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Your Definitive Guide To Bringing Booze Across Borders In Canada

Bring home your favourite liquors without getting charged for breaking the law.

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Canadians love booze. So of course national attention was paid to the court case of a New Brunswick man charged with bringing too much alcohol into the province from Quebec.

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Could this happen to you when you're innocently driving some craft beer home from your next vacation?

Probably not, unless you're trying to take 14 cases of beer over the border like that guy. Or if you live in New Brunswick. Almost everywhere else has pretty reasonable limits on how much booze you can bring in.

Here's a rundown from strictest to most lenient areas.

Teetotaller Headquarters: New Brunswick, Nunavut


Limit: One bottle of wine, one bottle of hard liquor, 12 pints of beer.

That's it? You can't even bring in two bottles of wine? No wonder they call it No Funswick.

Because booze is a lot cheaper in neighbouring Quebec and the New Brunswick liquor authority doesn't want that competition. They even claimed they might go out of business without these tight rules.

Nunavut allows you to bring in 1.14 litres of both wine and hard liquor, but only a 12-pack of normal-sized cans/bottles of beer.

Buzzed but not drunk: Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories.

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The province that drinks the most beer (though it's still beat by the Yukon territory) has surprisingly tight booze rules.

You can bring in 1.14 litres of wine, 1.14 litres of hard liquor and two-dozen bottles/cans or nine litres of beer into Newfoundland. Then again most of the population lives on an island, so importing is a bit tricky to begin with.

In the Northwest Territories you can bring in a bit more wine (1.5 litres), the same amount of hard liquor, and a bit less beer (8.5 litres).

BYOB: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Yukon.

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Most provinces have settled on letting people take in a decent car-load of booze: nine litres of wine, three litres of hard liquor, and 24-25.6 litres of beer (in other words, three two-fours.)

British Columbia also allows you to have wine mailed directly to your home, as long as it's made in Canada.

ANYTHING GOES: Alberta, Manitoba.

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Aww yeah.

Limit on wine? None.

Limit on hard liquor? None.

Limit on Beer? None.

Ok, in Manitoba technically you're supposed to pay duty on everything over 8.5 litres of beer and 1.4 litres of hard liquor. But there's nothing illegal about filling a U-Haul full of alcohol in Saskatchewan and driving east or west over the nearest border while singing drinking songs that mock New Brunswick.

(NOTE: cocaine is still illegal. The above image just inexplicably came up during a stock image search for "beer.")