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Special Occasion Permits

In Ontario, a Special Occasion Permit is required whenever alcohol is sold or served anywhere other than in a house or a licensed establishment. Special Occasions requiring permits may include:

  • Weddings
  • Corporate parties
  • Fundraisers
  • Charity events

As an event organizer you are responsible for your guests safety and sobriety. If your guests become intoxicated, you're responsible until they sober up, not just until they leave your event.

It is important to know you may be held responsible for injuries or damages that occur as a result of the alcohol you provide.

When do I need a Public Event Special Occasion Permit?

If you are planning an event open to the public and wish to sell or serve alcohol, you will need to apply for and obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP).

Applications for SOPs are available at LCBO stores or on the AGCO's website at www.agco.on.ca

Important: As a permit holder, you are personally responsible to ensure that alcohol is sold and served responsibly and according to the law.

Click Here for Additional Tips on Responsible Alcohol Service at Festivals and Large Public Events

When do I need a Private Event Permit Special Occasion Permit?

If you are planning a special event anywhere other than a private place, or an establishment with a liquor licence and wish to serve alcohol you will need to apply for and obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP).

Private Event SOPs are for occasional events for invited guests only, such as a birthday party or wedding. The event cannot be advertised to the public. As the holder of a Private Event SOP, you cannot run the event withthe intention of profiting from the sale of alcohol at the event.

Applications for SOPs are available at LCBO stores or on the AGCO's website at www.agco.on.ca.

Important: As a permit holder, you are personally responsible to ensure that alcohol is sold and served responsibly and according to the law.

Duty of Care - A Checklist for Caring Hosts

Ask guests ahead of time to volunteer as designated drivers

  • Let them know you'll serve alcohol-free drinks
  • Remind volunteers that DD's don't drink and drive
  • Thank them for helping to keep our roads safe

Recognize the signs of intoxication in your guests

  • Fast/slow/loud/slurred speech
  • Physical clumsiness or lack of alertness
  • Tiredness, red eyes or heavy eyelids

Explore the options

  • A sober companion to get the guest home safely?
  • A friend or relative to call to pick up the guest?
  • Public transportation available?
  • Money for a taxi?

Provide help to prevent drinking and driving

  • Provide taxi numbers or public transit schedules
  • Offer to make calls for them to find a safe ride home
  • Invite them to stay overnight
  • Match them with a designated driver
  • Thank them for not drinking and driving