Liquor Licences

Application Fees

PLEASE NOTE: As of January 1, 2020, the following fees will be required upon application

  • Permanent Establishment - $25.00
  • Temporary Extension of Liquor Licence - $25.00
  • Special Occasion Permit - $25.00
  • Municipal Significance - $40.00

Information on these fees will be provided by the Legal and Clerks Services department when your application is submitted.

Due to COVID-19 City Hall is currently closed to the public. At this time, applications may be placed in the dropbox at the James St. entrance to City Hall or submitted via mail to the attention of Legal and Clerks Services.

Permanent Establishments

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, through its application process, grants approval for Liquor Licences. Liquor licences are subject to a number of conditions, such as Fire inspection, Health inspection and Building inspection. Your application may be subject to additional fees, which will be determined by the department in question.

The applicant will:

  • Apply to the AGCO for a Liquor Licence
  • Complete the following:
    • A City of St. Catharines Liquor Licence application
    • Complete the Municipal Information Form obtained from the AGCO application package
    • Provide a detailed floor plan for the business, including details such as layout, washroom quantity and placement, and ventilation.
    • Submit payment (as of January 1, 2020)
  • Deliver the above to Legal and Clerks Services, third floor of City Hall
  • Business License may be required.
  • Once your application has been submitted to the Clerks department, you must contact Planning and Building Services to confirm/initiate the appropriate permits/approvals along with any associated fees
  • Contact Fire Services and Niagara Region Public Health to schedule inspections in accordance with AGCO requirements. Please note, there may be additional fees for these inspections.  
  • Be responsible for completing all other required AGCO documents and submitting them directly to AGCO

Temporary Patios During COVID-19 Recovery

If you have valid liquor and business licenses, visit this webpage for information on obtaining approval for a temporary patio during the COVID-19 recovery period (i.e. until January 1, 2021) 

New Outdoor Patios 

A Site Plan application and approval may be required. Contact Planning and Building Services for more information. A Liquor Licence brochure is provided for your convenience and available in Planning and Building Services.

Planning and Building Services will:

  • Decide whether or not a site plan application and approval is required
  • Coordinate municipal approvals confirming the establishment meets Fire Code, Building Code and Public Health regulations
  • Notify the AGCO once inspections and approvals have been completed to the satisfaction of municipal authorities

Temporary Extension of Liquor Licences

The AGCO has introduced temporary changes to liquour licence extension due to COVID-19; additional information is available through the AGCO

The AGCO may temporarily approve an extension to an establishment that is currently licensed. This extension may be applied to other nearby areas that are not covered under the current license for a period of 14 days or less. This would include an existing patio.

The applicant will:

  • Make application to the AGCO for a Temporary Extension of a Liquor Licence. This application must be completed online.
  • Provide a letter detailing the event that is taking place as well as submitting a layout/site plan to Legal and Clerks Services, third floor of City Hall. The letter must include the date, time and location of the event, with additional detail should tents be erected. Tents of a specific size require a temporary building structure permit.
  • Submit payment (as of January 1, 2020)
  • Contact Fire Services, Niagara Regional Public Health and Police Services in accordance with the AGCO requirements
  • If there are vendors participating in the event, an Event Promoter licence may need to be obtained through the Legal and Clerks Services department.
  • Allow the municipality 30 days for processing the Special Occasion Permit, in addition to any AGCO timeline

Please note: If propane tanks are being used or vendors are attending, you are required to provide those details in your letter and on the layout/site plan.

Legal and Clerks Services will:

  • Circulate the event information to Fire Services, Planning and Building Services and Legal Services 
  • Upon compliance by the applicant and subsequent approval, the Clerk will issue a Letter of Non-Objection to the applicant for the event

Special Occasion Permits

The AGCO gives consent for Special Occasion Permits. This permit is required to sell alcoholic beverages at any occasion that is not a licensed establishment or a private place or residence.

The Applicant will:

  • Apply to the AGCO for a Special Occasion Permit. This form must be completed online.
  • Provide a letter detailing the event that is taking place AND submit a layout/site plan to Legal and Clerks Services, third floor of City Hall. The letter must include the date, time and location of the event, with additional detail should tents be erected. Tents of a specific size require a temporary building structure permit.
  • Submit payment (as of January 1, 2020)
  • Contact Fire Services, Niagara Regional Public Health and Police Services in accordance with the AGCO requirements
  • If there are vendors participating in the event, an Event Promoter licence may need to be obtained through the Legal and Clerks Services department.
  • Allow the municipality 30 days for processing the Special Occasion Permit, in addition to any AGCO timeline.

Please note: If propane tanks are being used or vendors are attending, you are required to provide those details in your letter and on the layout/site plan.

Legal and Clerks Services will:

  • Circulate the detailed layout of the event to Fire Services, Planning and Building Services and Legal Services 
  • Upon compliance by the applicant and subsequent approval, the Clerk will issue a Letter of Non-Objection to the applicant for the event

Municipal Significance

When applying for a Special Occasion Permit for a Public Event, you may be asked by the AGCO to obtain a designation of Municipal Significance.

The Applicant will:

  • Provide a letter detailing the event to Legal and Clerks Services, third floor of City Hall. The letter must follow the process outlined here.
  • Submit a detailed layout/site plan of the event showing any tents, propane equipment, etc
  • Submit payment (as of January 1, 2020)
  • Obtain a Park Permit through Community, Recreation and Culture Services if the event is taking place on City Property.
  • A Certificate of Insurance is required if the event is taking place on City property
  • If there are vendors participating in the event, an Event Promoter licence may need to be obtained through the City of St. Catharines Legal and Clerks Services department
  • Allow the municipality 30 days for processing the Special Occasion Permit, in addition to any AGCO timeline.

Legal and Clerks Services will:

  • Circulate the event information to Fire Services, Transportation and Environmental Services; Planning and Building Services; Financial Services; Community, Recreation and Culture Services; and Legal Services 
  • Upon compliance by the applicant and subsequent approval, the Clerk will issue a Letter of Municipal Significance to the applicant for the event

For any further information, please contact the Legal and Clerks Services department.

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