Downtown Montreal bars fighting noise complaints; city offers $2.1 million plan

With summer-like weather making an early arrival and the easing of public health restrictions, the music is ringing out again at Brutopia Bew Pub on Crescent Street.

And so are the noise complaints.

The small venue is caught in an ongoing battle between people who want to party and nearby neighbours who want to sleep.

"We literally run around at 11 p.m., close all the doors and windows and shush people outside and just cross our fingers that Brutopia can keep offering great entertainment," said the pub's general manager, Jeff Picard.

"They're super miserable, the police hate it. We're just doing what we're supposed to do exactly where we're supposed to do it."

The City of Montreal is trying to find a solution with a new $2.1-million roadmap that to strengthen the nightlife scene. As part of the plan, the Valerie Plante administration is setting aside $1.4 million for a subsidy program to help some music venues soundproof their halls.

"We want people to be able to sleep but we also want to support small venues, which are part of Montreal's nightlife," Mayor Plante said at a news conference Monday.

It's an industry the city is now focused on reviving in the hopes of helping Montreal reclaim its place as a party destination.

"It's part of the DNA of Montreal for years. Before the pandemic, it was the case ... and we want to convince people to come here," said Luc Rabouin, mayor of Plateau-Mont Royal.

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: How’s Montreal’s nightlife scene doing now that most restrictions are gone?

More than 20 per cent of tourists who come to Montreal come for the nightlife.

Part of the City of Montreal's plan to revitalize the nightlife industry is a first-of-its-kind event at the Society for Arts and Technology where there will be no last call this weekend. The bar will stay open for 29 hours straight.

Mathieu Grondin, event producer, DJ and co-founder of MTL 24/24, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of nightlife in Montréal, said organizers will have safety measures in place and first responders on site for the special event.

If all goes smoothly, the city says there could be more overnight events like it.

Meanwhile, Picard said he doesn't want the 3 a.m. last call to change for venues like his and would rather see changes when it comes to zoning.

"Stop building small condo developments on top of big venues or noisy businesses," he said, hoping that his message is heard loud and clear.

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