Summer in the 6ix is a time of drinks, beaches, and enjoying the outdoors. However, this year things will look a little different at your favourite food joint. Multiple venues are now setting up street patios in Toronto, and they are quickly becoming the new norm.

As the 6ix continues to practice social distancing bylaws, the City has announced a new initiative that is turning Toronto into a giant patio this summer. 

Large outdoor seating areas have begun to open in Toronto as the City moves to implement the CaféTO program.

The initiative is designed to help struggling restaurants and bars take advantage of the warm weather by expanding existing frontage areas onto sidewalks, streets and parking lots. 

“The CaféTO program aims to provide more outdoor dining areas to help some restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons on patios during the summer months,” a statement from the City of Toronto reads.

“The City is working closely with Business Improvements Areas and restaurant and bar operators to help them understand enforcement, safety accessibility requirements, and how to maintain physical distancing, within the space, to keep customers and employees safe,” it adds.

Photos of residents enjoying expanded patios began appearing on Twitter on July 2.

City councillor Josh Matlow shared his experience at a Forest Hill restaurant, which had moved its tables onto the curb for customers to enjoy. 

While some restaurants are taking to the streets, others are finding more outdoor space in parking lots. 

Popular food joints such as Del-Mar and Wolfies Deli have gotten creative by placing tables and chairs in the parking spaces.

So next time you go to grab a bite to eat at your favourite location, eating curbside may be your new norm. 

Despite the new rules to keep customers and staff safe at restaurants during COVID-19, some Toronto locations have run into problems. 

Ruby Soho, a popular bar on King Street, was forced to ban outdoor lines after it was slammed with customers.

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