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Burlington OK’s Temporary Outdoor Patios and Tents

Burlington OK’s Temporary Outdoor Patios and Tents

Monday, Burlington Council approved the extension and amendments of the temporary patio bylaws to Oct. 31, 2021. Council also approved amendments to make sure winterized temporary covered patios or tents on private property are safe to protect both restaurant customers and staff. Bylaw, fire, snow clearance and zoning requirements need to be met to protect public health and safety in the event of heavy snowfall, ice or the need to evacuate a tent or building.

The City of Burlington is also offering a grant program to reimburse the costs of Building permit fees in the estimated total amount of $5000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund for outdoor patios and tent structures when a building permit is required, with an expiry date of Oct. 31, 2021. This will save applicants the $280 application fee for a zoning permit for such tents.

Restaurants that have existing outdoor patio agreements with the City of Burlington and would like to operate a patio throughout the winter must inform the City of Burlington by Nov. 8, 2020.

Through a Winter Patio Task Force, a restaurant that expresses interest in operating their patio throughout the winter season on public land will be evaluated to ensure health and safety measures are upheld, including provincial regulations such as the Ontario Building Code, Ontario Fire Code, maintenance obligations under the Municipal Act, 2001 and minimum maintenance standards on public right of ways, public health regulations and relevant local bylaws. The overall safety of the public on the City’s rights of way, such as sidewalks, will also be considered.

The City’s Zoning Bylaw would be amended to remove the current time limitations of temporary structures and tents up to 60 m2 to instead permit temporary structures until Oct. 31, 2021. While temporary structures of this size will be subject to the guidelines contained within the temporary use bylaw, this amendment will provide increased flexibility to restaurants.

City staff are committed to reviewing applications and granting approvals and agreements as fast as possible to help local restaurants and businesses understand how they can safely operate an outdoor patio during the winter season.

Updated guidelines for temporary patios and tents can be found on the City’s website at . Contact the City’s Special Business Area Coordinator: or 905-335-7600, ext. 7445 for more information.

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