Montreal could be introducing 24-hour nightlife in a new policy in Spring 2024, according to a new report.
Earlier this month, Radio-Canada published an article reporting that Montreal’s local government is intending to ratify “long-awaited” nightlife policies that would be followed by “concrete action”. One notable effect of these policies is the designation of an area where nightlife businesses can operate “24 hours a day, 365 days a year”.
Reportedly, the Latin Quarter is being considered as the first area where the pilot project will be launched. The area, which was once bustling with cultural activity, has been increasingly abandoned by tenants in recent years, a phenomenon which the new policies aim to address. Venues in the area currently open until 3AM.
Authorities are allegedly intending to allow nightlife to open 24 hours a day in downtown areas if the policy is successful in the Latin Quarter.
Some local organisations have been fighting to allow 24-hour nightlife in Montreal for the past year, including MTL 24/24, which has been pushing for policies to ensure the sustainability of local nightlife.
In May, the non-profit organised a party called ‘NON STOP’, which lasted for 36 hours and marked the first party of its kind in Montreal. According to the event’s description, the party aimed to “[provide] a framework for the nightlife economic sector and [structure] the nightlife offer of the metropolis”.
Speaking to Mixmag, MTL 24/24’s co-founder, Matthieu Gordin, expressed that it was unsustainable for businesses to stop selling alcohol after 3AM, as stipulated by the city’s older nightlife policies. “I think the main problem right now is gentrification, loss of spaces because of gentrification, and inflation. Accessibility, affordability problems,” he stated.
“People say, ‘Oh, the kids don’t drink as much as the older generation’, but at the same time, they just can’t afford to drink. A beer is not $3 anymore, it’s $12.”
Radio-Canada’s report also details other proposals under Montreal’s new nightlife policies. One such proposal entailed assigning noise regulations on performance venues according to their location, in order to “promote performance halls while respecting the peace and quiet of citizens”. Additionally, the city is proposing to ban the construction of housing nearby performance halls.
In 2022, the city invested $2.1million for the development of local nightlife culture, with the intention of launching 15 pilot programs, including the one allowing 24-hour nightlife in the Latin Quarter, alongside a program which provides soundproofing in performance venues that seat less than 400 people.