News Release
April 30, 2024

Today, Mayor Olivia Chow outlined the City of Toronto’s plans to launch the Curb Lane CaféTO 2024 season sooner than ever before and deliver on the City’s commitment to open 90 per cent of curb lane patios by the Victoria Day long weekend.

This year, more than 1000 patios will be opened as part of CaféTO, now in its second year as a permanent City-led program that serves to boost Toronto’s vibrant main streets and renowned dining scene. More than 500 sidewalk cafés remain in place all year round and more than 650 patios on private property, while more than 290 curb lane patio spaces will stay open until October 15.

The 2024 program includes 81 new additions and 215 returning restaurant operators who benefit from an enhanced CaféTO experience that includes a more user-friendly and streamlined process for application or renewal of curb lane permits, as well as increased City staff support to accelerate permit application and platform review.

Installation of traffic safety equipment started this weekend in Toronto’s east end and will continue across the rest of the city until Saturday, June 1. Crews will ensure minimum disruption to the local community. As a key improvement for 2024, the “look and feel” of curb lane cafés will feature painted concrete barriers that combine aesthetic appeal with established safety standards.

Transforming Toronto’s Outdoor Dining Experience

Launched in 2020 as a response to COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions, the now permanent curb lane CaféTO program has helped to transform Toronto’s main streets, revitalize neighbourhoods, support hundreds of local restaurants and create thousands of jobs, offering a strong business case to continue as an annual fixture in the city’s hospitality calendar.

The program is supported by in-depth engagement with Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and restaurant operators across Toronto. The City’s two-year CaféTO Curb Lane Pilot Program launched in 2023, allowing BIAs to customize their curb lane cafés, with this year’s outcomes to inform the roll out of further enhancements next season. Notably, the number of participating BIAs has increased from 25 in 2023 to 31 this year.

The City continues to offer the popular CaféTO Property Improvement Program, which provides funding for operators to enhance their patios. This program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Applications are being accepted until June 17. New for this year, the City has launched the CaféTO Dining District Grant, which provides funding to non-profit organizations and BIAs to amplify neighbourhood-level outdoor dining activities, particularly in areas with a low concentration of curb lane cafés. Applications are open until May 10.

In addition to CaféTO, Toronto’s diverse and vibrant restaurants and bars also benefit from programs such as the property tax reduction for small businesses, tax reduction for live music venues, Winterlicious and Summerlicious programs, and the Night Economy work that is underway.

More information on the curb lane CaféTO program including permit guidelines and how to access grants is available on the City’s website.


“Last December, we committed to enhancing CaféTO. The program boosts local businesses and makes our neighbourhoods vibrant, dynamic and fun places to be. Today, I am pleased to say we are back on track and ready to deliver. I wish all the new and returning CaféTO participants a very successful patio season.”

– Mayor Olivia Chow

“Improvements to the CaféTO program have made it more seamless for the many local restaurants, bars and cafés that rely on these patios as a critical source of revenue. Thank you to Mayor Chow, City staff, BIAs and most importantly, participating establishments, for driving improvements to this signature program that helps keeps our main streets vibrant and supports our local businesses.”

– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth), Member of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“We are thrilled to help launch the City’s CaféTO program this year! We extend our thanks to the City CaféTO team and our local operators for their collaborative efforts, ensuring an efficient rollout for a vibrant 2024 patio season.”

– Jennifer Lay, Executive Director, Riverside BIA

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

About FedDev Ontario

For 14 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Relations