“It’s crazy enough”: Late-night clubgoers, on extending last call

“It’s crazy enough”: Late-night clubgoers, on extending last call

The perennial debate over extending last call in Toronto was reignited last week at city hall, where Nocturne nightclub owner Spencer Sutherland made the case for letting people continue drinking past 2 a.m. He told the economic development committee that Toronto’s (relatively) early cutoff is hurting the city by hobbling its after-hours economy. Giving bar owners the option of keeping the taps flowing later, he said, would help Toronto’s nightclub scene keep up with those in other cities, like Montreal, where last call is an hour later. The decision would ultimately be in the hands of politicians: city councillors may get an opportunity to weigh in on the matter next year. In the meantime, we braved the not-entirely-sober crowds at King and Portland at 2 a.m. on Friday night to find out what late-night clubgoers think.

Megan Vena

32, personal trainer from Vaughan

“I just came from a girls’ night out at 2Cats Cocktail Lounge. I think extending last call might deter people from drinking to the point that they black out, because they won’t feel as rushed. They’ll pace themselves more. Right now, people tend to get rowdy close to 2 a.m.”

Shannon Shama

38, accountant from Newmarket

“Just now, a fight broke out near us. My first thought was: ‘I’m married. I have two young kids. Get me out of here!’ A later last call will only make the streets even more unsafe.”

Lisa Mcphee

39, pricing analyst from Bradford

“The violence in the city will escalate if we have a later last call. The city doesn’t need it. I only stay out this late about once every six months.”

Dan Levy

35, “problem solver” from North York

“I’m out this late tonight because I went to a Raptors game, then Uniun nightclub. Last call should be up to bar owners and patrons. I’m for less regulation and legislation. Also, research in other cities has shown that a later last call has the opposite effect than people think. When people don’t feel rushed to get wasted, they leave at their own pace, which means people are filtering out of clubs over a period of time, rather than all at once.”

Alex C.

25, public service employee from Scarborough

“I’m for the city extending last call, because it’ll be good for the local economy. And, from a libertarian point of view, who cares? Let’s try it out for a year and see what the police and community say. The city should look at the data first, then create policy around it. I would still go home at the same hour even with a later last call. I don’t go clubbing. I just came from eating pho in Chinatown for a friend’s birthday dinner.”

Yaffa L.

25, medical administrator from midtown

“Well, honestly, what’s the difference? And what’s the big deal? If anything bad is going to happen, it still will happen—regardless of what time last call happens to be. A later last call also means more business for restaurants and clubs. Once in a while, it would be nice to have the option of staying out slightly later.”

Mike E.

40, consultant from King West

“I just came from a friend’s birthday dinner at Brassaii. As a consumer, I’m fine with things the way they are: 2 a.m. is a good time. Still, I can see why young people would want a later last call. They want to keep going. If last call is extended, I can only see it exacerbating the current problems at this hour. It’s crazy enough.”