Opening day is just around the corner — opening day for the sidewalk patio season in Kingston, that is.
In fact, some establishments have already gotten a head start on things with dividers going up and tables and chairs ready to be used.
As of April 1, businesses can open an outdoor patio if they’re licenced. At least one city councillor feels the season should be extended. Jim Neill believes patios should be open earlier in the year and closed later.
“With climate change, it means some Marches will be wintery like this year and some will be more sunshine and summer,” the councillor said. “We should give those restaurants an opportunity to extend their season, extend it into November if they choose or extend it into March if they choose — it just makes perfect sense as a tourist city.”
As of now, at least in Kingston, patios open on April 1 and close on Oct. 31.
Alexa Cleary is the general manager at Megalos, a Princess Street restaurant. They’ve yet to get their patio ready but it’s coming and when it does, according to Cleary, it’ll give the business a boost.
“We really hadn’t had exposure, it was something that we didn’t really decide to do, but when they widened the sidewalks, we took advantage of it. It really changed our summer season for us and anything that brings business to Kingston, we’re looking to support.”
All involved are hoping for a better outdoor season — last year’s “wet” unpredictable weather kept people away — this year, Environment Canada is calling for a dry warmer spring.