'Biggest shakeup' since Prohibition: Ont. premier buys beer at a grocery store

TORONTO -- Premier Kathleen Wynne made history Tuesday simply by buying a six-pack of beer at a Toronto grocery store, something that hasn't been legal in Ontario since prohibition.

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Wynne was carded by the cashier when she bought beer at a Toronto Loblaws store, starting the long-promised roll out of beer sales in select grocery outlets across the province.

The goal is to have six-packs of beer available at 60 grocery stores by the end of this year, eventually expanding to 450 grocery retailers -- large and small -- by 2017.

Last month, the Liberal government announced 13 grocery stores and chains that were chosen to sell beer in the first round, including retail giant Walmart Canada, Metro Ontario and Sobeys, which all have stores across the province.

Of the 60 beer licences, 12 were reserved for small grocers including Starsky Fine Foods in Hamilton, Pino's Get Fresh in Sault Ste. Marie and J-&-B La Mantia in Lindsay.

Loblaws announced beer is now available in 19 of its outlets, including some Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocery and Fortinios locations.

The foreign-owned Beer Store, which has had a virtual monopoly on beer sales in Ontario for nearly 90 years, will keep the exclusive right to sell cases of 24 and most 12-packs.

An interactive version of the map below is available online.

Map of grocery stores with beer


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