Olympic crowds in Toronto may get early bar hours

Feb 13, 2014 | Sports

By josh
Photo courtesy of Paul Lowry via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Paul Lowry via Creative Commons

By Vanessa Marciano

How would you like to start your morning by cheering on Team Canada with a cool beer and some breakfast?

Councillor Mike Layton will put forward a motion next week to allow bars and restaurants in Toronto to open at 6 a.m., for the last four days of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

If passed, locals will be able to get a head start on the taps for the men’s gold medal hockey game that starts at 7 a.m. EST on Sun. Feb. 23.

“The ability to serve alcohol earlier than the provincial standard would allow business operators to benefit more from the celebratory participation of many Torontonians and visitors to the city,” Layton told The Globe and Mail.

Standard alcohol service hours in Ontario are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with certain expectations, at licensed establishments.

Layton also took into consideration the women’s hockey bronze medal game, scheduled for Feb. 20 at 7 a.m.

Callum Woods, manager of The Dock Ellis Sports Bar located at Dundas St. W. and Dovercourt Rd. in Toronto, said he thinks people will actually wake up early enough to come down and watch the game.

“I’m down with it. We were going to open for the Olympic medal game regardless, just not serve alcohol, but if we get the permit, then we’ll be open,” Woods said. “We’ll have coffee and breakfast.”

A similar motion was passed during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, allowing bars and restaurants to serve alcohol an hour earlier at 10 a.m.

Mary-Margaret McMahon, councillor of Ward 32, doesn’t think there will be any problems with the motion being passed.

“I think it’s a great way to celebrate and cheer on our Olympic team,” McMahon said. “Just because the bar is open, it doesn’t mean you have to drink. It’s great to watch the game and get in the sprit when you’re all together watching in a central location other than your own living room.”

Mayor Rob Ford appeared on the Z103.5 morning show Thursday with his brother Councillor Doug Ford, and expressed his support on the motion, saying that it will be good for business.

Norm Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Toronto also agreed with the motion on Thursday, telling CP24, “You’re either invested in the hockey supremacy in Canada or you’re not. I don’t know how many people will take advantage of it but for that short period of time and for that purpose, I’m for it.”