The City of Toronto is currently reviewing a report which recommends updates to its bylaw covering sidewalk patios. Revised guidelines include the goal of improving walking space in areas with busy pedestrian traffic, and providing more space for people with disabilities. The guidelines also include proposals to implement an increase in fees to most permit holders, while some would see their permit fees lowered. Toronto already has one of the most restrictive bylaws on sidewalk patios in North America.

Aerial view of sidewalk patio at Against the Grain restaurant, image by UT FlickAerial view of sidewalk patio at Against the Grain restaurant, image by UT Flickr contributor Dtstuff9

Two public meetings will give residents and businesses a chance to voice their opinions on the changes. The first will be held at City Hall on June 13th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, and the second will be held on June 20th at the North York Civic Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Residents and businesses who are unable to attend either public meeting can watch livestreams on the City of Toronto's YouTube channel, and can provide feedback on the City of Toronto website. 

Sidewalk patio at Baldwin Village Inn, image by UT Flickr contributor edk7Sidewalk patio at Baldwin Village Inn, image by UT Flickr contributor edk7

Following the public meetings, the City will then decide whether to alter the proposed bylaw update, and will then submit the reviewed guidelines to a joint meeting of the Licensing and Standards and Public Works Committees this Fall. (More information on Licenses, Permits and Exemptions for Toronto sidewalk patios can be viewed at this link.) Toronto City Council will have final say on changes to the bylaw.