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COVID-19: City of Kitchener looks to assist local restaurants with outdoor patio options

The front entrance of Kitchener City Hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Last week, the province moved Ontario into a modified version of Step Two of the province’s reopening roadmap, in a move which once again shut down indoor dining.

The City of Kitchener says that the move has local restaurants looking into outdoor dining options and it says it is looking to assist local establishments with that.

Read more: Some gyms say they’ll open with exemption under Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions

“Our local restaurant owners continue to show their resiliency in the face of this pandemic,” Mayor Berry Vrbanovic stated.

“We know how hard these restrictions have been on restaurant operators and we’re doing everything we can to enable them to pivot — some with outdoor winter dining as an option.”

The city says those that are interested should visit its website for more information on what options remain available as well as the necessary licensing and approvals required to operate a patio.

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Kitchener notes that in 2020, it was one of the first cities to expedite the approval process for patios, with some being granted in less than a day.

Read more: A list of the new COVID-19 measures that will take effect on Wednesday in Ontario

It says it is looking to quickly approve patios this winter as well.

“Over 100 Kitchener restaurants took advantage of the patio expansion program last season,” said Darren Becks, Kitchener’s manager of downtown development and innovation.

“We’re here to help and are doing everything we can to continue to provide quick approvals to ensure businesses can operate their patios.”

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