Staff with the City of Dryden say they are open to allowing local businesses and restaurants to create or expand their patio spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario is only allowing restaurants and bars to serve customers by curbside pickup or takeout, or by outdoor patio services at this time. Restaurants may be able to further open once Ontario enters stage 3 of their reopening framework.

Premier Doug Ford says to help Ontario’s hospitality sector, the province offered an exemption under the emergency orders to reduce the process time to pass temporary-use bylaws to create or extend patio spaces, and many municipalities are taking advantage of the exemption.

Chief Administrative Officer with the city, Roger Nesbitt, says although the city hasn’t received any requests for additional patio spaces yet, if anyone wishes to apply or has any questions, they can contact Chief Building Official Pam Skillen at 807-223-1140 or pskillen@dryden.ca.

Municipalities would still be responsible for compliance activities and ensuring proper health and safety practices, like proper physical distancing and mask wearing in the patio area.

Ontario’s guidelines for restaurants to reopen include:

- Using reservations,
- Limiting the number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time,
- Ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement,
- Access to indoor facilities is limited to outdoor and patio dining areas, food pick up, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.

The City of Kenora approved their patio policy last month.

For more information:
Province adopts pro-patio policy
Restaurants able to reopen patios in Kenora