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Important: Unless you have notified the City, all temporary patios and retail extensions must be removed by Friday November 6, 2020. 

The City of Edmonton is committed to helping businesses. We are pleased to be able to offer a modified Temporary Patio Program during the winter months until March 31, 2021. If you plan on operating your patio this winter, please contact us to discuss your options as part of this temporary program at businessinfo@edmonton.ca.

Further information is found below.

Your Snow and Ice Obligation

In the event of snowfall or freezing rain prior to November 6, we require you to close your patio off to patrons to ensure safety until such time as the road has been cleared.

Please note: you are also expected to keep the area clear of snow and debris at all times (per the guidelines). 

Winter Patios

Winter Patio Options

Path A

You choose not to operate your patio in the winter. We request that you plan to take down your patio by November 6.

Path B

You choose to set out tables and chairs on nice weather days, and are able to maintain 2m of pedestrian space on the sidewalk. We will ask you to sign a second declaration, allowing you to extend your patio to March 31, 2021. Current guidelines will apply. 

Path C

You want to set up structures that are not included in the guidelines (such as, a large tent, or wind protection) or you are unable to maintain 2m of pedestrian space on the sidewalk. Please note, the City will not be permitting the redirection of pedestrians into the curb lane. If you choose this option, you will need to consider placing your patio into the curb lane, with traffic control materials.

Your proposed patio will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and should your plan not be feasible we will work with you to find alternative solutions. Also, you may be required to apply for permits or enter into a Licence of Occupation in order to operate in the winter. 

Winter Patio Restrictions

During the summer, we were able to set up temporary traffic measures which directed pedestrians onto the curb lane in front of the business. For this winter season, we will not be redirecting pedestrians into the curb lane because of the safety risk of going up and down the curb ramps. Redirecting pedestrians onto the roadway has accessibility concerns for people with reduced mobility and using mobility aids. Additionally, we need to ensure that sightlines are maintained for traffic safety, especially when a business is at an intersection.

When evaluating patio proposals, we take a number of factors into consideration, including:

  • The sightlines for traffic; as in, can a motorist reasonably see around the corner at an intersection
  • Maintaining a clear path of pedestrian travel of 2.0m
  • Ability to achieve a minimum 1.5m clearance from fire department connections and hydrants
  • Proposals for cooking or food preparation on temporary patios

Public Safety and Accessibility are Our Priorities

We know Edmonton business owners have creative ideas, and we want to work with them to find the path forward. With that said, we must also balance public safety. So we will look with them for alternative ways and locations to place a structure so that it aligns with safety and accessibility considerations.

We are committed to helping businesses as best we can while keeping in mind accessibility and safety.

Guidelines

COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Patio & Temporary Sidewalk Cafe Guidelines

