patios toronto

This is what patios in Toronto looked like on the first day of reopening after lockdown

Patios across Toronto reopened Friday as part of Step 1 of the province's plan, and people across the city got out to grab a cold drink or meal.

Patios are included in Ontario's Step 1 of reopening, along with outdoor fitness, drive-in theatres, shopping (at 15 per cent capacity) and camping.

patios toronto

The patio at Dog & Bear was busy on Friday with a waiting list for tables.

The reopening could only be described as euphoric, one of the owners of Dog & Bear tells blogTO. People were happy to be out and it "was written all over their faces."

patios toronto

Patios along Ossington Avenue were full by the early evening on Friday.

"I have had lots of short encounters with people who having been saying how happy they are just to do things that perhaps seemed in the past, normal," he says.

Dog & Bear had a waiting list for tables much of the day. 

patios toronto

Papi Chulo's had a crowd out on Friday.

Dining on patios is not quite back to normal yet. There are several rules — including limiting tables to four people dining together, masks and health screenings.

People were respectful of the rules at Dog & Bear, the owner says.

patios toronto

A band added to the festivities on Ossington across from Papi Chulos.

The good news is last call is being moved back to 2 a.m. after nearly a year of either 9 p.m. or 11 p.m. cut-off times for serving alcohol.

patios toronto

The patios were packed on Ossington Avenue in front of Te.

If the crowds on Friday are any indication Toronto is ready to get back to normal.

It has been a while — patios were allowed to open March 22 but quickly shut again two weeks later after a surge in COVID-19 cases sent the province into lockdown. Aside from that short blip, there has been a long closure with no restaurant service aside from take-out since Nov. 23.

patios toronto

Season Six  on Ossington opened for table service for the first time at their new location on Friday.

Season Six opened for table service in a new location on Friday for the first time and fortunately, an order of plates came on Friday morning, just in time, Brook Kavanagh, owner tells blogTO.

patios toronto

Bar Poet also had a full patio with safe distancing on Friday.

"Everyone is really excited to be out dining again," Kavanagh says.

With a capacity of 40 people, safely distancing, they were busy throughout the day, changing over about six times.

patios toronto

Fortunately, the weather cooperated and it was a sunny day to get on a patio.

"I am over the moon, I couldn't have had a better day," Kavanagh says. "It is so exciting to actually be doing what we love to do again, take away and delivery is fine but this is what restaurants are supposed to be."

The CafeTO program is supporting around 1,000 patios of all shapes and sizes, in a bid to expand last year's program.

If you didn't manage to make it out to a patio yet, there is still plenty of time and hundreds of patios to choose from across the city.

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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