patios open toronto

Toronto concerned there's not enough social distancing on restaurant and bar patios

Restaurant patios have reopened across Toronto — but it's not supposed to be business as usual, according to Phase 2 rules

Reduced capacity, tables distanced 2 metres apart, increased sanitation: those are just some of the health measures required from restaurant owners as they relaunch their outdoor seating. 

However, concerns have arisen over crowding at restaurants, with fears that efforts around social distancing and reduced capacity just hasn't been up to par over the last few days. 

King West has been flagged as a hotbed for busy "pandemic patios" as eager Torontonians flocked to outdoor spaces in the Entertainment District and nearby areas. 

Concerning crowding has been spotted outside establishments like the patio Ruby Soho, recently opened at King and Portland, where guests waiting to get on to the restaurant's outdoor space were captured on video gathering in tight crowds on the sidewalk. 

While masks aren't required for customers, some noted that the lack of PPE worn by guests has been concerning. 

Some restaurant patios like The Quail at Yonge and Rosedale were captured seating customers from separate groups directly back-to-back. 

Despite seating groups at the appropriate distance apart, videos and photos show that restaurants put less thought into the spacing of walkways between tables, which could prove an issue for guests not wearing masks as they navigate the patios. 

Despite the fact that music and dancing isn't currently allowed on patios, as per Ontario's Phase 2 rules, many of King West's outdoor hotspots still feel like a party. 

Lead photo by

Dale Thompson


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