February 1, 2018
Access data on alcohol consumption in major cities across Canada
New: Updated alcohol policies report published in June 2021
New: Webinar on Policy action to reduce alcohol-related harms on June 22, 2021.
- Approximately 80 per cent of Canadian adults, aged 18 or older, consumed alcohol in the past year1
- Regional and municipal rates of alcohol consumption above cancer guidelines range from 5 per cent in Toronto, Ontario to 15 per cent in Sherbrooke, Québec2
- Variation in alcohol consumption is present across urban, rural and remote areas in Canada3
Alcohol consumption above cancer guidelines in Canada’s largest cities from 2015 and 2016
Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines for cancer recommends no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women.
Data on alcohol consumption should be interpreted with caution, as data currently available does not distinguish between “never” and “former” drinkers in alcohol abstinence rates. As such, rates of alcohol consumption and consumption above cancer guidelines may be higher than rates reported.
Data table: Alcohol consumption above cancer guidelines in Canada’s largest cities (2015/2016)
|Large Metropolitan Area||Performance Ranka,b||Percentage of adults 18 years or older who exceeded cancer guidelines for alcohol consumption||Number of respondents|
|City of Toronto, Ontario||1||4.8E||109,000|
|Greater Vancouver, British Columbia||4||6.3||125,600|
|City of Ottawa, Ontario||6||7.5E||55,000|
|City of Vancouver, British Columbia||8||7.8E||43,200|
|Greater Ottawa, Ontario and Québec||9||8.3E||85,400|
|Urban Prince Edward Island||10||8.6E||6,000|
|Greater Montréal, Québec||11||8.7||276,000|
|Victoria, British Columbia||12||8.9E||26,200|
|Kitchener Cambridge Waterloo, OntarioT||15||9.3E||35,800|
|St. Catharines, OntarioT||15||9.3E||31,200|
|St. John’s, NewfoundlandT||16||9.6E||16,400|
|Halifax, Nova ScotiaT||17||9.7E||32,200|
|City of Montréal, Québec||18||9.9||157,000|
|Moncton, New Brunswick||19||10E||12,800|
E: Interpret with caution due to large variability in the estimates
T: Tie in ranking
a. Percentages are ranked from the lowest to highest
1- Martineau, F, Tyner, E, Lorenc, T, Petticrew, M, and Lock, K. (2013). Population-level interventions to reduce alcohol-related
harm: An overview of systematic reviews. Preventive Medicine, 57(4), 278-96.
2- Burton, R, Henn, C, Lavoie, D, O’Connor, R, Perkins, C, Sweeney, K et al. (2017). A rapid review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies: an English perspective. Lancet, 389, 1558-80.