Toronto’s CafeTO program, which was started to help struggling restaurants during COVID-19 restrictions, has officially been made permanent.
Last month, City of Toronto staff recommended making the outdoor patio program permanent and on November 10, City Council voted to do just that.
CaféTO is here to stay! Today Council voted to make the outdoor patio program permanent, and to waive permit fees for the program again in 2022.
By redesigning our streets for people, we’re expanding uses for public space across the city. pic.twitter.com/fJFYQBT7So
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) November 10, 2021
The popular program will allow restaurants to make more permanent and long-term outdoor dining options. The on-street patios were a hit in 2020 and brought back for 2021. More than 400 restaurants opted to add or expand their patios using the program this year. The now permanent program will begin registration for 2022 next year.
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“Registration will open early in the new year and installation will start as soon as May,” the City said in a press release.
Council approved a plan that will make the #CafeTO program permanent while continuing to deliver needed business support to restaurants including waiving permit fees in 2022.
I’m so glad that this program is returning that has helped more than 1,200 restaurants and main streets. pic.twitter.com/JB5PpwXCFX
— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 10, 2021
In 2021, more than 12 km of public space is being utilized by restaurants and cafes for outdoor dining purposes. More than 1,200 businesses used the program.
It wasn’t just popular among restaurant and cafe owners, either. Torontonians quickly became attached to the idea.
“A public survey for restaurant operators, customers and the general public, which gathered over 10,000 responses showed overwhelming support for the program. Of those who participated, 91 percent believed that extended sidewalk and curb lane cafés should be allowed in Toronto in the future,” the press release read.