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Right-of-way

Café seating permit

The Cafe Seating program allows businesses to place limited outdoor seating on the road allowance. A Café Seating Permit allows businesses to have a maximum of four tables with two chairs each against the wall of their building. At no time can alcohol be served at the cafe seating. 

A Café Seating Permit starts on April 15 in the year the permit is obtained and expires on April 14 of the following year.

Approximate cost

  • $162.20 annually
  • $58 annual processing fee

Approximate timeline

  • Approved upon application

Permit requirements

Issuance of a café seating permit is conditional upon the following requirements:

  • Allowing at all times the required minimum unencumbered sidewalk width of 1.8 metres
  • Not obstructing or interfering with public travel, any public service, or maintenance operations
  • Tables and chairs must at all times be against the wall of the building
  • Tables and chairs must be removed by 11 p.m. each night
  • Maximum 2 permits per location

Who to contact

Applications are available at the Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 Floor East, 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., 613-580-2424, ext. 16000 or call 3-1-1

Where to apply

Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000

Are you planning to open a restaurant, bakery, café, butcher shop or another type of food establishment? The City of Ottawa has resources to assist business owners who are starting to plan and operate a new food establishment, including the Business Ambassador Service and the online Food Premises Application tool available on My ServiceOttawa.

Over-dimensional vehicle permit

A permit is required in order to operate an over-dimensional vehicle on City Streets.  Over-dimensional vehicles are those that meet or exceed the following dimensions: 

  • Height: 13’-6’ (4.15m)
  • Width: 8’-6” (2.6m)
  • Length: 68’-9” (21m)
  • Weight: 140,000 lbs (63,500kg)

Approximate cost

  • Annual: $300.00
  • Project (up to 6 months): $226.00
  • Single Trip: $92.00
  • Single Trip - Super Load $726.00

Approximate timeline

  • 2  business days

Permit requirements

  • Application Form
  • Fee

Who to contact

Right of Way Permit Office, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000 or 3-1-1

Where to apply

Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, or electronically at ROW_Permit_Office@Ottawa.ca

Private approach permit

If you plan to create, widen or close your driveway, you need to apply for a Private Approach Permit.

Approximate cost

  • $152 Residential Private Approach
    • $89 Culvert Inspection
  • $152 Temporary Access
    • $89 Culvert Inspection
  • Commercial, Industrial or Multi-Residential
    • 1-49 parking spaces ($263)
    • 50-99 parking spaces ($526)
    • 100 or more parking spaces ($674)
  • Closure of a Redundant Approach ($152.00)

Approximate timeline

  • Approximately 1-2 weeks

Permit requirements

  • Application Form
  • Fee
  • Sketch, Drawing or Survey

Who to contact

Applications are available at the Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 Floor East, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000, 3-1-1 or visit any Client Service Centre

Where to apply

Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000 and all Client Service Centres.

Road cut permit

A permit is required before anyone can undertake a road cut, which is defined as: “a surface or subsurface cut in any part of a highway made by any means, including excavation, reconstruction, cutting, overlaying, crack sealing, braking, boring, jacking or tunnelling operations”.

Approximate cost

  • $426.00

Methods of payment

  • By Phone: Visa, Mastercard or American Express
  • In Person: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Debit, Cheque or Cash (cash must be in exact amount)

Approximate timeline

  • 2 - 4 business days if with a Traffic Management Plan form (exception to this turn-around time may occur in high seasons - can take up to 8 business days).

Permit requirements

  • Application Form
  • Fee
  • Proof of insurance
  • Municipal Approval
  • Bond

Who to contact

Right of Way Permit Office, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000 or 3-1-1

Where to apply

Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, or electronically at ROW_Permit_Office@Ottawa.ca. Pick up only at Client Service Centres.

Streetside spots

Streetside spots are small outdoor spaces created by temporarily re-purposing on-street parking from April 1 – Oct 31. Streetside spots contribute to a vibrant and liveable community while sharing the right of way space with pedestrians of all abilities, cyclists and drivers.

Streetside spots can take one of three forms:

  • Streetside parklet – a public space that may contain such elements as seating, shading, bike parking, or games table.
  • Streetside patio – a private space reserved for patrons of a café, restaurant, or bar that does not have an existing patio.
  • Streetside vending stall – an outdoor business space for the sale of merchandise.

For 2016, the Pilot year, each location had to meet the following criteria:

  • On a street with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less.
  • At a location where parking is allowed at all times. The lane cannot be a moving traffic lane at any time of the day.
  • At a location that does not have a ground floor outdoor patio and does not have the opportunity for one.

