Because patio season is forever


No. 10: Because patio season is forever

If we can’t have nice weather, at least we can hold on to the summery vibes

Photograph by Daniel Neuhaus

Toronto’s restaurants scored a much-needed win in June with CaféTO, a program that relaxed patio restrictions to encourage eating and drinking al fresco just about anywhere it could be done safely—sidewalks, curb lanes, parking lots, back alleys and private property. The 760 restaurants that added space—some 9,000 square metres of it across the city—ran the gamut from five stars (Alo) to a beach bar in a parking lot on Gerrard East (Gerrard East Market). The initiative was meant as a band-aid for the industry, but it became much more: our streets and public spaces filled up with signs of life and socially distanced optimism (along with a side of tender brisket and icy blender drinks). When the program was extended through November—or until the first major snowfall—with propane heaters allowed, the news was universally praised. If we can’t have nice weather, at least we can hold on to the summery vibes.

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