Toronto expands plans for amplified music on patios in 2022

Click to play video: 'Disability advocates lament problems with CafeTO'
Disability advocates lament problems with CafeTO
WATCH ABOVE: Summer is here and patio season has returned. As CafeTO, an expansion of outdoor dining, comes back, disability advocates say many patios are not accessible. Ahmar Khan reports. – Jun 15, 2022

Cafes and bars will be able to spill out onto Toronto’s roads and sidewalks again for the third summer in row, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced Monday.

Tory made the announcement on a grey day at The Emmet Ray on College Street. He promised a summer where local restaurants, bars and cafes could finally begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor, accompanied by city staff and council members, confirmed that the CafeTO program, first introduced in 2020, would return in 2022.

“This will be the first year that restaurants and bars can use their extended outdoor dining space along with their indoor space at full capacity because never (before) did the twain meet,” Tory said on Monday.

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Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Toronto to enter Stage 2 of Phase 2 reopening on June 24, includes reopening of restaurant patios'
Coronavirus: Toronto to enter Stage 2 of Phase 2 reopening on June 24, includes reopening of restaurant patios

In a press release, the city said it had received more than 1,000 applications for cafes to extend onto sidewalks and into the curb lane. Toronto has waived all fees for 2022, as it has in previous years.

Toronto will also expand its program to allow amplified music on patios from a four-ward pilot to eight. The participating wards include Beaches-East York, Davenport and Parkdale-High Park.

“Soon the streets of Toronto will be filled with music and people getting out with friends and family for a good time,” deputy mayor Ana Bailão, said in a statement.

A temporary zoning bylaw will allow businesses to expand patios on private and public property. It will include the option for “larger outdoor patios than would normally be permitted” and parking lot patios.

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“Please shop local — please dine local,” Tory said. “A lot of people think the pandemic is over, it isn’t. But we’re emerging from the pandemic.”

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