Loading articles...

Not just bars and nightclubs: Vancouver council mulls potential of city's nighttime economy

Last Updated May 24, 2019 at 6:25 am PDT

Granville Entertainment District (Stephanie Froese, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

A study out of Toronto suggests the Nighttime economy is the “new competitive edge for post-industrial cities” 

Vancouver Councillor Lisa Dominato hopes the city will pass her motion to develop a full-on nighttime economy strategy

Idea is to develop public spaces, events, and transportation that encourages families to engage in the city after dark

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – When it comes to Vancouver’s nightlife, what comes to mind?

Geoff Rohoman, a reporter at 680 NEWS, a sister station in Toronto, says when comparing Vancouver’s nightlife to Toronto or Montreal, there are some major differences.

“After spending five years in Vancouver, I tell my friends how different our plans are as far as the nightlife in Vancouver and Toronto. In Toronto, we stay at home and do pre-partying until about 11 o’clock at night and that’s when you go to the bars and clubs,” he says. “In Vancouver, you go out at eight pm and are home at about 10 pm. So it’s reversed as far as that goes.”

This follows a new study out of Toronto, which says the Nighttime economy is the “new competitive edge for post-industrial cities”.

Now, Vancouver Councillor Lisa Dominato hopes she can help shift things and bring our west coast city to life after dark.

She’s hoping the city will pass her motion to work with the Vancouver Economic Council and develop a full-on nighttime economy strategy.

The idea is to develop public spaces, events, and transportation that encourages families to engage in the city after dark.

Thinking bigger picture than just the Granville Strip, Dominato’s motion before council suggests developing a city-wide strategy to build an entire nocturnal economy.

It lays out a number of reasons why things go quiet early in Vancouver, including a lack of transportation options and family friendly late-night venues as well as disappearing cultural spaces.

RELATED: New Transit Police Chief says weekend SkyTrain hours should be extended

Rohoman says there are multiple events in Toronto that draw out crowds including light festivals held throughout the night and are held in order to promote public art in a safe environment.

“There’s always something going on, there are public spaces with art in them. They want people out in a safe environment to enjoy the city,” Rohoman adds. “There are light festivals that encourage people to come out and celebrate responsibly at all hours.”

When it comes to events like film festivals and sporting events, Rohoman says there are steps that can be taken to help local bars stay open to serve customers.

“When there are big events happening like Toronto International Film Festival, bars can apply for licences that allow them to serve booze until four in the morning.”

The new “nightlife” could be even be overseen by a night mayor – as it is in London, Sydney, Amsterdam, and even Iowa City.