Mon­treal to of­fer booze ser­vice till 5:30 a.m.

SundayXtra - - NEWS CANADA I WORLD - By Ben­jamin Shin­gler

MON­TREAL — Mon­treal’s mayor is putting his city’s renowned nightlife to the test — and tak­ing a shot at ri­val Toronto in the process.

De­nis Coderre says he will al­low bars on two down­town streets this sum­mer to serve al­co­hol un­til 5:30 a.m., two and a half hours later than liquor laws cur­rently al­low.

Busy stretches of Cres­cent and Saint-De­nis Streets will be part of the trial.

“The fact that we’re hav­ing that pi­lot project, at least we’ll know,” Coderre said.

“It doesn’t mean that it will be in ev­ery bor­ough. It means that down­town you might have the ca­pac­ity to do it.”

The trial will run from June 12 to July 5, dur­ing week­ends only.

The pop­ulist mayor used Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment to lob a play­ful jab at Toronto, say­ing that a me­trop­o­lis “should be fun.”

Last call in Canada’s largest city is 2 a.m.

“There is a nightlife in Mon­treal. The only rea­son there is one in Toronto is be­cause there’s a half a mil­lion Mon­treal­ers who have moved there,” Coderre told re­porters.

Coderre’s com­ments prompted a good na­tured re­tort from for­mer On­tario pre­mier Bob Rae.

“De­nis Coderre says we have no nightlife in Toronto. Ar­lene and I are go­ing to bed now. We’ve had our co­coa. What does De­nis know?” Rae tweeted Satur­day.

Coderre said his city’s tra­di­tional 3 a.m. cut off for al­co­hol sales causes prob­lems be­cause too many people head out into the streets at the same time, es­pe­cially dur­ing the party-filled sum­mer months.

Mon­treal’s po­lice chief is on board with the project, he added.

Coderre said the city will eval­u­ate the eco­nomic and so­cial im­pact of the ex­tended hours be­fore de­cid­ing whether to make the change per­ma­nent. Not ev­ery­one is happy with the trial. The head of an as­so­ci­a­tion of Que­bec bar own­ers is up­set with the move, but only be­cause he’d like all down­town bars to be able to stay open un­til dawn.

Peter Ser­gakis, who owns a num­ber of down­town bars and restaurants, said he’s re­ceived dozens of com­plaints from fel­low bar own­ers.

He said it’s un­ac­cept­able that a small num­ber of bars will reap the ben­e­fits of the ex­tended hours, while hun­dreds of oth­ers will close their doors at 3 a.m.

‘There is a nightlife in Mon­treal. The only rea­son there is one in Toronto is be­cause a half a mil­lion Mon­treal­ers have moved there’

— The Cana­dian Press

JUAN CAR­LOS LLORCA / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

More than 700,000 copies of the mas­sively un­pop­u­lar Atari E.T. video game were dug up on Satur­day as part of doc­u­men­tary be­ing pro­duced on the game.

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