For the first time ever, Pride Toronto will allow festival-goers to openly carry alcohol beyond patios and beer gardens. That means attendees can purchase drinks from participating bars and carry them on designated areas along Church Street and Wellesley Street.
But before you start running through the streets celebrating, there's a catch.
Following the announcement earlier this month, many people have taken to social media to criticize the randomized checks, claiming it targets LGBTQ people, specifically trans people and people of colour, in what is supposed to be a "community space."
Queer activist Arün Smith has been particularly vocal about his concerns with Pride Toronto's new policy.
I have zero faith in an organisation that, instead of working to provide support and solidarity to queer and trans communities, is more concerned with providing a drinking space that imposes unacceptable and intolerable breaches of privacy. Shut @PrideToronto down. #prideto— Arün Smith (@arun_smith) June 18, 2018
Explaining the problem to Xtra, Smith said, "When we get further into the areas of identification, we're now getting into the areas of dead names for trans [people], we're now getting into bodily interrogation, we're now getting into the prospect that trans people will be required to declare not simply the presentation of their gender but also the nature of their body, which should be deeply concerning."
The other issue with the checks is that the LGBTQ community has had a rough relationship with Toronto police for decades. That's one of the reasons why in 2016, Black Lives Matter protestors halted the Pride Parade and called for police to be banned from the festivities.
"This isn't a dispute between community members, it's a discussion about including a very violent government body in the parade," LeRoi Newbold, a BLMTO spokesperson, told The Toronto Star at the time.
Recently, the relationship between LGBTQ people and Toronto police faltered again when the latter dismissed rumours of a possible serial killer in the Gay Village, and then arrested alleged killer Bruce McArthur.
But it's not just the LGBTQ community who is concerned about the new drinks policy. Criminal lawyer Christopher Hicks, who has a background in Ontario's alcohol policy and liquor licensing, told Vice News that the policy's terms and conditions were eyebrow-raising.
"They can ask for ID but I think any other intrusions like searches are very questionable," he told the site. "A liquor license does not require people to be searched. I think any search without cause is a problem."
Ontario liquor laws were altered in 2011 to allow people at festivals to walk around with their drinks, CBC News reports. However, Pride Toronto is the first festival to actually put the laws into action.
"We're calling it drinks-to-go," Pride Toronto executive director Olivia Nuamah told CBC. "It's on the law books, it's not like it can't be done. It's just no one has tried it so we thought, why not."
Festival director Collin Joseph also noted to Vice that the introduction of the "Drink & Carry" program was to address spacing issues.
HuffPost Canada has reached out to Nuamah for further comment.
Despite the negative reaction to the new drinks-on-the-go policy, partnering bars and restaurants appear to be all for it.
"It's going to allow the flow of business to go more smoothly," Jamie Swanton, manager of operations at O'Grady's On Church, told CBC News. "People don't have to wait in lineups anymore. They can buy a drink really quickly and head back out onto the street."
Pride is a free event that runs from June 22 to 24. Those who are not buying into the "Drink & Carry" program can still walk through its designated areas and enter any establishment.
Also on HuffPost: