completo toronto

Popular Toronto restaurant fighting the city to keep its patio

Completo, a popular Leslieville joint, is battling with the city to keep its 16-person patio.

Matias Balmaceda, the owner of the restaurant, said his small patio has been operating without a permit since before he was owner, but it was only last year that the city began bugging him to get one.

Balmaceda said he complied and immediately applied for a permit, but it was denied right away.

Why? Because Completo, which is located on a side street, doesn’t meet the bylaw that states it must be at least 25 meters away from the closest house.

Balmaceda said this is just one example of a larger problem; the fact that almost no one can meet the bylaws required in order to have a patio.

“Most people in most situations do not qualify, period,” he said. “Why does it have to be this enormous fight? The bylaws should be changed because they’re impossible to meet.”

Instead, Balmaceda said they should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Despite the denial of his request, he decided to appeal the decision and proceed with next steps.

First he had to ask residents on the street to vote on whether the patio should stay. Of the 31 people that voted, only one voted no.

Some residents are even encouraging others to send messages to city council in support of the small patio.

On June 25, he’ll go to city council and plead his case. And with the votes he got from residents, he’s pretty confident he’ll get approved.

Still, he said something about the process must be changed.

“Has it been arduous and difficult and annoying? Yes,” Balmaceda said. “It makes it almost impossible to have thriving patios in this city.”

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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