“You know what, it’s a hockey town. If folks want to have a beer during the third period at a bar in the morning, that shouldn’t really be a problem.”
—City councillor Mike Layton on his forthcoming motion to allow Toronto bars and restaurants to serve top-of-the-morning booze during the last four days of the Sochi Games. If passed, the motion will let Toronto hockey fans guzzle pints while cheering for Canada’s women’s and men’s hockey teams. (The women’s bronze-medal game airs at 7 a.m. on February 20th and the men’s gold-medal game at 7 a.m. on February 23rd.) The city has previously allowed early hooch licenses for FIFA World Cup events.
The motion won’t be decided until next week’s city council meeting, but it’s already been publicly supported by deputy mayor Norm Kelly and mayor Rob Ford. The mayor told the Z103.5 radio show this morning that he thought the 6 a.m. boozing plan would “good for businesses” but “pretty rough.”
Update: Early-morning Olympic hockey boozing is a go! Yesterday, city council voted 37-4 to approve the motion, which allows most Toronto bars, cafés and restaurants to serve alcohol from 7 a.m. onwards on February 22nd and 23rd. (The councillors for York Centre, York-South-Weston and Willowdale asked to be exempted from the motion, so it doesn’t apply in those wards.) Despite his early words of support, Rob Ford was a firm dissenter. He spoke out on behalf of oppressed nightclub owners citywide, whose exclusion from the motion will prevent them from serving alcohol to the 11 people who would elect to drink alcohol and watch sports at a nightclub at 7 a.m.