Curb lane cafés provide expanded temporary outdoor dining space for use by licensed food and drink establishments. Curb lane cafés are outdoor dining areas located on the street, generally in a parking lane directly adjacent to a curb.
Individuals, partnerships or corporations with a valid municipal business licence where food and drinks are served can apply for a R58 curb lane café permit.
Prior to submitting an application, please review the Curb Lane Café Guidebook which includes details on the bylaw requirements for curb lane cafés. Please note, all measurements included in your application must be in metric.
Please submit a complete application as applications will not be fully processed unless all required documents are provided. You will receive an email with a Reference Number after successfully submitting your Curb Lane Café application.
All applications must include:
Before applying, please ensure your Municipal Business Licence is valid and in good standing.
If your restaurant or bar is located within a Business Improvement Area (BIA), please speak to your BIA representative to find out if your BIA is participating in the CaféTO Curb Lane Pilot Program before submitting your application.
Applications must be submitted online. You cannot apply for this permit in-person.
Before submitting your application, please read the application requirements and have all required documents ready to upload before starting the application, as it requires 10 to 15 minutes to complete and cannot be saved.
Once submitted, you will receive an email with a reference number. You may upload additional documents onto the Permit Portal using your reference number and upload token provided by the City.
Join us at one of our online information sessions to learn more about the basic requirements of curb lane cafés and help prepare for your application submission.
In 2023, a one-time (non-refundable), flat rate application fee of $285.00 will be charged when the original application is made. This fee is not charged when a permit is renewed. Application fees will increase in 2024 and 2025.
In 2023, a one-time (non-refundable) transfer fee of $338.13 is charged each time a permit is transferred. For a permit transfer to be approved, it must meet the requirements set out in the Chapter 742. For more information and to initiate the permit transfer, please contact CafeTO@toronto.ca.
Seasonal permit fees for curb lane cafes are based on a café’s size (measured in square metres). A seasonal permit fee must be paid each year. In 2023, the seasonal permit fee for a curb lane café is $43.70 per square metre (m²).
CafeTO curb lane café permit fees will be phased in over three years, beginning in 2023, with fees this season (2023) set at 33 per cent of the rate that will be charged in 2025.
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Processing time includes an administrative review and a full traffic and safety assessment. Staff will keep you informed on your application’s status and notify you of missing documentation or required revisions. If there is incorrect or insufficient information in your submitted documents, this may extend the processing timeline.
Once you complete your application, you will receive an email with a Reference Number. City staff will review your submission to ensure the requirements of Chapter 742 have been met. City staff will also check for outstanding fees or fines, and review your past compliance with other applicable bylaws (e.g. City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 591 (Noise)) and legislation (e.g. Health Protection and Promotion Act and Liquor Licence Act).
If your application is acceptable, City staff will contact you for the following:
You must pay your Application Fee and submit required insurance documentation within seven business days of receiving the Application Fee invoice. Non-payment and/or incomplete insurance documentation submission will result in a cancelled application. No further notice will be provided if your application is cancelled due to non-payment and/or partial insurance document submission.
An application will be refused if:
Once your curb lane space has been allocated and your traffic plan is complete, CaféTO staff will contact you with a request to submit your temporary accessible platform package. If your permit area contains infrastructure or utility conflicts, CaféTO staff will provide guidance on design solutions.
You must successfully pay your Seasonal Permit Fee and submit a signed curb lane café agreement within seven business days of receiving the Seasonal Permit Fee invoice to avoid any delays in your application processing and installation timelines.
Successful applicants will receive a copy of the signed agreement and a permanent curb lane café permit.
City staff will send you a Traffic Plan which outlines the exact location and approved length and width of your curb lane café permit space. This information will guide the development of required documentation for your Temporary Accessible Platform Package.
Your Temporary Accessible Platform Package will be uploaded through the Permit Portal using your reference number and a new upload token provided by the City. Your submission will require:
All temporary platforms must be approved by the City before installation. All drawings must be stamped/signed by a licensed professional such as an engineer, architect, or Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) licensed designer.
Refer to the Curb Lane Café Guidebook for more details.
Your Temporary Accessible Platform Package can be submitted once your Traffic Plan has been received. It must be successfully uploaded to the Permit Portal by July 1, 2023.
City staff will communicate the date they close the curb lane by installing safety and traffic equipment for your café permit space. While it is recommended that restaurants install temporary platforms at the start of the CaféTO season, platform designs must be submitted by July 1, 2023 and installed by August 1, 2023.
This transition period will allow operators to use their permitted curb lane space for several weeks by deploying a temporary ramp from the sidewalk, prior to platform installation. Refer to the Curb Lane Café Guidebook for more details.
Temporary platforms are only permitted to be installed during the café season and must be removed before your scheduled curb lane café removal date. You are responsible for the disassembly, removal and storage of your platform, at your own cost, in the event of planned or emergency capital or utility work, as directed by the General Manager of Transportation Services, or their delegate.
Additional resources are available through the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.
It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulations as well as adhere to any conditions on their liquor sales licence. Restaurant and bar operators wishing to apply for permanent changes to liquor licences will still need to apply for approvals through the AGCO.
In 2022, the provincial government amended Regulation 746/21 to the Liquor Licence and Control Act to establish new options for approving temporary outdoor physical extensions, which took effect January 1, 2023. The new framework replaces the temporary AGCO policy that was in place between 2020 and 2022 and allows municipalities to approve temporary outdoor physical extensions if certain criteria are met. This new regulatory authority and its effect on liquor licensing for cafés is currently under review, with a report on how to proceed anticipated to be brought before City Council in March 2023.