Newmarket's patio season is just around the corner
Beginning today, bars and restaurants in Newmarket can apply for the Town's 2021 temporary patio program, which will once again allow for new and expanded patios on both Town lands and private property. With demand for patios at an all-time high from both local businesses and residents, patio lovers won't have to wait long, outdoor patios in Newmarket are permitted to open beginning April 9.
"We are very happy to once again be working with our local business community to get the 2021 patio program off the ground, bigger, better and earlier than ever," says Mayor John Taylor. "It was important for us to get this program up and running as soon as possible to support our local restaurants as they continue to face very challenging times. The health and safety of patrons and our community as a whole continues to be our primary driving force. I look forward to visiting many of these patios and strongly encourage our community to continue to Choose Newmarket and support our homegrown businesses."
In January, the Town surveyed local residents and the business community to seek feedback on the 2020 patio program and help to shape the 2021 program. The Town received over 500 responses with overwhelming support for continuing with an expanded patio program in Newmarket.
Here is a snapshot of what we heard:
- 97 per cent of people support a 2021 patio program
- 98 per cent of those in favour of the patio program support an expanded patio program
- On a scale to 1-100, the average enjoyment level of the patio program in 2020 was 91
- On the same scale, the average score was 90, when asked if this was a safe way to support local businesses
- The majority of businesses who responded to the survey indicated that COVID-19 had a negative financial impact and the patio program had positive financial impacts on their business.
COVID-19 public health guidelines and restrictions will once again have a significant impact on the restaurant industry for 2021. Expanded outdoor dining space will be critical to the success of local restaurants and to the continued effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 by creating a safer environment, compliant with all health and safety regulations.
The Town will continue to work with individual restaurants to finalize patio plans, while being as flexible as possible. In 2021, the Town will continue to cover some associated costs for expanded patios on Town lands and waive licensing fees for outdoor serving areas. The speed limit on Main St. will be reduced to 30 km/h from Park Ave. to Water St. for the duration of the patio season.
Local businesses can apply for their patio license at newmarket.ca/patios.
The application deadline for the 2021 patio season is March 19. The 2021 patio program will run until November 1, 2021.
The Town's 2020 Temporary Patio Program ran from July to November and was a great success. The program provided new or expanded patio space on Town lands for 14 restaurants in the Downtown BIA area. This innovative approach expanded patios onto Town lands including sidewalks, street-side parking spots, laneways, parking lots, and urban park space. In addition, the Town approved 24 permits for new or expanded temporary patios for private property throughout Newmarket.