Some Ontario grocers now selling wine

Some 70 grocery stores across Ontario can sell wine now after the province changed its rules.

Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys among large grocers that can now sell wine

Certain Ontario grocers will now be stocking wine on their shelves. (Chris Pople/Flickr)

Some 70 grocery stores across Ontario can sell wine now.

The province granted approval to a select group of stores earlier this fall, but Friday marks the first day the grocers can stock their shelves with vino. Previously, wine was only sold at LCBO or Wine Rack stores, farmers' markets or vineyards.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the changes will help Ontario winemakers, grocers and customers.

"Being able to pick up wine alongside food offers more convenience for shoppers," Sousa said in a news release.

The retailers approved to sell wine represent a mix of large and independent grocers, including Farm Boy, Highland Farms, Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys, as well as:

  • Canex Canadian Forces Exchange System
  • Coppa's Fresh Market
  • Fresh Market Foods
  • Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.
  • Starsky's Fine Foods Hamilton Inc.
  • Uxbridge Foods Inc.
  • Walmart Canada Corp.
  • Yummy Market Inc.

It's unclear at this time which Toronto stores will be stocking wine.

The government says the winning grocers were selected in a competitive bidding process held by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

Beer and cider will eventually be sold in up to 450 grocery stores in Ontario under a plan to liberalize alcohol sales and wine will be available in up to 300 of those stores.

Beer was introduced in some grocery stores last December, and the government says those grocers received more than 532,000 cases of beer from the LCBO, amounting to net sales of about $24 million.

With files from The Canadian Press