City proposes three-year seasonal patio program

Full road closures only recommended for special events

Guelph, Ont., February 18, 2021–City staff is presenting a report to Council with its recommendations for a three-year (2021–2023) seasonal patio program to continue supporting local businesses as they recover from the pandemic and beyond. Council will discuss the report at the March 1 Committee of the Whole meeting.

The proposed program would allow businesses to apply to set up seasonal patios on private property, public sidewalks and in on-street public parking spaces. Road closures could be organized for special events.

“The temporary patio program was put in place to help businesses during the significant challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Christine Chapman, manager of Economic Development. “Last year’s seasonal program proved to be a good way to support businesses, and we’re now looking longer-term to a program that will not just help businesses survive but also thrive and grow in our community.”

The Council report details staff’s recommendations for a three-year seasonal patio program based on the 2020 temporary program,  launched as part of the City’s economic recovery response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community feedback used to improve program

The City collected feedback on the 2020 temporary patio program from over 2,400 businesses, residents and visitors between November 2020 and January 2021. Feedback confirmed the economic benefits some businesses experienced, like the ability to generate revenue and maintain and create jobs during the pandemic. Residents cited the opportunity to get out of the house and safely socialize with others as key benefits.

The City used business and wider community feedback to develop its recommendations for the proposed seasonal patio program, building on what worked well in 2020 and identifying and addressing aspects that could be improved.

Other program recommendations include:

  • Restricting special event road closures to the Wyndham Street and Macdonell Street intersection
  • Improved enforcement and inspections to address health and safety concerns
  • Better information about and promotion of parking options
  • A clearer and more streamlined application process

Tune in or delegate

Tune into the Committee of the Whole livestream on March 1 by visiting or the City’s Facebook page.

To speak during the Committee of the Whole meeting please register as a delegation. If you can’t make the meeting you can send us your written comments by emailing the City Clerk’s office. Delegation requests must be in by 10 a.m. on the Friday prior (February 26) to the meeting in accordance with the City’s Procedural By-law.

Media Contact

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