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Cafés, patios and vending on the right-of-way

COVID-19 impact

Business Reopening Toolkit

The City of Ottawa is continuing to provide assistance to support the re-opening of local businesses. City Council has continued the waiving of fees for all patio and café permits for the 2021 summer ROW patio season.

City council has also extended the Temporary Zoning By-law Amendment for patios on private property to January 1, 2022. If you are interested in establishing a temporary private patio, please follow the steps below. If you already have established a temporary private patio through this program and wish to extend it up to January 1, 2022, you do not have to register again with the City.

 Download our updated Patio Fact Sheet [ PDF 48 KB ] with resources and information about the 2021 Summer Patio Program  

Café seating permit

The Café Seating program allows businesses to place limited outdoor seating on the road allowance. The number of tables permitted will be determined by an establishment’s frontage while ensuring the 2- metre clearway. Café seating can be extended in front of a neighbouring property with the appropriate permissions. The limit to café seating has been lifted and until January 1, 2022 alcohol can be served at the café seating as long as all requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are met.

A Café Seating Permit is an annual permit which is valid from April 1 to March 31.

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Right of way patio permit

The Right of way patio program allows businesses, such as bars, restaurants and cafés, to put outdoor seating on the right of way. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Right of way (ROW) patio by-law is required, after which permits may be issued.

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Patios on private property

The Patio program has been established to support local businesses during the unprecedented time. It has been set up to allow businesses, such as bars, restaurants and cafés, to establish temporary outdoor private patios. Council has recently extended the temporary private patio program to January 1, 2022. If you are interested in establishing a temporary private patio on private property up until January 1, 2022, please follow the steps below.

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Vending on the right of way

For 2021 only, the Vending on the right of way program allows businesses to expand on the road allowance to assist businesses with physical distancing requirements. A retail pop up is a small retail expansion onto the sidewalk immediately in front of the store. A retail patio is a larger expansion into an available on-street parking space in front of the storefront.

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Banners

The banner program allows for a temporary sign other than a poster sign and is a decorative banner or a street banner to be installed on City of Ottawa owned poles or utility poles with the approval from the respective owner of the pole in accordance with the Signs on City Roads By-law (2003-520).

Banner permits can be issued at any time and are valid for up to 1 year.

All banners must comply with the City of Ottawa Corporate Sponsorship and Advertising Policy:

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Customer Service Boxes

The customer service box program allows for publication distribution boxes or courier drop boxes to be placed in the ROW. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Encroachments on City Highways By-law (2003-446) is required, after which permits may be issued.

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