Toronto approves plan to expand outdoor dining space

Press Release

Toronto city council has approved a plan to safely increase and quickly expand outdoor dining space for local restaurants and bars.

The city of Toronto announced that the CaféTO report, which directs the city to take quick action and make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars, was unanimously approved with amendments by Toronto city council. It’s expected the first CaféTO locations will be in place on July 1.

CaféTO will ensure that accessibility and safety are not compromised while making it easier for many restaurant and bar owners to open patios, expand them and access additional space for physical distancing, in accordance with public health guidelines.

While restaurants and bars remain closed for dine-in service due to provincial orders and public health recommendations, existing outdoor patios began opening last Wednesday, in accordance with public health guidelines as part of the Ontario’s Stage 2 restart plan.

Registration for CaféTO is still available for local restaurant and bar owners to better understand requirements and plan. An online form and guidebook for the program, as well as details for a free online information session, hosted June 30 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. by city staff, can be found one the city of Toronto’s website.

As part of council direction, certain bylaw elements for the 2020 patio season have been paused to ensure:

  • Rapid installation of permitted cafés while maintaining public safety.
  • Access to restaurant and bar services and facilities for those dining outdoors.
  • Permit and application fees are waived for approved cafés.
  • Accessibility and physical distancing requirements are met.

The full CaféTO staff report is available here. For more information regarding the sidewalk cafés and marketing displays bylaw (Chapter 742), please visit the city of Toronto’s website.

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