Smokers find refuge at Rye

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By Sean Fitz-Gerald

The Cavern may benefit from Toronto’s new anti-smoking legislation, as nicotine addicts search for safe places to light up.

“I do come here often, and I will come here more often now, because I can smoke,” said geography student Glenn Coulter from behind a heavy cloud of smoke at the campus pub.

The new bylaw, which came into effect March 1, makes it illegal for patrons to smoke while inside an establishment. In The Cavern, however, smoking is still allowed.

“We’re okay to have the downstairs area (The Cavern) designated as a smoking area,” said Oakham House director Dale McNicholl.

McNicholl believes the pub has complied with all of the stipulations of the bylaw, but will have a city inspector confirm it next week.

“The Cavern represents less than 25 per cent of the capacity of the house and it is separately ventilated,” he said.

RyeSAC President and occasional smoker Victoria Bowman does not agree with the new bylaw, but hopes it will translate into success for The Cavern.

“This is the most inane thing they [city council] could do, the hospitality industry needs a little support right now,” Bowman said, “But I’m keeping fingers crossed [for The Cavern].”

Business management student Bruce Emberley says he has a new appreciation for The Cavern, and he will frequent the campus pub more in the future.

“This morning I went to my favourite cafe for my morning coffee and cigarette,” he said. “There were no ashtrays on the table and the lady working there shows me a little sticker that said ‘No Smoking.’ That really fucked up my morning.”

Kevin Ali, another business student, says even though he is a non-smoker, he will not stop going to The Cavern.

“Everybody has a right to do as they want, and I think people have the right to smoke,” he said. “It [smoke] doesn’t bother me, you’re gonna die of something anyways, right?”

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