Approved By: City Council Category:
Approval Date: November 23, 2016
Effective Date: November 24, 2016
1. Policy Statement
The City of Ottawa requires that, when alcohol is to be sold, served or consumed at events held on City property or at locations or events under the City’s control, these activities are carried out in a safe and responsible manner.
The purpose of the Municipal Alcohol Policy (Policy) is to provide policy direction for the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol on City property or at locations or events under the City’s control.
This Policy applies to all City Staff, volunteers, community partners who either manage or have control over City property, rental clients, and organizers of events, on City property, at which alcohol will be sold, served or consumed.
This Policy applies to the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol on City property, or at locations or for events under the City’s control (collectively referred to as “City Property”), whether or not a facility is operating under a liquor licence issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), a Special Occasion Permit, a liquor licence with a Catering Endorsement, or any other approval that has been issued by the AGCO. City Property includes the following:
- All City-owned properties,
- All properties leased by the City,
- City Highways (including the travelled portion of the Highway (roadway), boulevards, sidewalks or other areas of the Highway),
- Properties controlled by local boards over which City Council may require that general policies be followed,
- Events held by the City at partner or third-party premises, and,
- City Properties under a Public-Private Partnership Agreement, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services
4. Policy Requirements
In all circumstances where an event is being held on City Property, the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol will comply with the requirements of the Liquor Licence Act and its related regulations, the requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and this Policy.
In addition to the necessary permits or approvals from the AGCO, permits and approvals from the relevant responsible Department, as set out herein and in accordance with the applicable by-laws, are required for an event at which alcohol is to be sold, served or consumed at City Properties, and such approval is subject to the requirements of this Policy.
4.1 General Conditions
For all events at which alcohol will be sold, served or consumed on City Property, Sponsors must ensure that the following General Conditions are met:
- The Sponsor must obtain a permit for the use of the property or facility at which the event is to take place from the City Department having operational jurisdiction over the property or facility, or having responsibility for the event if it is occurring on third party property. The Sponsor must provide, at his or her cost, information to that City Department in support of the application for such permit. The permit must specify the date, duration, nature, purpose and expected attendance at the event, as well as any other details of the event that may be required by the City Department to determine if the event meets the requirements of this Policy and for the proper management by the City of its property.
- The sale, serving and consumption of alcohol may take place only on property of the City identified in Section 3 of this Policy, and under the conditions outlined in this Policy.
- In order to hold an event with alcohol on City Property, the Sponsor must obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) or have a Catering Endorsement for the event from the AGCO, or other approval issued by the AGCO, and must, at all times during the event, comply with applicable regulations, processes and best practices of the AGCO, including those relating to Smart Serve Guidelines.
- The Sponsor must obtain and maintain for the duration of the event appropriate insurance in the form of Commercial General Liability Insurance subject to limits of not less than Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) inclusive per occurrence, or as otherwise prescribed by the General Manager of the Department having operational jurisdiction over the property or facility at which the event is taking place with the concurrence of the City Solicitor, and such insurance must name the City as additional insured.
- The Sponsor must comply with the “Sponsor Responsibilities” as outlined in this Policy.
- During events at which alcohol is to be sold, served or consumed, a bilingual sign with wording including the following information shall be displayed in a prominent location immediately within each licensed area where alcohol is to be sold, served, consumed or distributed in any manner:
- servers are prohibited from serving alcohol to:
- participants under 19 years of age
- intoxicated persons, and
- anyone who appears to be at the point of intoxication, and
- ask your server about safe transportation options
- servers are prohibited from serving alcohol to:
- The Sponsor must ensure that the original SOP, or liquor licence with a Catering Endorsement, or any other approval obtained from the AGCO, is posted in a conspicuous location in the licensed/server area or must keep it in a place where it is readily available for inspection, for the duration of the event.
- The event must comply with all applicable federal and provincial laws and regulations, and applicable municipal by-laws.
4.2 Indoor Events
For events occurring indoors on City Property, the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol is permitted only in municipal buildings and areas approved by the General Manager of the Department having jurisdiction over the facility.
4.3 Outdoor Events
Events occurring outdoors on City Property must meet the following additional conditions:
- Events on Highways at which alcohol is to be sold, served or consumed are permitted only under the following circumstances:
- A special event on a closed Highway where establishments licensed by the AGCO receive approval from the AGCO to establish or extend a patio onto the closed street, as noted in Appendix A, Site Plan 1, for reference/example purposes only; or,
- A special event on a closed Highway with an enclosed area licensed by the AGCO to sell and allow the consumption of alcohol by SOP, issued to a charity or AGCO-recognized non-profit organization, as noted in Appendix A, Site Plan 2, for reference/example purposes only.
