Last updated: July 9, 2020 at 10:42 a.m

Registration form for restaurants and bars that would like to install or expand a sidewalk or curb lane café.

What’s New: The City of Toronto has received a new Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) from the Province of Ontario that will help ease zoning restrictions on outdoor patios while allowing for expanded patios on private property, including parking areas. Learn about what’s permitted within the MZO under the Patios on Private Property tab.


The CaféTO program aims to provide more outdoor dining areas to help some restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons on patios during the summer months.

A new CaféTO Placement Guidebook has been created to better understand program requirements and other details necessary for the safe and accessible installation of a temporary sidewalk café or curb lane café.

The City is working closely with Business Improvements Areas and restaurant and bar operators to help them understand enforcement, safety accessibility requirements, and how to maintain physical distancing, within the space, to keep customers and employees safe.

If you have any questions about this registration form or the CaféTO program, please email us at cafeTO@toronto.ca. To receive updates and information on CaféTO, sign-up for the BusinessTO newsletter.

Read the staff report on CaféTO which was approved by City Council on June 29, 2020.

Map of CaféTO Installations 

Options available for restaurants and bar operators:

  1. Expand existing frontage café in front of your business frontage on the sidewalk
  2. Expand existing frontage café in front of an adjacent property on the sidewalk
  3. Install a new frontage café on the sidewalk
  4. Install a café in the curb lane

Diagram of a street showing four different cafe configurations. 1. Expanding existing frontage café in front of your business frontage on the sidewalk 2. Expanding existing frontage café in front of an adjacent property on the sidewalk 3. Installing a new frontage café on the sidewalk 4. Installing a café in the curb lane

 

Small Sidewalk Frontage Café

If you would like to install a Small Frontage Café (single line of seating directly in front of your business) registration in CaféTO is not required. Please refer to the new CaféTO Placement Guidebook for installation requirements.

CaféTO Registration Form

For restaurants and bars that would like to install or expand a sidewalk or curb lane café, please make sure to have the following pieces of information available before you launch the form:

  • A City of Toronto Eating Establishment Licence Number (starts with B71)
  • A Completed Certificate of Insurance*
  • A City of Toronto Café Permit Number (for existing cafés – starts with R57)
  • A Letter of Permission from the adjacent tenant and/or property owner (if you would like to expand your cafés in front of an adjacent property)

Please note: 

*As the city is the owner of the property to which the new or expanded café is located, this insurance is for liability only, a risk you have already been assessed and insured for by your broker/insurance company.

Requests for curb lane closures may only be approved, where feasible, following careful review and consideration by the City.

Every effort will be made to investigate the potential for a curb lane closure, but they are not guaranteed. Curb lane closures are not possible within the following areas:

  • Commercial or Accessible loading areas
  • Transit stop and taxi cab zones
  • Certain bike lane locations

Proximity to an intersection will also limit the ability to close a curb lane to ensure traffic safety and emergency vehicle access. Curb lane closures are not possible within:

Signalized Intersection:

View Diagram

  • 30.5 metres of an approaching signalized intersection measured from the closest curb edge of an intersection.
  • 9.0 metres beyond a signalized intersection measured from the closest curb edge of an intersection.

Un-signalized Intersection:

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  • 15.0 metres of an approaching un-signalized intersection measured from the closest curb edge of an intersection.
  • 9.0 metres beyond an un-signalized intersection measured from the closest curb edge of an intersection.

Pedestrian Crossover (PXO):

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  • 15.0 metres of a PXO located prior to an intersection.
  • 9.0 metres of PXO located beyond the approaching intersection.

Driveway/Laneway and Fire Hydrant:

View Diagram

  • 1.0 metre of a driveway or laneway.
  • 1.2 metres of a fire hydrant or directly adjacent to buildings with pumper or fire department (Siamese) connections unless clearly visible and directly and easily accessible from the street.

Read and familiarize yourself with the Ministerial Zoning Order for Toronto before installing or expanding a patio on private property.

The City of Toronto has received a new Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) from the Province of Ontario that will help ease zoning restrictions on outdoor patios while allowing for expanded patios on private property, including parking areas.

The MZO clearly describes area limits, restricts patios from being above the first storey of a building, and requires a patio to not be in or within 30 metres of a Residential Zone. The Order will expire on November 16 to coincide with the end of the CaféTO program. Indoor dining remains prohibited in Toronto under stage two of the provincial recovery plan.

Physical extensions of liquor sales for an outdoor patio on private property are permitted under the applicable zoning bylaw, and no further action is required by business operators. However, the City may withdraw this permission if a business fails to comply with the applicable zoning bylaws or other applicable City by-laws, policies or orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Restaurant and bar operators who wish to expand their patio on private property should also contact their landlord(s) for permission. Restaurant and bar owners in a business improvement area may wish to contact their BIA for design support.

In order to ensure safe operation of outdoor patios on private property, while recognizing that the CafeTO program is for 2020 only, operators may not:

  • Build or expand permanent structures like decks, walls, stairs, etc.
  • Install new fueled fire appliances, i.e. propane heaters, BBQs
  • Amplify sound of any type
  • Construct or install awnings or tent-like structures
  • Block access to fire connections or adjacent businesses

Private patio operators are solely responsible for ensuring their patio meets accessibility (AODA) requirements, complies with the Noise Bylaw and meets any other regulatory requirements. Conditions imposed by the City (e.g. hours of operation) will apply to any expanded patio area.