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City says 'cheers' to temporary patio expansions

Establishments are allowed to use their own parking lots on private property too
File photo

The city has announced that businesses can expand their temporary outdoor seating areas starting this weekend.

Business can submit a complete application for a temporary patio expansion starting Friday and it can be done online.

Patios are allowed to open, with restrictions, starting Friday as part of Stage 2 of the province's reopening.

When the city receives a complete application, the business can set up a temporary outdoor patio immediately, says a city news release.

"All applications must include a proposed design that follows the city’s guidelines, proof of insurance, and any required permits or licences. City staff will review each application and contact business owners about further requirements that will depend on the location of the patio," the release said.

Businesses will not be allowed to expand patios into public parking lots or parking spaces, but can use parking spaces on private property.

Guelph’s temporary seasonal patio program allows restaurants and other businesses to expand outdoor seating and dining areas on private and city-owned property to meet COVID-19 guidelines from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health.

“Today’s announcement is a positive step in the city’s ongoing efforts to meet the needs of our local business community, follow public health guidelines and meet our legislative obligations. I know we’ve been looking forward to patio season, and this decision will help ensure Guelph residents can visit their favourite local restaurants and shops in a safe and responsible way. We’re grateful to our local businesses for their patience and cooperation as we navigate these unprecedented times. Now reserve a spot, grab a drink and a burger at your favourite place to eat – and don’t forget to tip your server! Let’s get people back to work and support our local economy,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Enforcement of temporary seasonal patio program guidelines will be in effect until the end of the season October 31, with patios removed as of November 1.

The city, in consultation with the Downtown Guelph Business Association, is also designating four on-street parking spaces in Downtown Guelph for curbside pickup.

Three parking spaces will be available on Wyndham Street and one on Douglas Street.

Signs are posted at the four temporary curbside pickup parking spaces where people can park for up to 20 minutes. The spaces are designated loading only zones.