sweet jesus patio

There's an uproar over the Sweet Jesus patio on John St.

Toronto's original Sweet Jesus location might be infamous for its indulgent frozen treats and long, long lineups. But lately, its patio has been getting some heat.

Yesterday, Jake Tobin Garrett, manager of policy and research for Park People, wrote a piece on his website This Land Is Parkland about how the Sweet Jesus patio - which features black fencing and a few seats - is on a privately-owned publicly accessible space, or POPS.

"These are spaces created through the development process in Toronto where developers get extra goodies (height, maybe, or chocolate) in exchange for creating and maintaining publicly-accessible open spaces on their property," he explains on his site.

This means that anyone, regardless of whether or not they choose to indulge in an over-the-top-cone, should be able to lounge around outside Sweet Jesus and La Carnita.

Andrew Richmond, who's behind this ice cream empire (as well as La Carnita and Home of the Brave), claims that he has a permit from the city of Toronto and the AGCO to use the space as a patio. "We're getting to the bottom of it right now. We're actually working with the city right now to figure it out."

Ward 20 City Councillor Joe Cressy, however, tells us there shouldn't be a patio there at all. "That patio and that fencing has to come down, full stop," he says.

Council, he says, approved the condo at 295 Adelaide Street West and 100 to 104 John Street under the condition that the developers include a POPS. An incoming development moving in across the street from Sweet Jesus will also feature a POPS.

"This is part of our John Street cultural corridor work to turn it into a more pedestrian friendly public corridor," says Cressy. Cressy notes that the city's solicitor is now on the case.

Richmond, on the other hand, stresses he and his team are also trying to work things out. "By no means would we ever want to just throw up a patio where it wasn't deemed to be," he says. "Obviously we're going to go through the correct channels."

Photo by Jesse Milns.


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