Guelph temporary seasonal patio program

Supporting local business during COVID-19

Guelph’s temporary seasonal patio program allowed businesses throughout the city to expand outdoor seating and dining areas during 2020 to meet COVID-19 guidelines from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is making it easier to apply for a:

  • Temporary patio expansion on private property
  • Temporary patio on City-owned property
  • Temporary patio expansion on City-owned property that has an existing encroachment agreement in place

Before you apply

Business owners are responsible for getting all relevant licences, permits and permissions from the City of Guelph, Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the property owner or landlord. When the City receives a complete application, your business can set up a temporary outdoor patio immediately.

Read Guelph’s temporary patio guidelines

UPDATE July 27, 2020: temporary patios are NOW permitted in on-street parking spaces

In June, as soon as the province announced that restaurants would be permitted to serve people outdoors, we developed a process for business owners to use for additional patio space on sidewalks and privately-owned parking areas. Because of existing Provincial regulations, patios were not permitted in public parking spots next to streets open to traffic.

When the City approved the Downtown Guelph Business Association application to close parts of Macdonell and Wyndham Streets for a dining district, business could set up patios immediately, because the roads were closed. 

On streets where people are still driving and parking, we required (and we now have) a Provincial order, new Bylaw, and traffic safety guidelines for barriers and setbacks to separate patios from traffic and parking.

How to apply

Please submit your application with a proposed patio layout based on the program guidelines, a certificate of liability insurance, and a copy of your existing liquor licence.

Once the application is completed online, you can proceed with establishing the patio while we review your application. As the business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the patio conforms with the requirements set out in the design guidelines. We will enforce these requirements.

We will evaluate each application as quickly as possible, be as flexible as we can in each situation, and work to improve the process based on feedback from applicants and community stakeholders including the Downtown Guelph Business Association. If you have any questions, please contact us

Apply for a temporary seasonal patio permit

Apply to create a Dining District

For more information

Christine Chapman
Manager, Economic Development
[email protected]
519-822-1260 extension 2823