CaféTO Program Will Help Toronto Restaurants, Allow Expanded Patio Space

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TORONTO — Yesterday Mayor John Tory announced that the city is working with province and Toronto Public Health on a timeline under which bars and restaurants can re-open safely.

According to the City of Toronto’s website, once approved, the CaféTO program aims to provide more outdoor dining areas to help restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons on patios during the summer months.

The city will identify space in the public right-of-way and look at ways to expedite the current application and permitting process for sidewalk cafés and parklets.

Local restaurant/bar owners that are registered for the program will receive a set of city guidelines for the installation of a temporary sidewalk café or curb-lane café.

Tory said the city plans to work with business owners to understand enforcement, accessibility and cleaning requirements, as well as how to maintain physical distancing, within the space to keep customers and employees safe.

Tory said the city is consulting with restaurant and merchants’ associations on this important “rescue operation” to get patios open as soon as permitted.

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