Starting in July, clubs on Granville Street will bar entry past 2 AM.
The program, called Last Entry, goes into effect on July 1st. It will only affect clubs in the Granville Entertainment District. Bars will be permitted to stay open until 3 AM, but patrons will only be admitted before 2, in an effort to address what the city calls rising rates of crime and violence in the Downtown area.
"The number of police incidents has risen year-over-year and it continues to be a problem," Vancouver general manager of development Kaye Krishna told the CBC. "What we're trying to do is thin out the crowds in a more gradual way. When people are all leaving bars at the same time the streets get very crowded... and that's when many of the fights occur." Krishna cited the Sydney rules, which banned entry after 1:30 AM, as inspiration for Vancouver's trial.
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association criticized the city for pushing the program through without consulting the industry. "It came out of left field, and the industry that has to implement it wasn't at the table to have a discussion about how to best do this," said DVBIA CEO Charles Gaulthier. "How are you going to be able to communicate with individuals that may not be happy with what you are telling them—and also slightly intoxicated—that you're not going to let them in?"
The program will last for six months, at which point the city will evaluate whether or not to continue.
For more on lockout programs and their impact in Sydney, read Andy Webb's 2015 feature.