Saturday, October 03, 2015

Vintage Ontario Liquor Commission Permit

In 1926  the Liquor Control Act of Ontario was introduced as a compromise between the complete prohibition demanded by the temperance movement and the unregulated sale of alcohol. The Liquor Control Board Of Ontario was mandated  to employ an oversight mechanism in order to know “exactly who is buying and how much, and what disposition is being made of it”. From 1927-1962 the LCBO required people who wanted to purchase liquor to possess a permit. They had to present these passport sized permits at the point of purchase, and the clerk at the liquor store would enter information about what, precisely, the individual purchased. A store employee could deny a sale to a customer if his intended purchases may be considered too large for one person to reasonably consume (whatever that meant). Permits were replaced by purchase order forms that were used until the 1970s when the LCBO changed to a self serve format.
In the 1970s Ontario liquor stores looked like Cold War era interrogation rooms. I remember going to the LCBO, choosing a bottle of cheap plonk from the limited posted list - Szekszardi Voros was a favourite - writing down the number on the order form and handing it to the clerk who invariably asked me to produce ID. The whole exercise made me so uncomfortable that I'm amazed I didn't turn into a teetotaler.


xoxoxoBruce said...

I wonder if there was pressure from US authorities to cut the smuggling into the US, as 1926 was smack in the middle of prohibition here?

The Nag said...

Temperance movements had sprung up around the world at that time but I'm sure the US would have had an easier time enforcing Prohibition if alcohol weren't available in Canada.

Diane said...

Loved your post, especially the part about the interrogation room atmosphere! We were reminiscing about using the order form to get our favourite red, Szekszardi Voros, back in the day. I seem to recall the number was 1146B, while my partner is pretty sure it was 1065B, but he says that number might have been Momessin Export. Would love it if you could resolve this little dispute!


Diane and Brian

The Nag said...

I wish I could help you but it seems that you are more informed on this file than I am. Hope you resolve your dispute. Thanks for your comment, I love it.