Creation, extension of patios in Ontario made easier

Press Release

The Ontario government has issued a new emergency order and amending another under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. These adjustments, made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will allow municipalities to quickly pass temporary bylaws for the creation and extension of patios and allow covered outdoor dining areas to serve customers.

“Businesses across the province are demonstrating that we can still enjoy our beautiful Ontario summer while protecting the health and safety of their patrons,” said Premier Ford in today’s statement. “Restaurants and bars are an important part of our economy, and a great driver of employment. I am proud to say that we will continue to support them as our province reopens and recovers.”

Under the Planning Act, the process to pass temporary use bylaws to create or extend a patio could take several weeks or more. As Ontario restaurants are currently only permitted to host dine-in guests on outdoor patios under Stage 2, this exemption under the emergency order reduce the process time for passing these bylaws to a matter of days. Municipalities would still be responsible for compliance activities and ensuring proper health and safety practices, like proper physical distancing.

The Ontario government also amended an emergency order to clarify that outdoor dining areas can open if they have a roof, canopy, tent, awning, or other covering. At least two full sides of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way. If the outdoor dining area has a retractable roof, the roof must be fully open and at least one full side must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way.

Most of Ontario has moved into Stage 2 recovery, with the exception of the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville, which remain in Stage 1.

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