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Booze at bars until 5:30 a.m.

Montreal's renowned nightlife will be put to the test this summer.

Mayor Denis Coderre is introducing a pilot project allowing bars on two downtown streets to serve alcohol until 5:30 a.m. — two and a half hours later than they are allowed to now.

Popular stretches of Crescent and Saint-Denis Streets will be part of the trial.

Coderre says the current 3 a.m. cut off for alcohol sales causes problems because too many people head out into the streets at the same time, especially during the party-filled summer months.

Coderre says the city will evaluate the economic and social impact of the extended hours before deciding whether to make the change permanent.

The trial will run from June 12 to July 5.

"The fact that we're having that pilot project, at least we'll know," Coderre told reporters Friday.

"It doesn't mean that it will be in every borough. It means that downtown you might have the capacity to do it."

The populist mayor said a metropolis "should be fun," then followed by taking a shot at rival Toronto.

"There is a nightlife in Montreal. The only reason there is one in Toronto is because there's a half a million Montrealers who have moved there," he said.

The Canadian Press

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