- For either 1a) or 1b), the Sponsor must obtain a Road Closure Permit and comply with all conditions associated with the permit as prescribed by the General Manager of Transportation Services in accordance with the Special Events on City Streets By-law (2001-260, as amended).
- In accordance with the Special Events on City Streets By-law (2001-260, as amended), the General Manager of Transportation Services shall determine on which Highways events with alcohol may be held, and site plan types other than those noted above in 1a) and 1b) will not be considered.
- Events at which alcohol is to be sold, served or consumed, occurring outdoors on municipal properties, other than Highways, are permitted only under the following circumstances:
- The area licensed to sell or permit the consumption of alcohol by SOP or other approval from the AGCO, which is issued to a charity or AGCO recognized non-profit organization, is enclosed, as noted in Appendix A, Site Plan 3, for reference/example purposes only; or,
- An event at which only a small portion of the entire event area (example: tent) is enclosed and licensed to sell or permit the consumption of alcohol by SOP or other approval from the AGCO, which is issued to a charity or AGCO recognized non-profit organization, as noted in Appendix A, Site Plan 4, for reference/example purposes only.
- The above-noted events may take place only in City parks, cultural properties and waterfront parks, or on City owned administrative sites, in areas approved by the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services. The Sponsor must obtain the appropriate permits under the Parks and Facilities By-law (2004-276, as amended) and the Special Events on Public and Private Property By-law (2013-232, as amended), the latter where there are 500 or more attendees expected, and comply with any conditions imposed under those permits.
- The City will not permit the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol where existing liquor license holders (i.e. bars and restaurants) apply to establish or extend an outdoor patio and apply jointly with a charity or AGCO recognised non-profit for an SOP or other approval from the AGCO to allow patrons having servings of alcohol to leave the bar and patio area and circulate openly on the street. This stipulation also applies to designated municipally-significant events.
- For an outdoor event occurring on City Property that is not a Highway and where the expected attendance is 500 persons or more, the Sponsor shall comply with the Special Events on Public and Private Property By-law (2013-232, as amended), including obtaining the approval of the City’s Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT).
- The Sponsor must, at his or her own cost, provide appropriate documentation and information to the General Manager of the Department having operational jurisdiction over the property on which the event is to take place, such as drawings or plans showing details of areas for the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol, and must ensure that the event in question conforms to the information provided in such drawings or plans as approved by the General Manager in question.
5.1 City of Ottawa
The General Manager of the Department having jurisdiction over the City Property has the authority to permit the use of City Property for an event at which alcohol will be sold, served or consumed, in accordance with this Policy and applicable by-laws.
In addition, such General Manager may require immediate correction and/or the termination of an event on behalf of the City of Ottawa for reasons outlined in this Policy. This may include the right to revoke a permit to hold an event or prohibit the sale, serving or consumption of alcohol at an event on City Property, as more specifically set out in the rental or facilities permit or agreement for the event on City Property. Generally, a permit may be revoked and an event may be terminated by the City when:
- the Sponsor does not comply with the terms and conditions of this Policy, the facility use permit issued for the event, and/or related City of Ottawa policies and procedures;
- the Sponsor fails to conduct activities in a manner acceptable to the City and concerns for public interest or public safety arise; or
- the City becomes aware that the Sponsor espouses or promotes, or the event in question promotes or communicates, views, ideas or presentations which are likely to discriminate or harass any person contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, or the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including but not limited to discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
The Sponsor shall conclude and sign documentation required by the City to confirm that the Sponsor has received, read, understood, and has undertaken to comply with this Policy and the controls set out below.
Unless otherwise approved by the General Manager of the Department having jurisdiction over the property, the controls shall include the following:
- Prior to obtaining an SOP or other approval from the AGCO, the Sponsor shall confirm with the appropriate City representative that the premises are available for rent on the date required and that the City will allow an SOP or other AGCO-approved event at that location.
- The Sponsor must obtain an SOP or Catering Endorsement or other approval from the AGCO and must show proof of this to City staff prior to the event. Failure to provide this documentation will result in the Sponsor not being permitted to sell or serve alcohol at the event.
- All alcohol permitted on the site must be purchased or approved under the SOP or other application to the AGCO. Substitute or supplementary alcohol is not permitted.
