patios in toronto

Here's what you need to know before you visit a bar or restaurant patio in Toronto

Many patios across Toronto are now open, which means the long-awaited patio season is finally upon us.

Although we can now sip our drink of choice at some of our favourite Toronto patios, outdoor dining is expected to be a bit different this summer due to the pandemic. 

And even though the risk of the virus spreading on an outdoor patio is comparatively low to an enclosed indoor space, there are still some ways we can limit the spread even further. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're visiting a patio in Toronto this summer: 

Maintain physical distance

Make sure to keep six feet of space between yourself and others while waiting in line for a table and as you’re walking through the restaurant and patio to get to your table.

Practice good hand hygiene 

Don't leave home without hand sanitizer. You'll want to sanitize your hands before and after you eat. Also, make sure to avoid touching surfaces as much as you can. If you do, properly sanitize or wash your hands before spreading unwanted germs to your face and mouth. 

Don’t stay long

The more time you spend in one place, the higher your risk is for being exposed to the virus. So try to keep your time on the patio short by only staying for a few hours. 

Wear your mask 

Although you’ll have to take your mask off to eat and drink, keep it on while you're waiting in line or whenever you can't physically distance from others.

Servers will be wearing one to keep you safe, so extend the same courtesy by also wearing your mask while you're ordering and paying. 

Experts have also recommended bringing a plastic bag with you to the restaurant so you can place your mask safely inside when eating or drinking. 

Avoid sharing 

In order to keep the spread of germs to a minimum, avoid sharing anything on the table, including condiments, utensils, food, or drinks.

Know the rules 

Keep up-to-date on the guidelines in place at restaurants and bars across the city and respect those rules. Many establishments now require a reservation in order to secure a table and most will only sit six people to a table.

Call ahead or check the website before you head out as these guidelines may differ from restaurant to restaurant. 

Cancel the bar crawl

Limit the number of bars you visit in one day, as hopping from one place to another might also increase the risk of spreading the virus. 

Leave a tip

Coming into work can be stressful for servers as it increases their risk of contracting the virus. If you can afford to do so, a generous tip is a great way to recognize the sacrifice. Using contactless payment when you're settling up will also be a good idea.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Woodhouse Brewing


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