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City extends the downtown dining district pilot project

Originally scheduled to end Sept. 7, it will now go to Sept. 22
20200817 Downtown Dininig District KA
GuelphToday file photo

The city has extended the downtown dining district for another two weeks until Sept. 21.

The pilot project, which sees the area surrounding the intersection of Macdonell and Wyndham streets closed to through traffic and establishments extend patios into the street, was initially supposed to end Sept. 7.

Streets will reopen to through traffic on Sept. 22.

The initiative is a pilot project by the city. Early next year a report will be brought forth to city council.

There have been some concerns. Some businesses complained early it was hurting them and the area was shrunk to help accommodate those concerns. Some establishments downtown outside the area have complained and there were cases of people not adhering to social distancing rules, but overall it seems to have gone over well with customers and downtown businesses.

“I’m thrilled with the way our downtown businesses, residents, and the rest of the community have come together to make the dining district a huge success. I’m glad it’s staying open a little while longer. In times of adversity, we have to come together to find creative solutions to complex challenges; the downtown pedestrian zone and extended patios are a couple great examples of Guelph getting it right during COVID-19,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie in a news release.

“I am glad that the City has decided to allow patios in the pedestrian zone to remain another couple of weeks. They are a great attraction, and an important source of employment and much needed economic activity. As we pivot to safely opening indoor dining spaces, remember that there are still lots of patios open; not to mention fantastic local stores, great salons, and top-notch professional services all over downtown Guelph,” said Marty Williams, Executive Director, Downtown Guelph Business Association.

After Sept. 22, there will be short-term road closures in the area as the City completes road repairs and line painting, and clears catch basins and storm drains.