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Aug 5, 2008 06:38 PM

Is it legal to drink beer in the streets of Montreal?

I saw some people buying beer and the retailer putting them into little paper bags. They look like traveller beers. Is it legal to drink beer on the street if its in a paper bag?

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  1. I don't think so. The bags were probably just to carry them in.

    1. While it may not be technically legal (and I'll see if I can find a source on that) you're probably unlikely to be bothered if you just want to have some beer with a picnic in a park during daylight hours - as long as you avoid being too rowdy or otherwise calling attention to yourselves. :-) In fact, at the Sunday Tam Tams at the base of Mount Royal near Parc Ave., the city specifically allows it:

      "Tam-tam regulations.... alcohol may be consumed along with food in picnic areas."

      Of course you asked about drinking in the street.... I'll see if I can dig up anything else.

      OK, here's the scoop. The by-laws vary from borough to borough (there are a dozen boroughs on the island of Montreal.) For example, this one's for NDG/Cote-des-Neiges:

      "The municipal By-law concerning peace and order on public property also prohibits anyone from consuming alcoholic beverages in the street, parks and other public areas, except:

      * at a sidewalk café authorized by law to sell alcoholic beverages;
      * with an outdoor meal in a place where the city has installed picnic tables;
      * at celebrations and events for which the city has given special authorization."

      My guess is this by-law is probably similar in most boroughs, though you never know.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kpzoo

        I saw a bunch of people waiting to be let in at a concert buying usually one or two beer at a time waiting for a concert at a convenience store on Ste Catherines. The bags looked perfectly sized depending on what size of can or bottle was selected. I bought 3 massive 1.13 bottles of beer and the retailer held up a paper bag that could have fit one perfectly. I nodded that off and he double bagged the three bottles in large plastic bags. I was just curious. Thanks for your responses.

        1. re: Fat Swine

          i regularly buy beer and drink it on the street. I did once get a public drinking ticket but I haven't since. Also montreal has great alley ways for drinking outdoors.

      2. In Vegas you walk down the street with a beer in your hand, back in the 80s one could walk down the street in Paris with a bottle of wine in their hand.
        Montreal has a certain sense of class, if you have to eat or drink it is best to do it were one is residing before one hits the street or to patronize the Pubs and brasseries that are everywere< many with terrace

        2 Replies
        1. re: tombombadillo

          Usually drinking beer or wine in parcs is tolerated, benches or not. I think one can still walk down Paris streets with a bottle of wine in one's hand as there are no laws on public drinking - public intoxication is another matter - but it would be seen as very crass. But a picnic with a bottle of wine or a few beers is viewed as fine.

          Tom, pubs and brasseries are ... er ... far more expensive. And picnics are fun.

          There are definitely by-laws against public intoxication (in the gross sense) and rowdy behaviour.

          1. re: tombombadillo

            I have done both the beer in the street thing and the wine bottle on the street thing in Montreal many times without being bothered. Of course, I am a student and do live in the Ghetto, so this is the norm. The police seem to have better things to do than bother people trying to have a good time.

            One thing that I have noticed about the Montreal police force is that the average age is very young compared to other cities I have lived in. Perhaps this may be why they are so liberal.