Toronto councillor wants bars to serve booze at 6 a.m. for Olympics, other cities not so lucky

Olympic hockey fans (Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press)

How does that old saying go: It's 5 o'clock somewhere?

Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton will introduce a motion at City Hall next week asking his colleagues to allow licensed establishments to sell alcohol starting at 6 a.m. — instead of the usual 11 a.m. start time — between Feb. 20 and 23.

Those dates — not coincidentally — coincide with the Olympic men's and women's ice hockey finals in which Team Canada is expected to play.

"It’s about community, it’s about us sharing in the glory of the Olympic games with our men’s and women’s hockey teams," Layton told CTV News.

"I certainly don’t expect that people will rush out at six in the morning and get a couple pints, but maybe during the third period, when it’s 10:30 [a.m.] or something, and folks want to have a beer to celebrate a victory, then that would be appropriate."

CTV explains that Ontario bar hours were altered once before, in 2010, for the World Cup of Soccer in South Africa.

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If you live in Alberta, you'll have to check with your favourite watering hole to find out if they'll be open during the final hockey games.

According to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), bar owners can apply to open as early as 4:30 a.m. and to sell alcohol starting at 8 a.m. for one or more events (ie: the gold medal game for men's hockey).

"Any bar that would like to operate under extended hours has to apply," spokesperson Vatjana Laskovic told Yahoo Canada News.

"Every request is evaluated on an individual basis and according to the [operator's] track record"

To date, Laskovic says, only 25 Alberta establishments have applied for extensions.

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Vancouverites aren't nearly as lucky.

In a pre-Olympic interview with the Vancouver Province, Ron Orr, past-president of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C., said that his organization had made an application to province's liquor licensing branch to extend their hours but were denied.

But maybe with Vancouver's reputation — as a city that gets, ahem, 'excited' after big hockey games — that's not such a bad thing?

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