General Requirements

  1. Temporary patios shall only be permitted for Bars and Neighbourhood Pubs; Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries; Restaurants; and Specialty Food Services Uses operating under an existing valid Development Permit.
  2. Temporary patios permitted under this guideline shall extend no later than December 31, 2020; however the City may terminate these permissions upon 24 hours notice.
  3. The business owner is responsible for obtaining all relevant permissions, including but not limited to the AGLC, AHS, and their landlord. The business owner must comply with all regulations and requirements from AGLC, AHS, and other relevant regulatory bodies.
  4. The business owner of a temporary patio shall mitigate any negative impacts on abutting or nearby residential development; including prioritizing the use of private land before utilizing public space.
  5. No outdoor audio-visual equipment (such as, speakers, sound systems, television, visual displays, or projectors) may be used on a temporary patio, unless a noise mitigation plan is submitted to the City. Audio-visual equipment may not be installed at a height exceeding 2.1m (7ft) above grade, measured to the top of the device, and shall not be attached to a building. Audio-visual equipment must be secured in such a manner that does not damage any public property and without endangering any underground utilities. Televisions, speakers, and video displays must be oriented facing away from vehicle traffic and shall not be arranged consecutively to create a wall or visual obstruction.
  6. The use of a temporary patio shall comply with the Community Standards Bylaw at all times.
  7. On-site parking may be used for temporary patio space, except the required number of designated Accessible Parking Stalls, which must remain available for parking use.
  8. Wheelchair access must be provided to, and throughout, the temporary patio. 
  9. Umbrellas must stand at least 2.1m (7ft) above the walking surface.
  10. Cooking or food and drink preparation is not permitted on temporary patios.
  11. A minimum 1.5m (5ft) clearance from fire department (siamese) connections and hydrants must be maintained on a temporary patio.
  12. A fire extinguisher (minimum 2A-10BC) must be available within 23m (75ft) of any part of the temporary patio.
  13. Temporary patios must not extend in front of adjacent tenant spaces, exits, or beyond business frontage without written permission from affected adjacent property owners and tenants; this includes any overhanging elements.
  14. Permanent fences and barriers, portable toilets, platforms, decks, or stages are not permitted. Optional temporary patio perimeter fencing, planters, or barriers approximately 1.2m (4ft) high are permitted, provided they are not damaging any public property, and are secured without endangering any underground utilities.
  15. When the perimeter is enclosed, a temporary patio with capacity for more than 60 people must have two separate exits. Only one exit is required where a temporary patio has a capacity of up to 60 people. Exit openings must be at least 0.9m (3ft) in clear width, and provided with exit signs where not clearly visible to patrons.
  16. Any exit gates must swing freely outward from the temporary patio during hours of operation.
  17. Where located in a temporary outdoor patio, fire-retardant treated canopies/tents may not exceed 10sqm (107sqft) in area and must be secured without endangering underground utilities, or attaching to, drilling or damaging public property. Registrants are limited to 1 tent or canopy per patio.
  18. CSA-certified electric or propane patio heaters (with max 20lb tank) are permitted where located at least 3m (10ft) away from City tree branches, operated per the manufacturer’s directions and not stored on the road right-of-way when not in use. Solid-, gel- or liquid-fuel fire features are not permitted.
  19. A clear path of pedestrian travel of 2.0m (6’-6”) minimum must be maintained. A clear path of 2.3m (7’-6”) is recommended.
  20. The side of the temporary patio adjacent to vehicle traffic shall maintain a minimum distance of 1.0m (3’-3”) from the edge of any adjacent travel lane. 

Additional Requirements for COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Patio & Temporary Sidewalk Cafe in Public Right of Way

  1. Temporary patios shall not be permitted:
    a. on two-lane roads, unless two way traffic can be maintained
    b. on streets with a speed limit over 50 km/h
    c. within 5.0m (16’-5”) of the corner of an intersection
    d. within 10.0m (32’-9”) of the corner of an intersection that has a stop/yield sign or a pedestrian crosswalk 
  2. Temporary patios in the curb lane are only permitted in locations where parking is allowed at all times of day. 
  3. Temporary patios should not encroach into existing loading zones, Accessible Parking Stalls, tow away zones, bus stops or bike lanes. Relocation or removal of the same may be possible and can be coordinated by contacting businessinfo@edmonton.ca.
  4. Temporary traffic controls are required where the temporary patio interferes with the movement of people, cyclists or vehicles. 
  5. Business owners may provide their own temporary traffic control as outlined in the City of Edmonton Procedures for On-Street Construction and Safety. Alternatively, you can request temporary traffic control services from the City of Edmonton at businessinfo@edmonton.ca
  6. Temporary curb ramps are required to provide a safe passage for pedestrians to cross between the road and the sidewalk. 
  7. The business owner is responsible for maintaining any structures and equipment in a safe and clean condition and in good repair. This maintenance must include keeping the area free of any potential dangers; including debris, snow and ice.
COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Retail Guidelines

