What Is The Legal Drinking Age In Canada?

Amolika Verma
Amolika Verma Lifestyle
8 Min Read
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash, Copyright 2022.

Alcohol is a part of everyday life in Canada, as it is everywhere else in the world. It is connected to a wide range of social events, such as festivals, sporting events, weddings, and more. But, before you go out or grab a cold beer, make sure you are of the legal drinking age in Canada. Scroll down to learn about what is the legal drinking age in Canada.

The legal drinking age varies by country, and in Canada, it varies by province and territory. In Toronto, for instance, the legal drinking age is 19 years old. In contrast, the legal drinking age in Canadian provinces such as Alberta and Manitoba is 18 years old. You may also be asked to provide certain documents to show that you are of legal drinking age in Canada or purchase alcohol content under the supervision of a legal guardian.

In Canada, there isn’t a nationwide legal drinking age. Instead, each region sets its own rules regarding drugs and alcohol consumption, including defining a minimum age limit.

The minimum legal drinking age in Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec is 18. However, the age limit is 19 in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Ontario, and the Yukon.

According to the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA), alcohol is the most commonly used psychoactive substance among Canadian youth and young adults (ages 15 to 24). Furthermore, the CCSA states that alcohol is the most common cause of death in young people and adolescents (ages 10 to 24) globally.

Alcohol use among adolescents has long been the topic of much discussion in Canada due to research on its impacts on physical and mental growth in adolescents.

According to studies, as the legal drinking age rises, so do the number of car accidents and youth alcohol consumption. According to the study’s findings, raising the drinking age to 19 across the country would save the lives of approximately seven 18-year-old males each year. It is estimated that raising the age limit to 21 would save approximately 32 lives per year.

A further research project concluded at the University of Northern British Columbia, found that lowering the legal drinking age to 19 for all provinces would reduce hospitalizations and injuries caused by alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The study’s findings disclosed a staggering 15 to 20% rise in the percentage of young individuals admitted to the hospital at the age of 18 or 19, based on the province.

According to research, raising the minimum legal drinking age would reduce occurrences of alcohol addiction, alcohol poisoning, and other related diseases or issues caused by consumption among young people.

Utilizing national Canadian fatality information from 1980 to 2009, investigators looked into the causes of death of people between 16 and 22 years of age. They discovered that immediately after the minimum allowed drinking age, male deaths due to injuries increased by 10 to 16%, and male lives lost as a result of car crashes increased by 13 to 15%.

Furthermore, the study indicates the potential for infrastructure and excise taxes to be saved by relieving some of the burdens on emergency departments and first responders.

Alcohol (or alcohol-related beverages) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among youth aged 10 to 24 worldwide. There is substantiation that alcohol consumption can harm cognitive functioning, especially during adolescence and young adulthood, while certain trends of use are riskier than others. As a result, young people, as well as young adults, are urged to put off drinking as long as possible.

MLDA and crime

When evaluating major sex assault crimes recorded in the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, the occurrence of sexual assault offenses significantly increased for men just older than that of the MLDA compared with men just younger than that of the MLDA, both nationwide and in most provinces where the MLDA is 19 years of age (31.9 percent and 56.0 percent, respectively).

There was no evidence that the MLDA had any effect on the commission of sexual assault offenses among females. In a study of police-reported crime victimizations in Canada, males and females merely older than the MLDA were much more likely to be the victims of violent crimes (e.g., homicide, assault, and robbery) and all offenses than those just younger than the MLDA (10.4–13.5 percent ).

MLDA and morbidity

An investigation discovered that those merely older than the Ontario MLDA of 19 years illustrated an increase in ER visits as well as hospitalizations for alcohol-related disorders (10.8 percent), violent attacks (7.9 percent), and suicide (51.8 percent) when contrasting teenagers a bit older than the MLDA with all those a bit younger than the MLDA.

Those just over the MLDA in all Canadian provinces, except Quebec, experienced an increase in ER visits and hospitalizations for self-inflicted injuries (9.6%) as well as alcohol use disorders and poisonings (16.3%). Females in Ontario experienced a 91.8 percent growth in alcohol-related suicides after reaching the legal drinking limit.

Consequences of underage drinking

Minors caught with alcohol or alcoholic beverages in their possession or trying to purchase alcohol under a fake name will be prosecuted criminally. They could face jail time if convicted. Minors will also be required to perform community service and participate in rehab facilities such as monitored counseling. Charges against minors might be dropped if they take part in the program.


What is Legal Drinking Age in Canada

Once youngsters attain legal access to alcohol, they face an increase in the severity of negative consequences, including severe alcohol-related events requiring partial hospitalization and emergency room services, driving under the influence crimes and victimization, drug abuse, and even death.

These also indicate that the MLDA has a different impact depending on gender. The more drastic trends of alcohol-related harms observed in young men may be due to their higher proclivity for general risk-taking behavior, such as getting drunk before traveling and binge drinking.

Alcoholism is a serious issue. The government of Canada has thus taken huge steps toward the safety of youth and curbing alcohol consumption by legalizing certain laws.

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  • The article effectively conveys the essential information about legal drinking ages in Canada. Its clear and concise format makes it a valuable resource for anyone seeking a quick reference.

  • In Canada, the legal drinking age varies by province and territory. Generally, the legal drinking age is 19 years old in most provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. However, there are exceptions. In Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, individuals can legally purchase and consume alcohol at the age of 18.

    It’s important for residents and visitors to be aware of the specific regulations in the province or territory they are in, as these laws are subject to change. Responsible drinking and adherence to legal age limits help promote a safe and enjoyable drinking culture across the country. Always drink responsibly and be aware of local laws and regulations regarding alcohol consumption.

  • Alcoholism abuse is a difficult issue. The public authority of Canada has hence moved towards the security of youth and controlling Alcoholism utilization by legitimizing specific regulations.A great step by Canadian Authority and should lift the legal drinking age from 18-19 years to after or unless high school.

  • This piece serves as a valuable resource for individuals seeking information on the legal drinking age in Canada and its associated implications. It encourages readers to consider the broader social and health-related aspects of alcohol consumption.

  • The piece effectively communicates the complexities surrounding alcohol consumption, MLDA legislation, and their impact on society. It encourages readers to reflect on the broader implications of alcohol use, particularly among young individuals, and raises awareness about the importance of responsible drinking.

  • The article concludes with a strong emphasis on the serious nature of alcoholism and the steps taken by the government of Canada to ensure the safety of youth through the implementation of specific laws.

  • This article prompts thoughtful consideration of the complexities surrounding alcohol regulation, its societal implications, and the ongoing efforts to address the challenges associated with underage drinking.

  • The article appropriately emphasizes the importance of considering the potential risks and benefits associated with the MLDA. The correlation between the legal drinking age, alcohol-related incidents, and criminal activities, as well as the gender-specific trends, adds a layer of complexity to the debate.

  • This article discusses the legal drinking age in Canada and how it varies by province and territory. It mentions that the minimum legal age ranges from 18-19 years old, depending on the region. We can get an outline of research on the health and social impacts of underage alcohol consumption, including increased injuries, accidents, and ER visits. It gives insight into how raising the drinking age could help reduce issues like alcohol addiction and deaths from car crashes among youth. Overall, this is a socially informative article that emphasizes the need to curb underage drinking through the legislative reformation of MLDA laws while acknowledging the intricate debate around this issue.

  • Original thought, but I would recommend to teenagers’ parents that, in the privacy of their homes, they can offer their children alcoholic drinks as long as it is done responsibly and not in an abusive manner.

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