Those summer drinks in the sun might be getting closer. Speaking to reporters on Monday, June 15, Mayor John Tory said he hopes a new selection of bar and restaurant patios in Toronto will be open on or soon after Canada Day. Tory was updating on the CafeTO program announced last week.

Speaking at Toronto staff's first daily briefing of the week on Monday, Tory acknowledged that the 6ix remains in stage one of the reopening process for now.

The mayor noted that restaurants and bars in the city are currently not allowed to open for dining room service again, but that they will be "soon."

He specified that he hopes a bunch of patios will be able to open in the city by July 1.

"Our expectation is that once approved by council, the first locations can be installed by the first week of July. The policy specifically provides that patios could be open as early as July 1," Tory said.

He added later in the briefing: "I think you're going to find this program, from its conception to the opening of the patios, will be done as quickly as anything in the history of city government.

"I hope we can be in a position where more than one patio is licensed and open on Canada Day."

Tory noted these patios would currently not be allowed to open under provincial orders, but that the City is keen to provide bars and restaurants with as much opportunity to recover as possible.

As a result, he noted that some bylaws will be temporarily paused to allow for the rapid installation of expanded patio space.

The push to install extended outdoor space for bars and restaurants is part of Toronto's CafeTO program, announced last week.

However, Tory noted it needs to be approved at council before it can officially go ahead.

The mayor said he's confident the report will be green-lit and will allow him to usher in "what I believe will be the largest expansion of patio space in this city's history."

He added staff are working ahead of time to reduce delays if and when the proposal is officially approved.

Earlier on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced more regions of the province can now enter stage two of the reopening process.

That includes GTA regions like Durham, York, and Halton, but does not include the City of Toronto.

 

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