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Drinking in the park

There has been no shortage of prognostications about the demise of cities, offices, and a bunch of other things, as a result of this pandemic. And by now, a lot of you probably know that I think most of this is overblown. I worked in the office today, did things on my three-screen setup, and had a burrito for lunch. It was lovely. But here are a few things that I do believe will happen: Canada will continue to relax its alcohol laws in the wake of this pandemic, most if not all of these relaxations will stick after we get through this, and city life, believe it or not, will be just fine.

Earlier this month, the City of North Vancouver council voted 6-1 in favor of allowing alcohol consumption in some parks and some public spaces this summer. The mayor believes that they are the first city in BC to pass such a bylaw and I reckon that they are among the first in Canada (Quebec is generally the most chill). One of the justifications for this change is that about 80% of residents in North Vancouver live in a multi-family dwelling. And so this is a way for people, who don’t have backyards, to have a civilized drink on some grass.

Will our puritanical province follow suit? My bet is yes.


  1. Myron Nebozuk

    If you re-arrange the letters in pandemic, you get dampanic. And that nicely summarizes how I feel about this. Currently, I know more people who died on 9/11 than I know who died of Covid: three versus zero. To these admittedly anecdotal totals, I also sadly know one person who committed suicide as a consequence of this lockdown. Why didn’t Malcolm Gladwell’s comment several weeks ago get any airtime with mainstream media? He said that for want of millions of dollars of medical supplies and equipment, we have trashed economies worth trillions of dollars. Perhaps reporters didn’t pay attention during junior-high school math class?…perhaps they didn’t recognize the order of magnitude concept when Gladwell’s presented it?


  2. Pingback: Reallocating urban space |

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