- Acceptable forms of identification for proof of age, which include a photo, are: an Ontario Driver´s Licence (or any Canadian Driver’s Licence); a Canadian Passport; a Canadian Citizenship Card; a Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card; a photo card issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), entitled Bring Your ID (BYID); a Secure Indian Status Card issued by the Government of Canada; a Permanent Resident Card issued by the Government of Canada; a photo card issued under the Photo Card Act, 2008. Such identification shall be inspected before admitting and serving a person who appears to be under the age of 25.
- The Sponsor or designate, must attend the event for the entire duration, including the post event clean up, and be responsible for making decisions regarding the operation of the event and safe transportation.
- The Sponsor or designate, and event workers shall remain sober during the entire event.
- The Sponsor shall permit City staff to enter the event at all times.
- The Sponsor, event worker or City staff, if present, must ensure the physical setting is safe for all attendees. All exits must be kept clear of obstruction.
- Should the Sponsor, event worker or City staff become aware of a situation that could lead to injury or property damage, they must take immediate action to prevent patrons from engaging in activities or conduct that is drunkenness or riotous, quarrelsome, violent or disorderly which could harm themselves or others, or could result in property damage.
- The Sponsor will be available upon request to event workers who require assistance in managing a person who is refused a sale or who becomes unmanageable.
- The Sponsor shall ensure alcohol that is sold, served or consumed on the premises is not removed from the licensed area, or brought into a prohibited area, by a person attending the event.
- All beverage containers must be retained within the licensed area. All beverages must be served in unbreakable cups except for formal dinners and catered events and events held in a restaurant.
- The serving of alcohol will cease no later than the hour specified on the SOP, Catering Endorsement or Licence or other approval from the AGCO.
- The Sponsor must comply with: the Liquor Licence Act; the City of Ottawa Municipal Alcohol Policy; Standards, Policies and Procedures, General Terms and Conditions of the Rental Agreement; City by-laws including the Noise By-law, Parks and Facilities By-law, Smoking and Vaping By-law, Special Event on City Streets By-law, and Special Events on Public and Private Property By-law, as well as Federal, Provincial legislation and regulations (including Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017) that apply to the use of the premises and to the holding of the event.
- The Sponsor shall not permit persons to enter the premises who are or appear to be intoxicated or whose presence could result in the room or venue capacity to be exceeded.
- Where the event becomes an uncontrolled situation and the instigator or instigators refuse to leave, the Sponsor, designate, event worker or City staff/Community Partner will:
ask the person(s) to leave; and
if the individual(s) refuses to leave, call the Police.
Non-compliance with the terms and conditions of this Policy for one or more events may result in the refusal or revocation of permission to use City Property. In addition, contraventions of by-laws, including non-compliance with applicable permit requirements, may also result in the imposition of fines. Other consequences of non-compliance may include:
- Loss of the entire deposit, or a portion thereof, as set out in the applicable rental agreement or permit;
- Payment for corrective action, additional costs or damages;
- Suspension, for a specific period, including on a long-term or indefinite basis, from booking City Property for events, as may be determined by the General Manager of the Department having operational jurisdiction over the property;
- Deposit amounts can be increased for future uses of City Property at the discretion of the City.
7. Legislative and Administrative Authorities
Liquor Licence Act
Parks and Facilities By-law
Public Places By-law
Smoke Free Ontario Act
Special Events on City Streets By-law
Special Events on Public and Private Property By-law
Highway: Includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct, or trestle under the jurisdiction of the City, any part of which is intended for, or used by, the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof
Roadway: That part of the Highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, but does not include the shoulder, and, where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” refers to any one roadway separately and not to all of the roadways collectively
Sidewalk: Those parts of a Highway set aside by the City for the use of pedestrians
Special Occasion Permit (SOP): a permit issued by the AGCO as required under the Liquor Licence Act, that is needed any time alcohol is offered for sale, served or consumed anywhere other than in a licensed establishment or a private place. SOPs are for occasional, special events only, and not for personal profit or running an on-going business.
Sponsor: Any person 19 years of age or over who has applied to obtain and has been granted permission to hold an event involving the sale or consumption of alcohol on premises as defined in this Policy.
9. Policy Amendments
- The General Manager of the Department having operational jurisdiction over the property, shall have authority to approve the use of City Property for events for which minor deviations to this Policy are required where such deviations are based on technical grounds, on an event-by-event basis.
- Authority to approve minor amendments to this Policy is delegated individually to the General Managers of Emergency and Protective Services; Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services; and/or Transportation Services, for reasons of public safety.
- Major amendments to this Policy will be recommended to City Council for consideration.
10. Keyword Search
Special Occasion Permit
For more information on this Policy, contact:
- General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services
- General Manager, Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services
- General Manager, Transportation Services