patios open

Here's what bar and restaurant patios look like that are now open in Canada

Bar and restaurant patios are open in some cities in Canada, ushering in sun-soaked summertime lunches and carefree happy hours with friends — at least, sort of.

Patios in Canada have gotten a major makeover lately, with many reducing seating, scrapping buffets and enforcing masks for waitstaff as they ramp up preparations to welcome customers once more.

Canadian cities are even taking a leaf out of Europe's book and setting up temporary tables on sidewalks and parking lots in a bid to up seating capacity.

Patios in Canada are also removing high-touch items from tables (e.g. salt and pepper shakers, condiments, napkins), and some are asking customers to make seating reservations in advance.

Many patios like this Calgary location also encourage servers to wear masks.

Other patios are limiting the amount of customers allowed in the washroom at one time, and adding floor stickers to encourage social distancing.

This Winnipeg patio even has a QR code that you can scan to see their digital menu in order to prevent customers touching the same menu repeatedly.

Like many retail stores, some patios in Canada have also introduced physical barriers made out of Plexiglass.

This Vancouver patio has installed multiple barriers along the outdoor bar to separate diners.

Although the rules vary by province, most patios also must or are encouraged to operate at 50 per cent capacity, with at least two metres of space between each table.

The notable exception to this is Alberta, which will allow restaurants to operate at full capacity this Friday, with a maximum of six people at each table.

And it's not just independent restaurants that are offering patio service this summer; beloved Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons will also open over 1,000 new patios by early July.

So far, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador have all allowed patios to reopen.

New Brunswick has even set up bistro-style seating and picnic tables in three locations across Fredericton to help restaurants maximize the number of diners.

Ontario is set to reopen patios in Ottawa and most areas outside of the GTA on Friday, while Toronto residents will have to wait a little longer before they can enjoy dining al fresco.

Quebec will allow indoor restaurants and patios to reopen on June 15, although Montreal residents will have to wait until June 22 before restaurants can reopen.

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