Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Toronto City Council Drops The Ball On Patios

There was a particular article in Saturday's Globe and Mail that caught my eye that had me shaking my head in disbelief, well until I woke up and remembered it's Toronto City Council we're talking about.

During Council's last session before the upcoming elections, a harmonized zoning by-law was passed that essentially shuts out new pub/bar owners from having a back patio. What? Did I read that right? City Council voted to ban outdoor patios at the back of an establishment...

This isn't really a new issue. For those of you in Toronto you may remember the fiasco that The Monks Table went through to get a back patio only to be denied due to a number of circumstances. It mostly came down to noise and what the neighbour's wanted. The clientele who frequent The Monks Table are hardly a raucous crowd and the owners of the Yonge and Summerhill establishment were willing to shut it down by 11pm all nights of the week. Still no go.

The Ceili Cottage has one of the best patios in the city (in my opinion) and it's always busy, but at 11pm everyone must vacate their tables for a spot inside the snug local. Reason - noise. Too many homes in the vicinity of the local led to the assumption that the patio would be too disruptive after 11pm. But at least they can have a patio out front. My point, there are already restrictions in place that don't make sense, now they've taken it to the extreme.

But now if you want to open a pub in the city of Toronto, and have a back patio, between Victoria Park and the Humber and south of Bloor and Danforth, you must now apply for an exemption to this new by-law. Too many rules and regulations that have cost thousands of tax dollars for studies, reports, etc.

It's sad, people in Toronto love their patios. It's a known fact. For two/three months a year Toronto patios  are packed when the weather is beautiful; city-wide. It's a great escape from the 400 square foot condo's and apartments that grace this city. Hopefully the next group of council members will take another look at this and throw it out the window.

I can see Montreal and Halifax laughing at us right now.

1 comment:

adam grant said...

Troy I could'nt agree more.

And whats worse in our circumstance, we had 500 letters of support for the patio with certian restrictions like you mentioned. All of these supporters live in the immediate area. Because a minority of older, entitled, squeaky wheels were resistant to any change in their neighborhood, we were denied.

Adam Grant
The Monks Table.

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