The applicant is responsible for all costs including, but not limited to, application submission, permits, insurance, licences, construction, installation, maintenance, and removal. See the Submission requirements and Standards . For more information or comments, send a message to ROW_Permit_Office@Ottawa.ca.

2016 Update

Applications were received last winter and reviewed by City staff and a selection committee in March 2016. This year's spots include four parklets – public spaces that contain everything from seating and greenery to games tables and music:

  • The Water Garden at 49 Beechwood – A meeting point, a community gathering space or simply a shelter from the elements, The Water Garden features a canopy designed to channel rainwater to pots of plants, herbs and flowers. The Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area submitted this design from Carleton University's Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism.
  • Percy Station at 605 Somerset Street West – Percy Station offers rotating programming that includes a coffee house, micro shows, live music, poetry readings and theatre sessions. The design features a seating area that can be configured in a variety of ways. Strip lighting will help animate the structure's form and illuminate it at night for safety.
  • The Nük on the north side of Second Avenue, east of Bank Street – Nük features a seating area and games table, creating a space for people to stay connected through community events. The design features a built-in table and an L-shaped bench that faces Bank Street. It incorporates vegetation and soft ambient lighting. The Glebe Community Association submitted this design from Carleton University's Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism.
  • A parklet on the south side of Third Avenue, west of Bank Street – The intent was to design a space that includes both the parking space and the triangular void that currently exists between the parking space and the "bulb out" at the intersection of Bank Street allowing a slight extension of seating, and importantly, additional space for plantings/greenery that adds to the attractiveness of the space and the street itself. The design was based on input from the Glebe Parks Committee members, and drawn up by a designer who is a resident in the community.

Applications were also approved for seven patios – private spaces reserved for patrons of cafés or restaurants that do not have an existing patio:

  • The WORKS at 326 Richmond Road
  • The Ministry of Coffee at 1013 Wellington Street West
  • Corner Bar and Grill at 344 Richmond Road
  • Blue Cactus Bar and Grill at 2 Byward Street
  • The Cupcake Lounge at 6 Byward Street
  • Asian Alley at 8 Byward Street
  • Zak's Diner at 14-16 Byward Street

The City will gather public feedback as part of the evaluation of this pilot project. A report will be made to Transportation Committee in 2017.

For more information or comments, send a message to ROW_Permit_Office@Ottawa.ca

Temporary construction-related encroachment permit

Temporary Construction-related Encroachment Permits are issued to clients undertaking a private property project requiring the use of City road allowance in order to store materials and/or stage part of their work. 

Approximate cost

  • Processing fee: $58.00
  • Rental on boulevard: $ 0.63/m2/day
  • Rental on sidewalk/roadway: $ 1.48/m2/day
  • Minimum rental charge: $ 29.10 daily

Approximate timeline

  • One complete working day

Permit requirements

  • Application Form
  • Fee

Who to contact

Right of Way Permit Office, 613-580-2424, ext. 16000 or call 3-1-1

Where to apply

Right of Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, or electronically at ROW_Permit_Office@Ottawa.ca

Temporary outdoor patio encroachment

The Outdoor Patio program allows businesses, such as bars, restaurants and cafés, to put outdoor seating on the road allowance. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Encroachment By-law is required, after which an annual permit may be issued.

The annual permit for a patio starts on the first day the encroachment is used in the current year and expires on April 14 of the following year, with a fee that is calculated for the number of days from the permit start date to September 30.

Approximate cost

Approval process

  • $317.20 First Time Review Fee (An additional $530.00 will be applied to the First Time Review fee if public circulation is required)

Annual permit

  • $1.18/square metre/day
  • $58 Annual Processing Fee

Approximate timeline

  • 4-8 weeks (varies depending on approval requirements)

Permit requirements

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • A description of the proposed encroachment and all of the materials to be used in the construction and operation of the encroachment, including all appurtenances such as canopies, umbrellas, tables, chairs, wrought-iron railings and half walls
  • A plan showing the location and dimensions of the encroachment, the premises to which the encroachment will be appurtenant and the location of all relevant lot lines and existing surface features

Who to contact

Right-of-Way Permit Office at 613-580-2424 ext. 16000 or 3-1-1

Where to apply

Applications may be submitted at the Right-of-Way Permit Office, 100 Constellation Drive, 6th Floor East and all Client Service Centres..

Are you planning to open a restaurant, bakery, café, butcher shop or another type of food establishment? The City of Ottawa has resources to assist business owners who are starting to plan and operate a new food establishment, including the Business Ambassador Service and the online Food Premises Application tool available on My ServiceOttawa.