A 'positive step': Kingsville residents excited by LCBO expansion

The LCBO announced plans to launch 200 new Convenience Outlets by spring 2020. Ontario's liquor control board also announced plans to add an additional 87 grocers to the grocery program.

Ontario's liquor control board announced plans to launch 200 new Convenience Outlets by spring 2020

The LCBO announced it's planning on expanding to smaller communities by operating Convenience Outlets. (Maggie Macintosh/CBC)

The LCBO's expansion announcement is considered a "positive step," according to Kingsville's mayor, because it may provide economic development opportunities for smaller communities in Ontario.

The plans to launch 200 new Convenience Outlets — formerly known as Agency Stores — were announced Friday.

They are expected to be spread across the province with 60 stores set to open this August and up to another 90 by December. 

The Crown corporation said it plans on completing its expansion by spring 2020.

The news follows the PC government passing a bill to end a 10-year agreement with The Beer Store that limited the number of stores able to sell alcohol.

"A village such as Cottam has a great history, a great story to tell, and has one of those small downtown corridors that are just itching to come to life," Nelson Santos said.

"[To] have another potential avenue for service provided right within the small community is certainly positive."

Matthew Dame says he believes the LCBO's expansion announcement is good news for Cottam, Ont. and other smaller communities across the province. (Chris Enging/CBC)

In addition to the new Convenience Outlet locations, the LCBO said it plans on expanding its grocery store program with an additional 87 new licenses.

"This is an exciting time at the LCBO as we roll out a wide-reaching expansion to better serve Ontarians," said George Soleas, president and CEO of the LCBO, in a media release Friday.

In order to facilitate the Convenience outlet expansion, the LCBO released a request for proposals Friday, as well as a list of eligible communities.

Good news for Cottam, other smaller communities

Cottam is one of the eligible communities, which is a part of Kingsville.

Matthew Dame, resident in Cottam, reacted positively to the news, saying that he's glad to see more "amenities" like the LCBO opening in his community.

The PC government has passed a bill to end the 10-year agreement with The Beer Store. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

"It's important to have these things around for people," said Dame. "You shouldn't have to drive all the way to Windsor or Essex just to get the basic luxuries of life."

Santos acknowledged potential concerns about alcohol consumption and substance abuse, though he made it clear that local retailers wouldn't irresponsibly sell alcohol.

"It's meant as a location that's meant to be a responsible location for access too," he said.

"It's not just something that will be selling without the due process."

Retailers in eligible communities have until June 25 to submit proposals.

With files from Chris Ensing and Katerina Georgieva


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