Outdoor Patio Extensions to Allow Physical Distancing

Outdoor Patio Extensions to Allow Physical Distancing

The City of Kingston is implementing a plan that will create more public space for pedestrians and businesses in the downtown core. Residents and businesses can expect to see a series of road and lane closures come into effect during the week of June 22 to create the Love Kingston Marketplace, a hub for new, creative experiences aimed at rejuvenating the downtown over the next several months.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced on June 8, 2020 that the Ontario government will allow restaurants and bars to temporarily extend outdoor patio spaces to safely accommodate patrons and staff once licensed establishments are permitted to fully reopen for business. This action will help support hospitality sector workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

AGCO Patio Extension Criteria for Liquor Sales Licensees

The changes are in effect until January 1, 2021 at 3:00 am and apply to existing liquor sales licensees only. Licensees must meet the following criteria:  

  1. The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies; 
  2. The municipality in which the premises is situated has indicated it does not object to an extension; 
  3. The licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises; 
  4. There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio; and, 
  5. The capacity of any new patio, or extended patio space where the licensee has an existing licensed patio, does not exceed 1.11 square metres per person.

To minimize administrative burden for licensees, those who meet the above criteria are not required to apply to the AGCO or pay a fee to temporarily extend their patio or add a temporary new licensed patio. Licensees are not required to submit any documentation to the AGCO to demonstrate compliance with the above criteria. However, licensees are required to produce such documentation, if requested by the AGCO.

Licensees that do not meet the above criteria are required to follow the usual application process for a temporary extension of premises and apply through iAGCO 

Creation of a Patio

Provided that businesses have municipal approval and meet all other requirements, temporary new licensed patios are also permitted under this temporary measure. Licensees who wish to maintain the patio extension beyond January 1, 2021 must apply through iAGCO and must meet all applicable requirements and pay the required fees. 

Patio Capacity

The maximum capacity for all existing patios continues to apply for the existing patio space.  

The licensee may accommodate patrons over and above their capacity as long as the capacity of any extended patio space allows for a minimum of 1.11 square metres per person. All physical distancing requirements, as well as any other requirements imposed by any level of government, continue to apply regardless of maximum capacity, and will likely mean that patios will operate at well below maximum capacity. 

Municipal Approval to Extend a Patio

The parking lay-bys located within the closed roads and areas within the downtown core will be made available to businesses to expand their operations outdoors. This may include, but is not limited to, the placement of retail fixtures, patio furniture, and space for customer line-ups. 

On May 21, the City announced that it was introducing a streamlined patio application process to make it easier and faster for businesses that operate patios to obtain a patio permit this year. City staff are working hard to support businesses facing challenges related to COVID-19 and are in communication with the AGCO on recent provincial changes to licensing requirements. This new process is effective immediately and applies to all businesses across the city.

When requesting patio or outdoor space for queuing or displays, please include the following information:

  • Proposed location(s) shown on a sketch
  • Whether the patio will be licensed or not
  • Whether a patio on private property is intended to be temporary or permanent – please note additional approvals may be required for permanent proposals
  • Detailed use of the outdoor space or patio, including locations of tables or displays and dimensions

For all inquiries and requests for patios, please email patios@cityofkingston.ca.

If you have already been in contact with City staff about requests (including if you’re a downtown business that has completed the survey circulated by the BIA), there is no need to re-apply/email this account.