City of Toronto crews expect to complete the installation of traffic safety equipment for CaféTO curb lane cafés by Sunday, June 18. As of today, traffic safety equipment, such as concrete barriers and ‘candlesticks,’ has been installed for approximately 90 per cent of all CaféTO curb lane café applicants that meet new program requirements. A small number of outstanding installations will be scheduled when nearby construction work or application appeals have concluded.
After three years of operating as a temporary initiative to assist restaurant operators impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, CaféTO is now a permanent City program. New and updated CaféTO program requirements approved by City Council in February, including the charging of fees, aim to ensure the continued benefits and sustainability of the program for restaurants while balancing a range of needs for residents and other businesses and different uses of City streets.
As part of this transition to a permanent program, City staff were required to conduct detailed reviews of curb lane café applications for the 2023 CaféTO season with input from a number of City divisions and agencies, including Toronto Fire Services, TTC and Metrolinx.
The detailed application reviews performed this year will enable quicker permit renewals in future years, as returning CaféTO applicants can submit previously approved designs and plans for unchanged permit areas.
Following City Council’s direction, traffic safety equipment installation for the curb lane cafés began on Monday, May 15. This schedule provided adequate time for City crews to complete spring road maintenance and cleaning activities.
For the 2023 CaféTO season, traffic safety equipment was installed from the west-end to the east-end of the city and will be removed in roughly the same order as it was installed to maximize each operator’s access to their permitted curb lane café space. The direction of installations is expected to be switched in 2024, with installations starting in the east-end and then moving west.
In addition, to curb lane cafés, the City continues to receive sidewalk café permit applications, with approximately 500 sidewalk permits provided to businesses across the city. Expanded outdoor dining opportunities on private property also continue this year with Temporary Use Zoning Bylaws permitting larger outdoor patios and allowing outdoor patios in parking lots.
More details about CaféTO curb lane cafés, sidewalk cafés and patios on private property are available online.
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