General Requirements

  1. Temporary outdoor retail space shall only be permitted for Convenience Retail Stores; General Retail Stores; Market; Pawn Stores; and Secondhand Stores Uses operating under a valid Development Permit.
  2. Temporary outdoor retail space permitted under this guideline shall extend no later than December 31, 2020; however the City may terminate these permissions upon 24 hours notice.
  3. The business owner is responsible for obtaining all relevant permissions, including but not limited to the AHS and their landlord.  The business owner must comply with all regulations and requirements from AGLC, AHS, and other relevant regulatory bodies.
  4. The sale and on-site consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis is not permitted in a temporary outdoor retail space.
  5. The business owner of a temporary outdoor retail space shall mitigate any negative impacts on abutting or nearby residential development; including prioritizing the use of private land before utilizing public space.
  6. No outdoor speakers or sound systems may be used.
  7. Temporary outdoor retail spaces shall comply with the Community Standards Bylaw at all times.
  8. On-site parking may be used for temporary outdoor retail space, except the required number of designated Accessible Parking Stalls, which must remain available for parking use.
  9. Wheelchair access must be provided to and throughout the temporary outdoor retail space.
  10. Umbrellas must stand at least 2.1m (7ft) above the walking surface.
  11. Cooking or food and drink preparation is not permitted in a temporary outdoor retail space.
  12. A minimum 1.5m (5ft) clearance from fire department (siamese) connections and hydrants must be maintained in a temporary outdoor retail space.
  13. A fire extinguisher (minimum 2A-10BC) must be available within 23m (75ft) of any part of the temporary outdoor retail space.
  14. Temporary outdoor retail spaces must not extend in front of adjacent tenant spaces, exits, or beyond business frontage without written permission from affected adjacent property owners and tenants; this includes any overhanging elements.
  15. Permanent fences and barriers, portable toilets, platforms, decks, or stages are not permitted. Optional temporary outdoor retail space perimeter fencing, planters, or barriers approximately 1.2m (4ft) high are permitted, provided they are not damaging any public property, and are secured without endangering any underground utilities.
  16. When the perimeter is enclosed, a temporary outdoor retail space with capacity for more than 60 people must have two separate exits. Only one exit is required where a temporary outdoor retail space has a capacity of up to 60 people. Exit openings must be at least 0.9m (3ft) in clear width, and provided with exit signs where not clearly visible to patrons.    
  17. Any exit gates must swing freely outward from the temporary outdoor retail space during hours of operation.
  18. Where located in temporary outdoor retail space, fire-retardant treated canopies/tents may not exceed 10sqm (107sqft) in area and must be secured without endangering underground utilities, or attaching to, drilling or damaging public property.
  19. A clear path of pedestrian travel of 2.0m (6’-6”) minimum must be maintained. A clear path of 2.3m (7’-6”) is recommended.
  20. The side of the temporary outdoor retail space adjacent to vehicle traffic shall maintain a minimum distance of 1.0m (3’-3”) from the edge of any adjacent travel lane. 

Additional Requirements for COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Retail in Public Right of Way

  1. Temporary outdoor retail space shall not be permitted:
    a. on two-lane roads, unless two way traffic can be maintained
    b. on streets with a speed limit over 50 km/h
    c. within 5.0m (16’-5”) of the corner of an intersection
    d. within 10.0m (32’-9”) of the corner of an intersection that has a stop/yield sign or a pedestrian crosswalk 
  2. Temporary outdoor retail space in the curb lane is only permitted in locations where parking is allowed at all times of day.
  3. Temporary outdoor retail should not encroach into existing loading zones, Accessible Parking Stalls, tow away zones, bus stops or bike lanes. Relocation or removal of the same may be possible and can be coordinated by contacting businessinfo@edmonton.ca.
  4. Temporary traffic controls are required where the temporary patio interferes with the movement of people, cyclists or vehicles. 
  5. Business owners may provide their own temporary traffic control as outlined in the  City of Edmonton Procedures for On-Street Construction and Safety. Alternatively, you can request temporary traffic control services from the City of Edmonton at businessinfo@edmonton.ca
  6. Temporary curb ramps are required to provide a safe passage for pedestrians to cross between the road and the sidewalk.
  7. The business owner is responsible for maintaining any structures and equipment in a safe and clean condition and in good repair. This maintenance must include keeping the area free of any potential dangers; including debris, snow and ice.

Noise Mitigation

Noise Mitigation and Being a Good Neighbour

The temporary patio program is based on mutual trust, respect, and accountability between businesses, the City, and the general public. We are asking businesses who will be using audio-visual equipment (such as, TVs, speakers) in their temporary patio spaces to provide a noise mitigation plan. This will explain exactly how they will be keeping noise to a minimum and being a good neighbour.

