Ontario Poll: Increasing Support for liberalizing alcohol beyond LCBO

Ontario Poll: Increasing Support for liberalizing alcohol beyond LCBO
Posted on February 12, 2019 | Abacus Data | Written on February 12, 2019
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At the start of 2019, we explored public attitudes toward liberalizing alcohol sales in Ontario. The provincial government expanded store hours in December and has started a consultation to look at other ways of changing the way alcohol is sold in the province. Note, this survey was not commissioned or paid for by an organization.

Overall, we find broad support for liberalizing alcohol sales. Despite widespread satisfaction with the LCBO, most Ontarians support expanding grocery sales to include spirits, allowing convenience stores to sell wine and beer, and allowing private wine shops to open across the province.


Four in ten Ontario adults drink alcohol at least once per week while 24% say they do not drink alcohol at all. Another 37% drink alcohol less than once a week. Men and older Ontarians are more likely to consume alcohol frequently. There is little variation across provincial party support. Consumption habits are highly correlated to support for liberalizing alcohol sales in Ontario.

Most Ontarians have shopped at the LCBO and a large portion has bought beer or wine from a grocery store. 40% shop at the LCBO regularly or occasionally while 1 in 5 Ontarians say they buy wine or beer at grocery stores regularly or occasionally.

In a very short period of time, many Ontarians have taken advantage of the wine and beer now available in many grocery stores across the province. Despite limited selection, there’s already wide take-up of the channel as a source for alcohol.

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