Vancouver City Council decides summer patio program is here to stay

The program for both private and public properties will run from April 1 to Oct. 31 each year

The patio program helped Vancouver bars and restaurants welcome customers while maintaining physical distancing at the height of COVID-19 pandemic | Photo: City of Vancouver

The increased number of outdoor patios at Vancouver bars and restaurants, one of the few good things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, is here to stay.

In June 2020, the City of Vancouver launched the Temporary Expedited Patio program (TEPP), which this summer issued nearly 700 permits to Vancouver restaurants. The program was a roaring success, with one Vancouver-based study finding patio dining was much preferred over the indoor alternative. With the program’s success in mind, the City approved the program to run again in 2022 and thereafter.

“We're building on that success with a new annual summer patio program and ensuring residents and visitors can look forward to this new summer tradition for years to come,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart at a recent council meeting.

The new program will be for both private and public property and will run from April 1 to October 31 annually. It will allow for increased occupancy for restaurants during the summer and continued use of curbside patios on city streets. Breweries and distilleries will also be eligible to apply.

Applications for patio spaces will be completed on a case-by-case basis but, a word of warning, the City may no longer be able to support some of the existing temporary patios. Some restaurants without public washrooms may be restricted from summer patios given their capacity or patios on some arterial streets may not be viable as traffic volumes resume, a release explains. 

Requirements and layout drawings will be available on the City of Vancouver’s website in the coming weeks as will application materials and guides. It is expected that application reviews by the City will be completed within weeks.

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