Toronto looking to extend bylaws for restaurant patios into the winter

Oct 20 2020, 10:33 am

In an effort to allow Toronto patios to operate through the winter season, the city’s Planning and Housing Committee is looking into changing existing zoning bylaws at its Tuesday meeting.

According to a report from the committee, it recommends temporarily easing zoning restrictions of the Planning Act on outdoor patios “associated with eating establishments, take-out eating establishments, and recreation uses.”

The proposed bylaws will replace the Ministerial Zoning Order issued by the Ontario government, set to expire on November 16.

“The temporary use bylaws will continue to ease restrictions on outdoor patios associated with restaurants and bars during the winter months, in the event that individual businesses choose to operate patios for their patrons during this time,” states the report.

These bylaws would allow a “modest” increase to the full size of outdoor patios and remove restrictions that might prevent an outdoor patio located in front of buildings.

“The bylaws have particular consideration for non-residential properties with dedicated surface parking in front of the building, by permitting patios notwithstanding parking requirements,” it reads.

When it comes to curb lane patios, Mayor John Tory shared further details in regards to their fate during an announcement on October 18.

“We had previously announced that as much as we would love to leave the patios in the curb lanes; all of those patios will come out,” said Tory during the live presser.

“So what we’re dealing with here is others that can stay longer on sidewalks, on private property, and other places.”

As for the expiration date, the temporary use bylaws are proposed to expire on May 25, 2021.

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