Guelph’s downtown dining district extended through November

Downtown Guelph's dining district will stay open until the end of November.
Downtown Guelph's dining district will stay open until the end of November. Matt Carty / Global Guelph

Guelph city council has voted to extend its downtown dining district to November after it was initially scheduled to close on Monday.

It means the on-street patios at Macdonell and Wyndham streets will remain open until Nov. 30, as vehicles remain off the street until that time.

Read more: 100 jobs could be lost as downtown Guelph’s dining district closes

The dining district opened in July as a way for 17 restaurants in the downtown core to open up and serve diners outside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Restaurants were hit hard by shutdowns at the beginning of this pandemic,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said. “The dining district and other extended patios have not only helped these businesses stay open but have provided jobs for people in Guelph.”

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The mayor added that it’s also a place where people can gather safely while following public health guidelines.

The dining district was supposed to close on Labour Day before being extended to Monday. Staff at city hall had rejected calls for a further extension.

Guthrie stepped in days before the scheduled closure and called an emergency city council meeting in an effort to save the dining district and keep it open until Jan. 1.

Click to play video 'Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi encourages winter patios' Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi encourages winter patios
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi encourages winter patios

Guthrie’s recommendation was amended and the lifespan of the patios appears to have been shorten by a month with the roads now scheduled to reopen on Dec. 1.

Read more: Patio heaters won’t cut it. What will it take for restaurants to survive winter?

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His effort’s to establish some sort of Christmas market were also rejected by councillors.

During Monday’s meeting council also directed staff to create a committee to develop long-term plans for supporting outdoor dining efforts.