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

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Patio Innovation Program 2022

The 2022 Patio Innovation Program is underway

Executive Summary

Full report

As businesses continue to navigate the pandemic and economic uncertainty, Right of Way, Heritage and Urban Design (ROWHUD) is bringing forward its recommendations for the 2022 Patio Innovation Program. The recommendations are similar to the 2021 program with the goal of supporting economic recovery. The recommendations include amending the Right of Way Patio By-law No. 2017-92 (ROW Patio By-law) to allow a consistent 2 AM closing time for all Right of Way (ROW) patios; allowing unlimited café seating permits to support additional seating along a business frontage; apply the café seating provisions of the Right of Way Patio By-law to retailers to support pop up vending in the Right of Way and ROWHUD funding a summer student position in By-law and Regulatory Services (BLRS) for proactive enforcement of the patio program. Similar to the past two seasons, the 2022 Patio Innovation program is also recommending that delegated authority be granted to the Manager, Right of Way, Heritage and Urban Design in consultation with the Director of Traffic Services together with the Director of Roads and Parking Services for seasonal road closures.

In order to ensure the continued success of the Patio Innovation program, staff will continue to engage in proactive enforcement of ROW patios using a variety of measures. These measures include a BLRS summer student position funded by ROWHUD, the development of a Good Neighbour guidance document as well as using the stepped enforcement strategy that was developed in 2021.

At the end of the 2022 patio summer season, staff will review and report on potential permanent amendments to relevant by-laws based on the changes to the patio program with the inception of the Patio Innovation program in 2020. These potential amendments would be made in advance of the 2023 Summer Patio Season.

COVID-19 impact

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 2022 summer ROW patio season.

City council has moved to make the Temporary Zoning By-law Amendment for patios on private property permanent. If you are interested in establishing a private property patio, please follow the steps below.

Patios on private property

Regulations for patios on private property are governed under the Zoning By-law. For more information, consult Section 85 of the Zoning By-law or contact a Development Information Officer (DIO) by calling 3-1-1 or by emailing