Toronto Mayor John Tory announced plans on launching CafeTO, a program to let restaurants and bars expand its outdoor dining spaces as businesses prepare to reopen.
Thousands of jobs and businesses were ordered to temporarily close when the pandemic hit. As a result, this caused a significant drop in revenues, especially for small business owners.
To help them get back on track, Toronto is introducing the CafeTO program which will allow restaurants and bars to expand and take up additional outdoor spaces for dine-ins while promoting physical distancing.
Outdoor spaces include sidewalks, portions of the streets, and even parking areas.
Mayor Tory assures that the program will undergo close monitoring, guidelines, and would have to be “done in a respectful way to the neighbourhood”.
It is still unclear whether restaurants are included in the second stage of the province’s reopening plan. According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the decision will depend on health officials’ discussion and observation.
The program remains under consultation with businesses and officials and the date to launch it is yet to be decided.