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Patio season just around the corner in Burlington: Here’s the word from City Hall


Patio season just around the corner in Burlington: Here’s the word from City Hall

With weather like it has been this week, thoughts turn to the possibility of outdoor dining at a patio.  With that in mind,  Burlington City Council has approved an earlier start date of April 15, 2021 for the temporary patio program. Council also approved expediting the approval process for 2020 temporary patio permit holders to allow their permits to be renewed this year based on their 2020 patio approvals. Application fees for the 2021 temporary patio program are being waived to help businesses recover during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reducing red tape

Council previously approved a streamlined zoning processes for patio tents at a virtual meeting of Burlington City Council on Feb. 3, 2021. These changes included:

•             removing the zoning requirement for a temporary tent to be three metres from a building or property line,

•             zoning restrictions on tents larger than 60 m2 and

•             waiving the requirement for a site plan approval and zoning clearance certificate

Financial assistance

Burlington City Council has also approved an additional $5,000 to the existing grant tent permit program to reimburse the costs of related fees for an estimated total amount of $10,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund. This grant will cover the City building permit fees for outdoor tent structures when an alternative solution and/or building permit is required, until Oct. 31, 2021.

Applications for the 2021 temporary patio program are being accepted until Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Business owners/operators that would like to install a temporary patio during the 2021 patio season are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will still be accepted after this deadline but may take longer to approve.

City staff are committed to reviewing temporary patio program applications and working collaboratively with applicants to help local restaurants and businesses understand how they can safely operate an outdoor patio during the 2021 patio season.

How to apply

For more information, visit or  contact the City’s Special Business Area Coordinator: 905-335-7600, ext. 7445.

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