permanently providing municipalities and First Nation band councils with the ability to approve temporary outdoor extensions of licensed premises, like patios. Previously, approval of all temporary outdoor extensions was under the authority of the AGCO Registrar.

The AGCO will retain authority for approving outdoor extensions for licensees in all unorganized areas, and on First Nation reserves (except in cases where the band council directs the AGCO not to approve these extensions).

Effective January 1, 2023, the AGCO will no longer be accepting applications or otherwise approving temporary outdoor extensions for licensees located in municipalities.

Note: The existing Registrar Policy (see Annex B of the November 29, 2021 Information Bulletin: Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 Framework Now in Effect) will remain in effect until January 1, 2023. The Registrar’s policy applies to all liquor sales licensees and by-the-glass endorsement holders, regardless of where they are located.

Information for Licensees in Municipalities effective January 1, 2023:

Licensees should contact their municipality for information about their municipality’s processes and requirements for temporary outdoor extensions.

  • Licensees will be required to notify the AGCO of any temporary outdoor extension approved by their municipality and any conditions imposed by the municipality.*
  • Licensees must continue to comply with AGCO’s requirements for permanent indoor and outdoor extensions and temporary indoor extensions.
  • Licensees must also continue to comply with the LLCA, its regulations, the Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor as well as any other conditions on the licence that have been imposed on the outdoor temporary extensions by the AGCO.

 Effective January 1, 2023, individual municipalities will:

  • Have the authority to approve temporary outdoor extensions of licensed premises for up to a total of eight months in a calendar year.
  • Be permitted to create their own conditions on the municipal approval.
  • Be responsible for ensuring compliance with any conditions placed on the temporary outdoor extension approved by the municipality.

Information for Licensees on First Nations Reserves effective January 1, 2023:

Any licensee whose establishment is located on a First Nations reserve will continue to apply to the AGCO for approval of a temporary outdoor extension of a licensed establishment (except in cases where the band council has chosen to manage these extensions).

  • The Registrar will post on its website a list of First Nations band councils that have submitted a resolution requesting that the Registrar not approve temporary outdoor extensions in their community.
  • The Registrar will retain authority for approving temporary outdoor extensions of licensed establishments within First Nations reserves, unless the band council chooses to approve such extensions themselves. 

Information for Licensees in Unorganized Areas effective January 1, 2023:

Any liquor sales licensee whose establishment is located in an unorganized area (i.e. an area that is not part of a municipality or First Nations reserve) will continue to apply to the AGCO for approval of a temporary outdoor extension of a licensed establishment.

Background

To support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2020, the Registrar first introduced a policy to allow certain liquor sales licensees and by-the-glass endorsement holders to temporarily create or extend an outdoor area adjacent to their existing licensed premises without application to the AGCO and subject to certain requirements.

The Registrar’s policy for 2021-22 remains in effect until the amended regulation comes into force on January 1, 2023.

For more information

The Government of Ontario has amended Regulation 746/21 under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) to introduce a new framework for temporary outdoor extensions beginning on January 1, 2023.

* The AGCO will provide licensees with additional information closer to the January 1, 2023 implementation date, including information on:

  • How to notify the AGCO, using your iAGCO account, of any temporary outdoor extension approved by your municipality or band council and any conditions imposed by the municipality or band council
  • AGCO processes and requirements for temporary extensions for licensees in unorganized areas and First Nations reserves that have not chosen to manage extensions.

Licensees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the approval requirements unique to the municipality or First Nation reserve where their establishment is located.

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