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City of Hamilton accelerates Outdoor Dining District program

HAMILTON, ON – To provide some relief to local restaurants, cafes and bars in advance of Hamilton shifting to Grey-Lockdown category of the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework, the City of Hamilton accelerated the start of the Outdoor Dining District program effective immediately.

As of Friday’s announcement, the City had approved 81 patios with an effective date of April 1. Late Friday, the City re-issued all approvals to allow an immediate effective date. Hamilton’s popular Outdoor Dining District Program allows eligible local businesses to add or expand seasonal patios and outdoor seating areas on municipal or private property (if current zoning is compliant). The program will run until October 31, 2021 aligning with all guidelines and restrictions under the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework.

While indoor dining will be prohibited when Hamilton shifts to Grey – Lockdown category on Monday, outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery is permitted, including alcohol. Capacity for outdoor dining is based on ability to allow for 2m of physical distancing from others within the outdoor dining space.

As part of the City of Hamilton’s ongoing commitment to supporting economic recovery due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, Hamilton City Council unanimously approved the creation of the Outdoor Dining Districts program. The City has waived all applicable City fees for restaurants, cafes and bars establishing an outdoor patio.

In 2020 the Outdoor Dining Program helped 174 restaurants, cafes and bars (163 patios approved) in Hamilton add patio space or expand existing patios on municipal and private property to ensure physical distancing and accommodate more patrons.  The City is working on an ongoing basis to receive and process applications from eligible businesses.

Learn more about City of Hamilton’s Outdoor Dining District program.

“With the province moving Hamilton into the Grey-Lockdown zone indoor dining is now prohibited, causing another major financial impact to our local restaurants. That’s why I am pleased Planning and Economic Development staff and the EOC quickly approved a solution that further supports restaurants in the face of this provincial decision. Hamilton is known for its restaurant scene and we recognize that everyday counts for businesses trying to survive during the pandemic so accelerating the approvals for the Outdoor Dining District program is an immediate way we can help.”

 - Mayor Fred Eisenberger


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