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Legal Drinking Age in Canada

Legal Drinking Age in Canada

Contrary to popular belief, the legal drinking age in Canada varies from territory to territory. Read on to know the age at which you can start drinking alcohol in this country.
Puja Lalwani
The legal drinking age in any country defines the age at which an individual is permitted to consume alcohol. The laws regarding the legal drinking age vary from country to country. In fact, there are several countries where there are no absolute laws against drinking. Many of you may be interested in learning about the legal drinking age in Canada, simply because it is 21 in the USA, and fortunately/unfortunately, it is lower in Canada. This is a common reason why a lot of college students head up north to let their hair down and go on a drinking spree.
What is the Drinking Age in Canada?
The legal drinking age in Canada varies in the different provinces and territories that make up the country. A lot of people are under the assumption that there is a separate law on the drinking age in Canada for American citizens. However, the only rule is that you must carry an identity and age proof with you while you are consuming alcohol at any location, so that you may peacefully enjoy your drink without getting into trouble.
Province / Territory Legal Drinking Age
Alberta 18
British Columbia 19
Manitoba 18
New Brunswick 19
Newfoundland and Labrador 19
Northwest Territories 19
Nova Scotia 19
Nunavut 19
Ontario 19
Prince Edward Island 19
Quebec 18
Saskatchewan 19
Yukon Territory 19

There are certain exceptions to the rule about the legal drinking age in Canada.
  • You may drink if you are underage in licensed premises, such as taverns, only when accompanied by and under the supervision of an adult guardian in the provinces of Manitoba and New Brunswick.
  • In the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, an individual who has not yet attained the legal drinking age may consume alcohol at home only under the supervision of a parent or an adult guardian.

The former legal drinking age in the country was 19, but over time this age has been reduced to 18 in the different provinces mentioned above. Canada does not promote alcohol consumption in any manner. In fact, the advertising of alcoholic beverages and their prices is banned, even near establishments that legally sell alcohol. Moreover, advertisements that promote alcohol consumption as a means of gaining social acceptance, of giving in to peer pressure, or as a way of solving personal problems are completely banned in the country.
There is a lot of debate regarding the legal drinking age in a various countries, mainly the United States. Also, there are several considerations regarding whether this age should be lowered. Many argue that keeping the age limit so high is not going to make a difference, as people are going to drink underground anyway. A well-known fact is that when a person is prohibited from doing something, he/she does it anyway, and probably in a risky manner. It is because of the strict implementation of this rule that the younger lot heads to Canada to get their first taste of alcohol, as the legal drinking age there is lower. However, no matter what the legal drinking age, education regarding the right amount of alcohol consumption and the effects of alcohol abuse is very important. An informed consumer will definitely make the right choice, rather than an uninformed consumer who goes wild and guzzles down drink after drink on his/her 21st birthday.