Prohibition in Canada

Prohibition in Canada was a ban on alcoholic beverages that arose in various stages, from local municipal bans in the late 19th century (extending to the present in some cases), to provincial bans in the early 20th century, and national prohibition (a temporary wartime measure) from 1918 to 1920. The relatively large and powerful beer and alcohol manufacturing sector, and the huge working class that purchased their products, failed to convince any of the governments to reverse their stance on prohibition.[1] Most provinces repealed their bans in the 1920s, though alcohol was illegal in Prince Edward Island from 1901 to 1948. By comparison, Ontario's temperance act was in effect from 1916 to 1927.[2]

A police raid confiscating illegal alcohol, in Elk Lake, Ontario, in 1925.

As legislation prohibiting the consumption of alcohol was repealed, it was typically replaced with regulation imposing restrictions on the sale of alcohol to minors, and with excise taxes on alcoholic products.

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