2nd Best Bar None Ontario Awards Announced

Toronto - June 18, 2014

Today at the Toronto Hyatt Regency, the second annual awards were announced in the Best Bar None Ontario program which was launched in October of 2012 and is in its 2nd year of a pilot program.

Best Bar None is an industry-led annual accreditation program for liquor sales licensed establishments that was expanded in Toronto this year and was also introduced in the Ottawa ByWard Market.

Of the establishments that are receiving a Best Bar None accreditation today seven are being given special Awards as follows:

  • Best Overall: Wayne Gretzky’s
  • Best Bar/Lounge: Wayne Gretzky’s
  • Best Restaurant: Air Canada Centre
  • Best Club: Crocodile Rock
  • Best Pub: Fionn MacCool’s (Front Street)
  • Best Members Club: The Spoke Club
  • Best Hotel: the Intercontinental Toronto Centre (Front Street)

“These establishments have proven that they deserve to receive these awards for the high standards they have established. They all serve liquor responsibly and reduce the potential for alcohol-related issues. They make Toronto safer and more attractive to visit and are building positive relationships with industry partners, law enforcement and the community at large,” said Tony Elenis, the President and CEO of ORHMA (the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association).

After completing an application form outlining their operating procedures, establishments are visited by an independent third party to verify each establishment’s compliance with their own processes. Today’s awards and accreditations reflect the successful outcomes of those reviews.

All of the accredited establishments will now receive decals and other marketing materials to display in their establishments, to indicate to the public that they are a BBN accredited venue.

These awards will be given out on an annual basis. Following a review of the 1st year of the pilot, the program has made some significant changes to better assist the industry and to educate the public. The form has been streamlined and automated, a renewal application form has been introduced to assist operators who continue to remain an accredited establishment and the program is introducing a “People’s Choice Award” for the public to vote on their favorite, safe establishment!

Best Bar None Ontario is led by the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) in conjunction with a diverse group of organizations from the hospitality industry, community organizations and government who have the common goal of improving and rewarding responsible liquor service and operational excellence.

For 2013/2014, the industry, community and government participants are:

  • Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA)
  • Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
  • Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area
  • Toronto Police Service
  • King Spadina Residents Association
  • Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, City of Toronto
  • Prime Restaurants Inc.
  • Crocodile Rock
  • Greater Toronto Hotel Association

Best Bar None Ontario is also sponsored by Ontario’s wine, spirits and beer manufacturers and Pattison One-Stop as part of their commitment to encouraging responsible drinking and include: Labatt, Molson Coors, Spirits Canada, Pattison One-Stop, LCBO, The Beer Store, Smart Serve Ontario, Sleeman, the Wine Council of Ontario, Ontario Craft Brewers and the Winery and Grower Alliance of Ontario.

Best Bar None began in 2003 in Manchester, United Kingdom, where it has successfully improved standards in the hospitality industry. Over 100 towns and cities in the U.K. have since adopted the Best Bar None accreditation program and the program is now being implemented internationally, with Canadian programs also operating in Edmonton and Calgary.