Ottawa residents are going to have even more space to celebrate the beginning of patio season. Some streets will now be closed to traffic so that ByWard Market restaurants can expand their outdoor areas. This means even more customers will be able to visit their favourite patios, while still maintaining a physical distance.

Mayor Jim Watson made the announcement via Twitter on June 24, confirming that the new initiative will be in place for the remainder of patio season.

"As of July 4th, Clarence St. in the ByWard Market will be closed from William to Dalhousie, enabling many restaurants to expand their patios well into the street," he wrote.

Watson added that some of the parking areas near the big Ottawa sign on York Street would be converted into patio space. The northern side of the street from Market Square to Sussex will also be closed to vehicles and traffic.

Watson explained that the move is ensure that local businesses could continue to operate, and allow for proper social distancing between their customers.

Mayor has previously made his passion for patio season clear, by expressing his excitement on Twitter when he was finally allowed to have lunch on a patio.

Both the ByWard and Parkdale Markets officially reopened on June 15. Both venues promised to put measures in place to maintain social distancing between customers and vendors.

While this latest patio update is good news for restaurant-goers in the nation's capital, the sad news is that the opportunity comes a little too late for some of the city's most beloved eateries.

Places like the Highlander Pub in ByWard Market, The Morning Owl Cafe, and the Fish Market Restaurant recently announced that they would be closing their doors permanently.

Although Ottawans will probably enjoy getting back to some of their favourite local patios, they are still being advised by public health officials to wear masks in more crowded areas, especially when physical distancing isn't possible.

Enjoy patio season, Ottawa. You deserve it!

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