Edmonton approves new places to enjoy alcoholic beverages outdoors


By Sharon Yeo

This summer, Edmontonians can look forward to enjoying a cold one at a local park or at the zoo.

On May 3, city council approved a pilot project permitting alcohol at 47 designated picnic sites in seven parks. Running May 28 to Oct. 11, certain sites in Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Whitemud, William Hawrelak, Government House, Victoria, Gold Bar, and Rundle Parks will allow alcohol. Sites include both bookable and “first-come, first-served” sites, and permit responsible alcohol consumption from 11am to 9pm daily.

A survey had been conducted earlier this year that found 71% of respondents were favourable to alcohol consumption in parks. Councillor Jon Dziadyk was among those in favour of the pilot.

“For a city of a million people with a short summer, but a beautiful summer, I think this is one way to get out and enjoy parks,” Dziadyk said.

Sea Change Brewing at 40 Acres

You can now enjoy Sea Change Brewing at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. (Prairie Catering)

Last week, Prairie Catering, operators of Sandwich & Sons and 40 Acres Cafe, received a license permitting the consumption of alcohol at the Edmonton Valley Zoo anywhere that food or beverages are allowed.

Prairie Catering owner Jimmy Shewchuk believes this will make the Zoo more appealing to a wider demographic, and brings the facility in line with broader trends.

“You see events like music festivals moving away from strict consumption zones every year,” Shewchuk said. “Being able to walk around and enjoy your beverage at your own pace is much more in line with responsible consumption. I think it will help the Zoo become a new date night hot spot.”

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is currently open with restrictions.