Today, Mayor John Tory officially kicked off the City of Toronto’s 2022 CaféTO program with the opening of the first patio and the announcement on the expansion of the City’s Amplified Live Music on Patios program.
Mayor Tory was joined by Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair, Planning and Housing Committee; Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair, Economic and Community Development Committee; Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York), and members of the local business community at The Emmet Ray on College Street.
The CaféTO program began in 2020 to help bar and restaurant operators during the pandemic by providing safe, outdoor dining areas in the public right-of-way. Again this year, the City has received applications for more than 1,000 curb lane cafés and sidewalk cafés. Crews have begun installing traffic safety equipment to close curb lanes, to install more than 800 curb lane cafés throughout May for restaurants that successfully registered for the CaféTO program by the April 2 deadline. Additional curb lane café installations are anticipated throughout the summer for applications that can be accommodated and were received after the deadline. In addition, the City continues to receive more sidewalk café permit applications each day.
City Council has waived all application, transfer and permit fees for the CaféTO program again this year.
The City’s Amplified Live Music on Patios program has been expanded from four City wards to eight. Through the program, Torontonians can enjoy outdoor live music from May through November 2022. The pilot program allows amplified live music on CaféTO patios, to add energy and vitality to participating main streets and help local artists, who have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The participating wards include Beaches-East York, Davenport, Parkdale-High Park, Scarborough Centre, Spadina-Fort York, Toronto Centre, Toronto-Danforth and University-Rosedale. More information about Amplified Live Music on Patios is available on the City’s Amplified Live Music on Patios webpage.
New this year, the City’s CaféTO Property Improvement Program offers business operators matching funding of 50 per cent for the cost of eligible improvements (excluding furnishings) to café space on private property or City property where a valid permit has been issued.
Expenses eligible for funding include platforms or decking, fencing, technical drawings, patio and decorative fence lighting and accessibility improvements that meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) design standards. The maximum grant available is $5,000, based on a minimum of $10,000 in improvements. Further funding of up to $2,500, for $5,000 in accessibility upgrades, is available, for a total maximum program grant of $7,500. More information is available on the CaféTO Property Improvement Program webpage.
CaféTO also supports restaurant and bar operators to expand outdoor dining opportunities on private property. The City has enacted Temporary Use Zoning Bylaws to permit larger outdoor patios than would otherwise be permitted and to allow outdoor patios in parking lots.
Details about CaféTO, including guidebooks and how to register, are available at www.toronto.ca/cafeto.
B-roll of CaféTO 2022 curb lane café installations is available here: www.toronto.ca/ext/digital_comm/videos/cafeto/cafeto-setup-college-street-2022.mp4.
“I am thrilled to welcome back what will be an exciting patio season in Toronto. Over the past two years, the hospitality and entertainment industries were hit hard by the pandemic, but programs introduced by the City like CaféTO have helped provided much needed support to the industry. The CaféTO and the Amplified Live Music on Patios programs are just two of the many ways we are adding vibrancy back to our city while also encouraging residents to dine and support local restaurants and bars and musicians.”
– Mayor John Tory
“I am thrilled that patio season has arrived. Soon the streets of Toronto will be filled with music and people getting out with friends and family for a good time. I encourage everyone to get out and shop, eat and play local.”
– Deputy Mayor Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“Patio season is always eagerly awaited after a long, cold winter, creating an enormous demand for the expanded outdoor dining space available to restaurants through CaféTO. People truly enjoy getting outdoors with friends and family, while supporting local businesses.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Our Main Streets will soon be filled with the joys of live music. As we head out to enjoy patio season once again, I am thrilled that Toronto’s Amplified Live Music on Patios program is back – bigger and better – for the warmer months ahead. Since building the program as a Pilot last year, we’ve continued to see the important addition it makes to the CaféTO program, supporting Toronto’s local artists and the music industry at a time when it’s needed most.”
– Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York)
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 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 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 .