Brampton looks to extend COVID-19 patio program beyond the pandemic

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Published April 3, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

Residents may soon have more options for enjoying a beverage on a Brampton patio as the City looks to greenlight changes to its liquor licencing bylaw.

Brampton City Council will consider changes to the bylaws on Wednesday that could see an extension of the Patio Brampton Program, which was brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for temporary outdoor extensions of liquor-licensed establishments.

The program made it easier for Brampton bars and restaurants to expand their patios to allow for physical distancing during the pandemic. Now the City is looking at expanding the program so businesses can apply for temporary outdoor patio extensions.

Proposed changes to the City bylaws would apply only to “outdoor extensions of licensed areas for establishments with a valid liquor licence.”

“This applies only to outdoor extensions of licensed areas for establishments with a valid liquor licence,” reads the report going to City Council on Wednesday. “An extension of time to serve and consume alcohol for an already-licensed establishment remains with the AGCO for approval.”

The Province made changes to how outdoor extensions of liquor-licensed premises are approved earlier this year, giving municipalities the go-ahead to make approvals.

If given the green light by Council, City staff will develop an outdoor extension program “that will include aspects of the former COVID-related Brampton Patio Program” and would apply to all temporary outdoor patio requests with or without a liquor licence.

The City is also looking at giving a “Significance Designation” to the Northern Heat Rib Series coming to town in June so the event can apply to the Province for a Liquor Sales Special Occasion Permit.

Under current rules, event organizers who are not a charity or non-profit can only get a Special Occasion Permit from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGGO) if the event is designated “to be of provincial or material significance by the AGCO or municipal significance by City Council.”

The City has rules in place to allow Council to designate an event as significant to the City, and the City Clerk’s office can also designate an event as significant if no City Council meeting is scheduled for more than two weeks from the date a request is received.

The reports will both go to City Council for approval on Wednesday.

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