Toronto businesses could serve booze earlier than usual during the FIFA World Cup

Toronto could expand the hours that alcohol can be served within the city during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Toronto Mayor John Tory committed to bringing the issue to council next week, aiming for “immediate approval” on Nov. 24, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

The World Cup will run from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, and due to the time difference between Toronto and Qatar, some games will start as early as 8 a.m. EST.

“As a result, residents will patronize local cafes and restaurants earlier than usual during this period,” Tory said in the statement.

“During this time, the ability to serve alcohol one hour earlier than the provincial standard would allow business owners to benefit even more from the celebrations across the City.”

If approved, businesses will be permitted to begin alcohol sales at 8 a.m. rather than 9 a.m until Dec. 18.

“I hope this extra hour of alcohol service will help establishments planning to show the 8 a.m. games,” Tory said.

Closing hours for alcohol will not change and all other rules around alcohol service remain in effect.

The city says, during past World Cup tournaments, there have been no issues with the extension of alcohol hours.

Toronto isn’t the first Canadian city to review its alcohol bylaws amid the World Cup – soon, Albertans will be able to crack a beer before the crack of dawn.

During the World Cup, Alberta bars and restaurants will also be allowed to offer early morning alcohol service, starting at 5:30 a.m.

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