Barrie City Hall considering later closing time after plea from hospitality sector

Council previously supported a 2 a.m. last call in Steps One and Two

City Hall will do what it can to support Barrie’s restaurants as we progress through a fourth wave, according to one council member, and that includes extending how late they can stay open.

Barrie city council opted to allow bar and restaurant patios to remain open until 2 a.m. through Steps One and Two of the reopening plan. They were clawed back to an 11:15 p.m. closing time when Step Three came into effect and indoor seating was permitted again. Ward Two Councillor Keenan Aylwin, who oversees the downtown core, says the city has reviewed a recently penned letter that asks to bring back that 2 a.m. cut-off for patios. “I have been in touch with the business owner who spearheaded a campaign to let him know that I’m working with our city staff and the city clerk to try to find a solution that works for everyone,” Aylwin told Barrie 360.

“Two a.m. operations are something that you have allowed before to support us, and we are asking for that support again for the remainder of the Patio’s Everywhere Program in Downtown Barrie,” reads the letter addressed to council and signed by the owners of 20 mostly downtown restaurants.

Aylwin says the city will have to consider area residents in its decision to extend the 2 a.m. last call any further. “There are a few considerations around noise that we have to look into, and strike that right balance between supporting our local businesses and ensuring that people who live in and around the downtown aren’t disturbed,” said Alywin. “But I think we can come to that solution pretty quickly.”

While Aylwin says he is working with city staff on bumping closing time to a later hour, he adds any decision would have to be approved by council first. “We’re hoping to do that as soon as we can,” he concluded.

Feature image: City of Barrie