Toronto cruise line to offer docked dining experiences at the Harbourfront

Jul 17 2020, 7:18 am

You’ll be drinking and dining onboard a cruise ship docked at Queen’s Quay before long, thanks to a new liquor law amendment by the provincial government.

Ontario’s liquor laws has officially been adjusted to allow boat operators with liquor sales licences to temporarily sell and serve alcohol while their boat is docked.

Mariposa Cruises by Hornblower, which — during normal times — departs from the downtown harbour for luxe floats across the lake, is one of the cruise lines that will benefit from the amendment.

Designed to support the recovery of workers and businesses as Ontario’s hospitality sector gradually reopens, the adjustment means that dinners (and drinks) while relaxing on Mariposa’s docked vessels are soon to come.

“We welcome this development and are thankful for the support offered our industry through this challenging time,” a spokesperson from Mariposa Cruises told Daily Hive.

“We look forward to being able to offer socially distanced dining experiences aboard our vessels while berthed at Queen’s Quay in the near future.”

According to law amendments, boat operators may also add a new outdoor licensed area adjacent to their docked boat — essentially, a patio.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will not require liquor licensed boat operators to apply or pay a fee for these temporary physical extensions, but the operators must ensure they have municipal approval and meet all other applicable requirements.

These measures will be in place until 3 am on January 1, 2021.

The requirements that apply to alcohol sales, service and delivery, including checking ID, Smart Serve training and not serving or selling to intoxicated people, will continue to apply to licensed boats and liquor delivery services.

The provincial government has also amended the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to allow a licensed liquor delivery service to use contractors. This means more options for delivery services when purchasing alcohol from Ontario retailers, including the LCBO and The Beer Store.

The province is permanently removing the requirement for these services to obtain a signed receipt from the customer at the time of delivery. This removes restrictions that prevented delivery services from serving private spaces, such as offices.

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