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Barrie city council approves Patios Everywhere program for restaurants amid coronavirus pandemic

The Patios Everywhere program is intended to support local restaurants by providing flexibility to restaurant owners while ensuring safety standards. .
The Patios Everywhere program is intended to support local restaurants by providing flexibility to restaurant owners while ensuring safety standards. . Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Barrie city council approved the Patios Everywhere program, which will allow local restaurants to offer outdoor dining experiences while maintaining physical distancing, once the province of Ontario allows dine-in options to reopen as it continues to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Patios Everywhere program is aimed at addressing patios outside the downtown Business Improvement Area.

It’s also intended to support local restaurants by providing flexibility to restaurant owners while ensuring safety standards.

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“This program will support our efforts for local economic recovery,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said in a statement.

“The additional patio space across the city will provide options to create public spaces and to safely adapt during the pandemic.”

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Barrie officials say food trucks could be an option for restaurants to operate safely during the pandemic.

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“City staff are currently exploring a dedicated location for these trucks, potentially using city parking lots, as part of the Patios Everywhere program,” officials say.

Design concepts will be reviewed by the City of Barrie to ensure universal accessibility, public safety and that the patio will “positively impact” the existing streetscape.