Montreal Allows Record Stores to Extend Opening Hours

Shops were fined thousands by the province late last year
Montreal Allows Record Stores to Extend Opening Hours
After raising concern with the province of Quebec over opening hours leading to thousands of dollars in fines, Montreal record stores will now be permitted to keep doors open later as of this spring.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante confirmed the forthcoming changes on Twitter today, writing that governments will "invite merchants and boroughs to make the rules surrounding store hours more flexible."

She added, "You have to be able to adapt and that's what we are doing!" Plante's announcement comes weeks after Phonopolis co-owner Jordan Robson Cramer explained how his shop and fellow record stores Sonorama, La Rama and Death of Vinyl had received warnings and thousands in fines for staying open past 5 p.m. on weekends.

Provincial law states that businesses can remain open as early 8 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. It also notes mandatory days off for statutory holidays, including New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Canada Day and more. The rules apply to all commercial establishments except grocery stores and pharmacies.

In December, Cramer wrote in a statement that the regulations on business hours were "completely unbeknownst to us" since opening in Montreal's Mile End neighbourhood in 2011, adding that the notice given in April 2019 was the first of its kind the shop had ever received.

Two days after Cramer's statement was published, Plante tweeted that she was "very sensitive" to the record stores' situation and had planned to consult with neighbourhood and merchant associations. The Phonopolis co-owner even took a trip to Montreal City Hall last month to explain the predicament in person.