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Patio pints past 11 p.m. a possibility in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You might be able to enjoy a beverage on a patio well into the evening, if Vancouver’s mayor gets his way.

Gregor Robertson wants you to be able to have a drink on one of the city’s patios after 11 p.m. The issue is expected to be raised at council in the near future and presumably a number of options are on the table.

Urban planner Brent Toderain says it’s about time to discuss the issue and he doesn’t think one hard and fast rule for the whole city is the right answer.

“I don’t think it has to be a black and white answer, I think it can be a nuanced answer recognizing that not every street in the downtown area is the same.”

He says some areas have no residential neighbours and could remain open later while those with neighbours should have their say before any changes.

Toderian explains why increasing the role of patios in the city should be the overall goal. “Anything we can do to make patios more viable is a good thing.”

We hit the street to find out what people had to say about the idea; most are supportive.

“I think it’s a very fair option; it gives people a place to go,” says one woman. “Vancouver is such a diverse city. It should be more like Europe.”

But not everyone is keen on having patio lanterns on for a few extra hours, with the crowds lighting it up, as well.

“If you’re in a residential area, you don’t want people keeping you up until 2 a.m.,” says one man who’s not big on the idea.

“How do you judge that? There are so many different areas. I mean, downtown is a completely different area compared to other areas of Vancouver, right?” notes another.

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is also supportive of the idea.

“I think it’s worth further exploration,” says Charles Gauthier with the DVBIA. “I know during the Olympics there was a loosening of the rules, and then they went back to the old rules after the Olympics and we’ve been asking [the city] to look at that.”

“There could be some conflict with areas where there are huge concentrations of residents, but at the same time I think we need to evolve to trying things a little bit differently,” he notes.