Toronto looks on as Montreal pushes last call past 5am
Last call in Toronto has always felt kind of early after returning from visits to New York or the week after a festival like TIFF or NXNE has provided barflies an extra two hours of drinking time. With news that Montreal will do a pilot project to keep some bars open until 5:30 a.m. this summer, however, our own mark of 2:00 a.m. feels even more conservative than it did previously. Who knows if 5:30 a.m. is even a good idea for last call (why close at all?), but the gap underscores the old theory that Montreal is just more fun than Toronto, something that Mayor Denis Coderre joked about this weekend.
"There is a night life in Montreal," he told reporters in speaking about the 5:30 a.m. pilot. "The only reason there is one in Toronto is because there's a half a million Montrealers who have moved there." The joke might ultimately be on him, but at least the guy has got a sense of humour. That said, it's probably worth noting that a 2:00 a.m. last call is actually pretty standard (later drinking hours are the exception rather than the rule).
While there's growing pressure to extend last call in Toronto, our mayoral candidates have mixed opinions on the matter. Rob Ford is apparently against the idea, but that might just be him doing a modicum of image control leading up to the election. Others like David Soknacki think that a 4:00 a.m. last call would effectively eliminate booze cans. If only this guy had a shot at winning come October.
What do you think? Should Toronto follow Montreal's lead and extend last call? Is 5:30 a.m. too late? How late would you like to see our bars and clubs able to serve booze?