Restaurant, bar patios can expand Canada Day as council approves CaféTO

By News Staff

There won’t be any big fireworks displays or festivals this year for Canada Day but it’ll be easier for you and your bubble to find a place to celebrate.

On Monday, city council unanimously voted to approve the CaféTO plan, which allows restaurants to open makeshift patios starting July 1.

The project, which was approved by Mayor John Tory’s executive committee last week, directs the City to take quick action and make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars.

This extra space includes creating or expanding patios onto sidewalks and into curblanes and adjacent parking lots.

Ahead of the vote, City officials had already closed off many curb lanes to traffic in areas of high restaurant volumes.

“We are doing everything we can as a municipal government, as soon as we can, to help restaurant and bar operators open safely for the summer,” Mayor John Tory said in a release.

“I am thankful for how diligent City staff have been in working together, across divisions, to create a simple framework to deliver this program quickly. It is one way we are supporting businesses so that they can stay in business, while doing what we can to help keep thousands of Toronto residents employed.”

The expanded patios will make it easier for bars and restaurants to comply with physical distancing safety regulations while serving more customers.

Toronto and Peel Region entered the province’s Stage 2 of reopening last week, meaning restaurants could open their patios for business, but without the approval of CaféTO, smaller restaurants were left out.

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