Staff have recommended allowing the two remaining patios on Queen Street to stay where they are, ready to open in the spring.
Other patios, such as the Firehall Flame, at King and Queen, which is on the boulevard, and others on private property, are also permitted to remain, council decided Monday.
With the municipal patio permits expired at the beginning of 2021, staff sent reminder letters to the business owners with patios actually on the street that their patios must be removed, out of concern for the difficulties they would present for snow removal.
Business owners and the NOTL Chamber of Commerce President Eduardo Lafforgue, were expecting to make presentations Monday, asking that the patios be permitted to remain in place, but staff had already decided by late Monday afternoon to recommend they be allowed to stay.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has extended its permit to sell alcohol outdoors to January 2022, to support businesses as they recover from COVID. Lafforgue told The Local he wouldn’t be surprised if that was made permanent, and some local business owners would also be happy to see that for their patios.
Residents and visitors enjoyed the opportunity to have a drink or a meal outside this summer, he says, and many business owners see it as a positive step for NOTL.
With only the two left on the road, staff say they are less concerned about snow plowing, but business owners will have to agree to waive any town responsibility should their patios be damaged by snow-clearing equipment, and also that the town’s heritage committee will have to be consulted by April, before the patios reopen for business.