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Restaurants, bars can start applying for patios through CafeTO program today

Roadside restaurant seating are seen setup along Yonge Street in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic on July 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan

Toronto bars and restaurants can now begin applying to install outdoor curb lane and sidewalk patios.

Mayor John Tory announced earlier this week that registration for an expanded CafeTo program would be available as of 9 a.m. Friday morning.

The first registration window will be open for four weeks, until March 26, and a second window will open immediately afterward.

The city says approved locations from the first registration could be installed as early as May, in time for the May long weekend. Registrations from the second window can expect to have their locations installed by June.

There is an online webinar to review program requirements and answer questions from bar and restaurant operators on March 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Earlier this month, city council approved an ‘improved’ CafeTO program for 2021.

“We will make it even more enjoyable for the people to go and dispense of some of the revenue with these hardworking and restaurateurs and bar owners,” said Tory.

The city promises several improvements, including:

  • A clearer registration process
  • A more efficient installation process
  • Commitment to ensure more restaurants in Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York are ready to take advantage of opportunities for quick expansion of outdoor dining.
  • Development of comprehensive and safe traffic management plans that will help ensure the curb lane cafés are as safe as possible for people dining, employees and people using the road.
  • Allowing some owners/operators to build temporary platforms for curb lane café areas
  • Ensuring there is accessible furniture for public parklet areas.


The program supported over 800 Toronto restaurants in 2020.

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