Will temporary restaurant and bar patios become permanent in Mississauga?


Published May 12, 2023 at 1:31 pm

Mississauga officials are expected to soon pick up discussion once again over whether the many temporary restaurant/bar patios in waterfront communities and elsewhere in the city will be allowed to stay open permanently.

Patio season unofficially kicks off in just over a week with the Victoria Day long weekend and numerous establishments across Mississauga will continue to dust off the outdoor tables for customers to enjoy.

The City of Mississauga’s Temporary Patio Program was introduced in 2020, allowing restaurants and bars to set up temporary patios to help them deal with the ongoing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City council subsequently extended the program several times, the latest decision allowing the patios to stick around until Dec. 31, 2023.

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 Rd., but for the most part, they’ve been well received.

And many City councillors have publicly stated their support for the patios and their desire to see them become permanent fixtures on the Mississauga restaurant and bar scene.

Beyond the patios helping to keep many businesses afloat, several councillors have also pointed out that they contribute to an added vibrancy in neighbourhoods across Mississauga.

Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko, whose lakefront ward is home to many such establishments, told colleagues and staff earlier this year that he wants city patios to attract not only Mississauga residents, but those from other places across the GTA and beyond.

Once the warm weather arrives, the councillor said at the time, the dozens of restaurant and bar patios along the lakefront and in other areas of the city will be a great place for people to spend time and money.

Dasko said earlier that Port Credit establishments have told him the additional seating is a huge benefit to them.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish has echoed those sentiments during several earlier discussions around the council table, noting the patios have brought many compliments from people who describe the atmosphere in the city as “really exciting.”

The additional outdoor seating, which in many cases is set up right by the street, has created more of a buzz, she said.

City staff has said previously that it is looking to make the patios permanent, saying it’s “considering options for the long-term regulation of patios and/or outdoor recreational/entertainment establishments.”

The matter is expected to come before council in the coming weeks or months.

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