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Old 05-11-2019, 10:21 AM
Status: "Nevertheless, America's baseball team -- Roar, Tigers, ROAR!" (set 25 days ago)
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,307 posts, read 7,454,188 times
Reputation: 15885


I'd be interested in hearing Canadian posters' impressions of how the issues of liquor and temperance were addressed during, and immediately after the era of Prohibition (1920-1933 in the U. S.) I'm aware that Canada had a parallel prohibitionist movement; there was no nationwide prohibition, save as a temporary measure at the end of World War I, but local and sometimes provincial bans could remain in effect for many years.

I live in Pennsylvania, a state which continues to offer local municipalities, right down to the township (smallest entity) level, the "dry" option. Hard liquor (by the drink in a saloon-type environment) can be outlawed while beer is legal. No means to discourage private possession and consumption are in effect, but a nationwide legal drinking age of 21 years was imposed (with New York state and Louisiana among the last holdouts) via the tactic of withholding Federal highway funding.

So if any of the Canadian "regulars" here can share details or ancestors' memories -- I'd be interested in hearing them.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-11-2019 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:04 AM
Location: Vancouver
12,505 posts, read 8,665,752 times
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I can only speak of my experiences growing up in the 1960's and the changes I saw as a young adult, in BC.

Liquor was tightly controlled. The government agency, now called The Liquor Distribution Branch was The Liquor Control Board back then.

Only government liquor stores were allowed to sell liquor. You couldn't actually touch the product. They were all displayed on shelves behind a counter. You had to ask for what you wanted and a clerk would get it for you. They had changed mostly by the time I was 19 and old enough to drink, but I do remember going to one of the last ones.

They were closed on Sundays and holidays.

Beer Parlours were popular, and located in old hotels. Two entrances. One for " Gentlemen " and one for " Ladies and Escorts".

Inside it was separated, I guess to keep single men away from the ladies. This wasn't done in my time. The old entrances still existed, but no separation.

Restaurants could only serve alcohol with food. More creative ones, would have what we called a rubber sandwich. You got a drink, but if you didn't buy food, a dirty plate on the table gave the impression if anyone was checking. Kind of like what some coffee houses and jazz clubs did who didn't have liquor license...you order a DARK coffee.

A lot has changed since my coming of age. Private liquor and wine shops are everywhere. Government Liquor stores have upped their game, at least here in BC, and have an amazing selection and really nice stores. They are open every day except Christmas.

You can order a drink in a restaurant and not have any food. There is even talk in Vancouver of allowing people to drink in parks and on the beaches. People already do, but discreetly.

BC's prohibition was from 1917 to 1921. It left an impact though on how liquor was treated. Bootleggers and illegal clubs were the norm. Heck, bootleggers existed when I was younger so you could buy a bottle on a Sunday.

Liquor like tobacco is highly taxed. We call it the sin tax.
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