Good news for our fellow Montrealers! You can now see the sunrise drunk. What? Beginning in June, the city will allow bars to serve alcohol until the sun comes up. Better start packing those sunglasses.
You can thank Mayor Denis Corderre for the initiative. “A metropolis is about fun. We can have fun without having necessarily excess,” he said this Friday. “There is a nightlife in Montreal. The only reason there is one in Toronto is because there are half a million Montrealers who moved there.” Oh, snap! We most definitely want to invite the Mayor for a beer now.
If you want enjoy the longer hours, hit the bars close to Crescent and St. Denis streets. They are a big part of Montreal’s nightlife and are about to get even better. These bars were chosen to be the first to run the test, being allowed to extend their closing time by 3 hours – so you can find yourself having your last round by 5:30am!
Get all your friends ready: this test will run for a month, starting on June 12th from Thursdays to Saturdays. Nineteen bars have already submitted applications to the Quebec liquor board for approval. On Crescent Street, however, most bars have opted out because they are still analyzing the effect the extended hours will have on their businesses, and also perhaps are worried about putting off those early birds heading to the office on Fridays.
This will be a big change of the nightlife scene with an interesting outcome, not only for party animals like us, but also for the city as a whole. “When bars have last call now, everyone gets drunk and there are problems at 3 am,” said Philip O’Dwyer, head of the merchants’ association for the Latin Quarter.” The bars have to throw everyone out, and it can be a nuisance for neighbors.” With bars being allowed to close at 6am, it’s more likely for the people to go home gradually throughout the night, which makes a lot less disturbance.
Still, it may also result in an increase of alcohol-fueled violence. A research in Norway has shown that each one-hour extension to bars’ opening times was linked to a 16% increase in violent crime. “What happens is that when hours get increased, people get more intoxicated,” claims Tim Stockwell, Centre for Addictions Research of B.C Director.
But Montreal will increase police surveillance and monitor noise when the pilot project starts running, so keeping bars open all night may ironically end up adding a sense of security for those wandering the streets at night. “We’re already open 24 hours a day, so the issue is to make sure we have the right number of people on at the right time”, stated Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafrenière.