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Liquor Licences

Types: Permanent Establishment; Temporary Extension of Liquor Licence for a permanent establishment, Special Occasion Permit and/or Municipal Significance.

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 determind by the department in question.

The applicant will:

  • Make application to the AGCO for a Liquor Licence
  • Complete the Municipal Information Form obtained from  the AGCO application package
  • Deliver it to Legal and Clerks Services, third floor of City Hall
  • Provide a detailed floor plan for the business
  • Complete a City of St. Catharines application form - provided upon submission
  • Business License may be required.
  • Attend 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 
  • Be responsible for completing all other required AGCO documents and submitting them directly to AGCO

For 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 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 be included 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.
  • Contact Fire Services, Niagara Regional Public Health and Police Services in accordance with the AGCO requirements
  • Allow the municipality 30 days for processing the Special Occasion Permit, in addition to any AGCO timeline.

Pleast 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 licenced establishment or a private place or residence.

The Applicant will:

  • Make application to the AGCO for a Special Occasion Permit. This form 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.
  • Contact Fire Services, Niagara Regional Public Health and Police Services in accordance with the AGCO requirements
  • Allow the municipality 30 days for processing the Special Occasion Permit, in addition to any AGCO timeline.

Pleast 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
  • Obtain a Park Permit through Parks, 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, Parks, 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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