Happy Hour Returns to Ontario

Published on May 21, 2019

Increasing Choice and Convenience for Alcohol Consumers

Woodbridge – The Ontario government is putting people first and is committed to improving choice and convenience for alcohol consumers.

Ontario’s Government for the People is changing the rules to allow ‘happy hour’ advertising by licensed establishments in Vaughan-Woodbridge.

“Allowing licenced establishments, like bars, restaurants, and golf courses, to advertise ‘Happy Hour’ specials as they do in British Columbia and Alberta is part of our promise to increase choice and convenience for consumers and create more opportunities for businesses,” said Michael Tibollo. “Our government respects adult consumers by trusting them to make responsible choices that work for them.”

Effective May 6, the Province has removed restrictions on ‘Happy Hour’ advertising set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s advertising guidelines for licensed establishments in Ontario.

Alcohol reform is something long-desired by the people of Ontario. The government is listening to the people of Ontario on how to do this right, in a way that benefits consumers and provides more opportunities for businesses, while ensuring that proposed improvements uphold the health and safety of Ontario’s communities and roads.


• Licensed establishments, like bars and restaurants, have always been allowed to serve discounted drinks for a period of time each day. They just weren’t allowed to use certain language in promoting these discounts, like the phrase “Happy Hour”, until May 6, 2019 when the AGCO amended its advertising guidelines.

• To date, the government has increased choice and convenience and saved consumers money by:
o Proposing to let municipalities make rules about alcohol consumption in public spaces
o Extending hours of alcohol service at licensed establishments, allowing them to start serving alcohol at 9 a.m.
o Letting The Beer Store, LCBO and other authorized retailers, such as grocery stores and agency stores, sell alcohol from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week.
o Providing flexibility for wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries to promote their products at manufacturing sites by removing the prescribed serving sizes for “by the glass” licences.
o Pausing beer and wine tax hikes initiated by the previous government.
o Lowering the price floor to allow brewers to sell beer for $1 (Buck-a-beer).