Ottawa is serious about having more fun

Getting paid six figures to get a city to party more isn’t just a frat bro’s dream; it’s a real job.

What happened: Ottawa hired Mathieu Grondin as its first “night mayor” to try and shed its long-standing nickname, “The City That Fun Forgot.” Grondin will be tasked with tracking the nightlife economy performance and leading ambassadors to address community concerns.

Revitalizing nightlife is a pressing issue for cities worldwide, and many Canadian cities have unveiled plans to boost nocturnal revelry. 

  • Toronto is changing zoning and licensing laws to allow nightclubs to open outside of the downtown core and to allow more entertainment space in bars and eateries.

  • Montréal is looking into opening a downtown district where booze can be served 24 hours a day so that partying can keep rolling nonstop.

  • Edmonton has published a night-time economy strategy that aims to improve safety and transportation in order to grow late-night foot traffic.    

Why it matters: Nightlife is a vital part of urban economies, but the industry is faltering as younger generations opt to party and drink less. Per IBISWorld, bar and club revenue in Canada is expected to see an annualized decline of 8.5% between 2019 and 2024.—QH