Calling all patio lovers! As the weather begins to warm up, and summertime is on the horizon, many locals are already dreaming about boozy afternoons on one of Ottawa’s patios. Luckily for lovers of al fresco dining, patio season could be coming sooner than we think. In fact, the City is considering making it bigger than ever!

According to CTV News, the City of Ottawa is considering offering permits for new and extended patios at Ottawa’s bars and restaurants, in order to help local businesses begin to reopen.

As part of the city’s economic recovery plan, officials are considering ways local restaurants and bars can reopen ASAP, without compromising the health of Ottawans.

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Steve Kanellakos, Ottawa’s City Manager explained, “Right now, we’re just exploring a number of ideas to help businesses in any way we can.”

He continued, “We’re thinking about where we can, allowing patios to expand what their normal allowances are so people can physically distance outside and restaurants can take advantage of more clientele, rather than trying to get them all inside.”

While no official plans or dates have been confirmed yet, the City hopes to have a plan in place for economic recovery by the end of the month.

According to Kanellakos, this is just one of a number of suggestions the City has come up with to help businesses reopen, if physical distancing restrictions don’t ease-off into the summer.

Although it’s unlikely that we’ll be boozing on a patio before the end of the month, an al fresco experience could be closer than we initially thought!

After a similar announcement was made in Toronto yesterday, Mayor John Tory has promised that additional news about expanding city patios will be coming “fairly soon.”

Both John Tory and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson are starting to consider their respective city’s reopening plans, as the province has been showing increasingly positive signs.

Under the province’s emergency measures, bars and restaurants remain open only for takeout and delivery.

While some of Ottawa's local businesses have been trying to stay open under these terms, several have already been forced to close their doors for good.

Speaking about reopening patios as early as possible, John Tory described the move as a “lifeline” for struggling Canadian businesses.

“Especially in light of the fact that they will probably be required to have tables further apart inside and outside,” he added.

Last week, Ottawa announced that parks and green spaces would be reopening to the public, although there are still restrictions in place.

For now, it's just a waiting game. Fingers crossed, Ottawa!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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