Patios to become permanent parts of restaurants and bars in Mississauga

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Published September 7, 2023 at 2:40 pm

(Photo: City of Mississauga)

Restaurant and bar patios that were allowed to temporarily open in Mississauga’s waterfront communities and elsewhere in the city to help owners deal with the financial pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed to stay open permanently starting in the new year.

Pointing to a “vibrancy and energy” the outdoor spaces have brought to the city since 2020 when the temporary seasonal patio program began, City of Mississauga officials said in a news release on Thursday that a new bylaw to allow restaurant and bar owners to  keep or set up patios on a permanent basis will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

An existing temporary city-wide permit expires on Dec. 31 of this year.

“In 2020, city council gave the green light for a temporary seasonal patio program to help support businesses and bring life to our streets during the challenging times of the pandemic. Since then, these spaces have helped bring vibrancy and energy to our city,” Mississauga officials said in the news release. “With the temporary program set to expire, City staff are working on bylaw updates to ensure outdoor seasonal patios continue to be an option for the restaurants that want to offer them.”

In the coming weeks and months, City officials want to hear from restaurant/bar owners, business groups and residents as they craft a new bylaw.

Specifically, they’re seeking input on:

  • suggestions for improving the patio experience in your community
  • improvements to outdoor patio regulations
  • streamlining the patio application process
  • insights on the new Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario protocol for extending patio liquor licences

Feedback opportunities include an online survey running until Oct. 6, an online information session starting Sept. 26 and an industry information session taking place Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Mississauga councillors have discussed the patio program on numerous occasions the past several years, with all in support of eventually making the patios a permanent fixture across the city for owners who wanted to do so.

Council extended the temporary patio program several times, the latest decision allowing the patios to stick around until Dec. 31, 2023.

Councillors said earlier that not only have the patios been a financial godsend to establishment owners, but they’ve been widely welcomed by the public, too.

There have been complaints here and there about the patios taking away from parking and adding to traffic woes, especially on Lakeshore Road, but for the most part they’ve been well received, councillors have noted.

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