Outdoor Patios and Fee Waiving Part of Plan to Help Restaurants and Bars

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Thunder Bay City Hall
Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – The city is looking to help restaurants and licenced establishments. At Council last night, a report recommending ways that the City can help restaurants and retailers set up outdoor patios or displays was approved by City Council.

“We have seen how creative our local entrepreneurs can be as they adjust to this pandemic. This initiative by Council will provide support to help not only restaurant owners but the retail sector as well and enhance the vibrancy of our core areas,” says Mayor Bill Mauro.

Council has approved measures, including waiving permit fees and specific zoning enforcement and expediting the application process for owners.

“By finding innovative ways to allow access to City property and private parking areas and by streamlining the process, we are helping more local restaurants take advantage of patio season,” said Mayor Bill Mauro.

Applicants that wish to use City-owned land are required to meet certain minimum specifications and enter into an agreement with the City. Use of a portion of private parking lots for outdoor patios needs only to be registered with the City.

The patio opportunities include:

–          Patios in private parking lots or other hard surfaces;

–          Patios in municipal parking lots;

–          Pop up patio structures in the parking lane;

–          Patio space in the parking lane directly on the asphalt where accessibility standards can be met (typically wide streets with one lane of traffic in the applicable direction and a curb height of 150mm +/-);

–          Sidewalk patios (where clearance for pedestrians can be maintained);

–          Possible street closures to enable dining areas on streets within Business Improvement/ Business Association areas.

Business owners are expected to follow public health guidelines in terms of capacity numbers and physical distancing guidelines. To register to expand or create new patios or display areas, or to submit an application, visit: www.thunderbay.ca/patio.