curb lane patios toronto

Toronto removes curb lane patios from Bloor Street for new bike lane

Restaurants and bars along Bloor are saying goodbye to their newly introduced curb lane patios as they make way for new bike lanes that will take a month to complete. 

The patios were short-lived, for most: the city first introduced curb lane closures last month as part of their CafeTO program to help businesses safely expand during Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan. 

The initiative saw restaurants and bars ctiywide take over parts of the street with new outdoor seating that, while limited in size, aided in drumming up some extra profit for businesses that would otherwise be closed.

But that era has ended for any patios that sprung up on Bloor between Shaw and Runnymede. 

As of Tuesday, construction on the Bloor West Bikeway Extension has begun. City "grinding trucks" have removed old pavement markings that once separated the lanes next to the sidewalks, making way for what will be 4.5-kilometres of new protected bike lanes. 

Bars like Civil Liberties, who installed their curb lane patio on July 6, have packed up their 24-seater by Bloor and Ossington, a temporary addition owner Nick Kennedy says was hugely helpful during the pandemic. 

"It very much benefited our business, we hired our staff back," says Kennedy. 

Though the cocktail bar won't be opening up its interior until "better information from the medical community," they do have a backyard patio that seats 32 people, though lower visibility will mean less foot traffic and overall slower business. 

Kennedy says in the long run, the bike lanes will be an "excellent addition to the neighbourhood," though the timing of construction "could be better." 

Grey Tiger on Bloor near Dufferin has also lost its curb lane patio, but has announced a new backyard patio to supplement its already existing sidewalk seating while they close off the interior until further notice. 

Meanwhile, some businesses like The John didn't bother opening up a patio at all when CafeTO first launched because of the upcoming bike construction. 

"I would have gotten about two weeks use of it and to spend a lot of money to build a patio made no sense to me," says The John's general manager, Eric Jordan.

Instead, the craft beer destination will be reopening its interior soon, with limited capacity. 

But overall, there's a general sense of excitement around the fact there'll be bike lanes running along Bloor, even if it comes at the  cost of patios and added noise during construction. 

"We're excited to bike to work if we can keep work afloat during this pandemic," says Kennedy. 

Lead photo by

Bloorcourt BIA


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

The history of Toronto as seen through famous and forgotten signs

Crothers Woods is a hidden gem in the heart of Toronto

This is what it's like working for TTC customer service during a pandemic

This is why we don't have a rapid COVID-19 test in Toronto yet

This is why Toronto's area code is 416

Historian wants to name a Toronto laneway after forgotten Black couple

What to know about the tent encampments at Trinity Bellwoods Park

Ontario announces new social gathering limits province-wide as COVID-19 cases spike