A noise mitigation plan must answer the following questions:

How will sound be managed at the location? Who will be responsible for noise levels? For example: security staff or a manager on site will conduct periodic walkthroughs of the patio to assess noise levels, and if necessary, remind patrons to keep noise to a minimum.

How late into the evening will it remain open? How many speakers are present, and where are they located?
Consider your patio hours of operation and how the noise levels will comply with the Community Standards Bylaw 14600, specifically Sections 14, and 19-22. Are patio hours different from the venue (does the patio close at 10pm and can patrons move indoors?)

How are you ensuring that your speakers will not interfere with neighbours or traffic? For example, set TV volume to a consistent level, and keep in mind that the volume should be turned down in the evening after 10pm. Speakers and TVs should face inwards, and away from the adjacent roadway.

How will noise be managed outside the venue and who is responsible to ensure that noise from the venue does not disrupt surrounding properties?
For instance, It is a good idea to touch base with neighbours to let them know what will be occurring and if there are concerns to chat with the managers. 

Business Licence Number 

View this sample business licence to identify where your business licence number is located.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Are Boardwalk Sidewalks permitted in the winter time?

For those businesses that already have a boardwalk sidewalk, we will coordinate with these businesses to allow them to operate their patio through the winter. This may mean requiring business owners to address the traction of the boardwalks in winter conditions by installing slip resistant materials in addition to requirements to address snow clearing.

Due to timing and resources, we will not be able to permit new boardwalk sidewalk construction. However we are committed to working with businesses for alternative solutions.

Are heaters allowed on patios?

Heaters are currently allowed under the guidelines: CSA-certified electric or propane patio heaters (with max 20lb tank) are permitted where located at least 3m (10ft) away from City tree branches, operated per the manufacturer’s directions and not stored on the road right-of-way when not in use. Solid-gel- or liquid-fuel fire features are not permitted.

Are these guidelines mandatory?

In order to qualify for the streamlined approval process, you will need to follow these guidelines if you choose to set up a patio. 

Are pets allowed?

Please refer to Alberta Health Services guidelines for direction on the permission of pets.

How do I acquire appropriate fencing?

Fencing is not required. However, temporary traffic control in the form of pylons, signs and barricades may be supplied by the City of Edmonton or private contractors.

What type of barrier/fencing material am I allowed to use?

With respect to temporary traffic control, barricades, pylons and signs may be used to secure an area on road right-of-way.

There is a loading zone/bus stop/accessible stall in front of my cafe. What do I do?

Please contact the City to request relocating City signs at businessinfo@edmonton.ca. Your request will be reviewed and accommodated where possible.

Am I allowed to have live music?

At this point all new temporary patios will not be approved for live music outside and must follow the Community Standards Bylaw for noise restrictions.

Are tailgate parties allowed?

Organized events with more than 50 people are not currently allowed under the CMOH orders.  Until those restrictions are adjusted please follow that direction.

I paid for a sidewalk cafe permit. Can I get a refund?

At this point, we are not offering refunds for previously paid fees. 

Can I serve liquor on the temporary patio?

The business owner is responsible for obtaining all relevant permissions, including but not limited to AGLC, AHS, and their Landlord.

Registration Process

How do I know I have been approved?

There is no approvals process for a temporary patio. By signing the declaration and sending it in, you have indicated you are taking on the responsibility of following the guidelines. 

Traffic Control / Roads

What are temporary traffic control measures?

In order to accommodate traffic and pedestrian safety, the City puts in measures. For example, pylons, barricades and signs may be provided.

Is there a fee for road closure and barriers?

No, there is no fee for a temporary patio in 2020.

What does upstream mean?

When we say “upstream” we mean when the direction of traffic flows away from your patio.

How do I request crowd fencing from the City? How long will it take?

Barriers may be provided as part of the temporary traffic control, if required.

Can I put a patio in a bike lane?

A patio must not interfere with a bike lane.However, the accommodation of a bike lane may be possible by contacting businessinfo@edmonton.ca.

What does it cost to get traffic control measures from the City?

At this time there is no cost to receive this support from the City.

For More Information

Email businessinfo@edmonton.ca

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