News Release
May 16, 2024

Today, Mayor Olivia Chow kicked off the City of Toronto’s CaféTO curb lane café season at Pho Tien Thanh restaurant on the Ossington strip. Mayor Chow was joined by Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik (Spadina-Fort York), Councillor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth), Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre), John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and representatives from the local Business Improvement Area (BIA).

The City has surpassed its commitment to install patio ready set-ups by Victoria Day weekend, with 95 per cent of participating restaurant operators equipped to open their curb lane cafés for customers to enjoy this long weekend and support local businesses. More than 290 restaurant operators will participate this year, including 81 new operators and 211 returning operators. CaféTO curb lane patios can stay open until October 15.

New for 2024, the “look and feel” of curb lane cafés was improved with painted concrete barriers in line with safety standards.

This year, City staff delivered an enhanced CaféTO program that included a more user-friendly and streamlined process for applications or renewals of curb lane café permits as well as increased City staff support to accelerate permit applications and platform reviews.

CaféTO is one of several programs offered by the City to support Toronto’s diverse and vibrant restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars in Toronto also benefit from 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 CaféTO program is available on the City’s website.


“The CaféTO curb lane season is officially upon us – and it’s right on schedule! Throughout the year, CaféTO brings vibrancy to the city’s main streets, breathes new life into neighbourhoods, supports our restaurant industry and creates thousands of jobs. It is a program that delivers great returns when done right, and I’m excited to see how it transforms Toronto this year. I want to thank City staff that worked hard to get CaféTO back on track.”

– Mayor Olivia Chow

“CaféTO is a great way to enjoy Toronto’s diverse, world-class restaurants in our vibrant neighbourhoods that come to life in the summer. I’m looking forward to enjoying the great weather outdoors on a patio and encourage everyone to make the most of this year’s CaféTO season!”

– Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik (Spadina-Fort York), Member of the Economic & Community Development Committee

“Successfully installing 95 percent of CaféTO curb lane patios by the Victoria Day long weekend shows the improvements we made to CaféTO are working. It’s great news for residents, local restaurants and our main streets, which are made more vibrant by this signature program.”

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

“Supporting Toronto’s small businesses is a key priority for us at City Council. With initiatives like CaféTO, I’m proud to see that we’re delivering on this commitment to provide tangible support to our restaurant operators. A thriving restaurant scene stimulates local business activity, making our main streets more safe, vibrant, and lively—a win for all Torontonians!”

Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre), small business advocate on the Economic and Community Development Committee

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

– John Kiru, Executive Director of TABIA

“The experience for the BIA and individual operators was significantly improved from last year throughout the CaféTO administrative process, allowing for a longer and exciting patio season for the operators and businesses on the street. We appreciate all of the hard work and late nights from the various City divisions and partners required to make this happen.”

– Meg Marshall, Manager, Ossington 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.

Media Relations