Calgary launches pilot project for permitting alcohol in city parks

The City of Calgary launched a pilot program Wednesday for allowing people to drink alcohol in some municipal parks.

People can drink at designated picnic tables between June and September

The City of Calgary is past the halfway point of its alcohol in parks program, running June 1 to Sept. 7, 2021. Signs are posted on designated picnic tables in city parks explaining the rules. (Mike Symington)

The City of Calgary launched a pilot program Wednesday to allow people to drink alcohol in some municipal parks.

Under the alcohol in parks program, Calgarians will be able to have drinks at one of 30 picnic tables at several designated parks across the city from June 1 to Sept. 7.

Tables can be used on a first-come, first-served basis or can be reserved with a free permit that gives priority use. 

The online reservations are available in time blocks of two hours:

  • Noon – 2 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

"As the weather warms after a very difficult winter, we're excited to provide a new opportunity for Calgarians to responsibly connect with their parks and each other," said Kyle Ripley, director of Calgary Parks.

The city says public intoxication won't be tolerated, alcohol cannot be carried around the park, and all COVID-19 provincial health measures must be followed, including outdoor gathering limits and physical distancing requirements.

"Designated tables will be removed from the pilot, or the program will be discontinued early, if issues persist," the city said in a release.

The Alberta government has allowed people to drink alcohol at provincial picnic sites since June 2020 under the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Act.


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