Maël Bureau-Blouin, studying for his Masters in Urban Planning and actively involved in a nightlife policy project.
- © Xavier Legault
What makes up Montreal’s nightlife?
Above and beyond all else, it’s the people. Our city’s nightlife is synonymous with bars, clubs, performance venues, basically anywhere people go to party. But there are also the night workers. In the downtown core alone, you have people working in healthcare institutions, STM employees, tourism professionals, etc. Whatever their motivation, all these people lead a nocturnal lifestyle and contribute to Montreal’s vibrant nightlife.
How do you want the city’s nightlife to evolve?
I want it to be less convoluted. We need to destigmatize the nocturnal ecosystem and find ways to deploy it efficiently. Of course, this must be done in harmony with citizens who are diurnal and who also live in the neighbourhood. For example, some people complain about the state of our main streets come morning. The city could deploy a team of workers tasked with cleaning the streets in the early hours of the morning. I don’t think having a police presence is necessary to limit noise and altercations. Some cities deploy social workers, or even entertainers, trained in defusing and preventing conflict situations.
Do municipal laws need to be better adapted?
Yes, of course. More and more apartment buildings are sprouting up in areas that are noisy at night. One of the solutions we recommend as part of our project is to increase the minimum soundproofing levels for all new establishments being built in the downtown core.
In what way does Montreal’s nightlife contribute to the city’s dynamism?
The quality of our nightlife is an important selection criterion for foreign students, immigrants, tourists, and even employers. Plus, a vibrant nightlife attracts people to the downtown core. And that stimulates our economy and helps create a sense of security for everyone.