Friday marked the beginning of Ontario’s Stage 2 economic re-opening in Guelph and other select areas. For area restaurants and bars that means being allowed to serve more than take-out, but only if they have a patio for people to dine al fresco. Because of that condition, and because not everyone has a patio ready to go, the City of Guelph wants to make it easier for people to dine outdoors and set up their ad hoc patios.
Starting Friday, Guelph businesses can apply for temporary patio expansions. All applications will need to follow the temporary patio guidelines, and businesses applying have all required proof of insurance, permits and licenses. The City will review each application in turn, but the business can go ahead and set-up the patio as they wait for confirmation.
“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,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie in a statement. “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.”
There are some limitations. All patio extensions have to be on private property, or on City-owned property, but they can not be set-up in on-street parking spaces. This might change in the future, but there are some kinks that have to be worked out.
“We’re providing as much patio space as we can this season, and we plan to have even more options in the future,” said DCAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services Kealy Dedman. “We’d like to be able to use on-street parking spaces, but we need more time to address Guelph’s existing legislative requirements.”
To apply for a temporary patio permit, click here.
Along with new patios, the City and the Downtown Guelph Business Association are setting aside four on-street parking spaces in the core dedicated to curbside pick-up, three on Wyndham Street, and one on Douglas Street. Signage will indicated where these spaces can be found, and people can park there for up to 20 minutes while they pick-up their goods.
“Curbside pickup is an increasingly important way for Downtown Guelph businesses to meet the needs of their customers,” said Marty Williams, Executive Director, Downtown Guelph Business Association. “With the reopening of some offices and stores, there will be more and more demand for on-street parking. Making sure that some of these spots can be set aside for pickup and for delivery drivers makes sense. It’s a great way to shop local, and to support small businesses in Downtown Guelph.”