Coronavirus: City of Guelph allows temporary patios as restaurants reopen

Ontario enters Stage 2 of reopening economy amid coronavirus pandemic
WATCH: The Ontario government is taking a regional approach to Stage 2 of Phase 2 which begins Friday at 12:01 a.m.

The City of Guelph says it will allow businesses to set up temporary outdoor patios as it moves into the next stage of the province’s reopening plan.

Businesses that have been mostly shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic can submit an application on the city’s website starting Friday and can immediately set up a temporary patio, or expand an existing one.

Stage 2 under Phase 2 of the reopening plan allows restaurants, bars, wineries, coffee shops to allow dining in outdoor areas only, with appropriate safety measures.

READ MORE: Guelph’s Stone Road Mall reopening Friday

“I know we’ve been looking forward to patio season,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “This decision will help ensure Guelph residents can visit their favourite local restaurants and shops in a safe and responsible way.”

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Businesses can extend their patios for the remainder of the summer, but they are not yet allowed in city parking lots or on-street parking spaces. The city said they must address existing legislation requirements before they can allow those areas to be filled in by a patio.

Deputy CAO Keely Dedman said the city wants to use on-street parking spaces, but they just need more time.

READ MORE: Face coverings will be mandatory at all Guelph, Wellington County businesses

“We’re providing as much patio space as we can this season, and we plan to have even more options in the future,” she said.

Beertown Guelph, located in the Stone Road Mall parking lot, says it plans to use the nearby sidewalk to add about eight more tables.

Jody Palubiski is the CEO of its parent company, the Charcoal Group, and says adding more tables means more jobs.

“For every eight tables I can get in, I can bring seven more people back to work,” he said in an interview this week. “That’s seven more families that have someone back to work.”

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Beertown was forced to close its doors just 10 days after opening in March due to the pandemic. Palubiski said they were working on completing the patio before reopening on Friday.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Guelph’s Beertown reopening after shutting down 10 days into operation

More information about expanding or setting up a patio can be found on the city’s website.

Customers should keep in mind that under an order from Guelph’s public health unit, they do not have to wear a face covering while on a patio, but must wear one if they go inside to pay or use the washroom. Social distancing practices must also be maintained wherever possible.