An increasing number of pop-up patios are planned for restaurants and bars in Calgary as the city builds on an initiative started last year.


The Yardhouse on Kensington Road has opened one of Calgary's first pop-up patios. (CBC)

Two pop-up patios are already in operation in the northwest area of Kensington and another half a dozen are going through the application process with the city.

"It puts activity in the street. It puts eyes on the street, enlivens an area, for both local residents and for visitors to an area," said Mark Sasges, the chief development planner with planning implementation at the City of Calgary.

The Yardhouse on Kensington Road has opened a pop-up patio that takes up the sidewalk and has built a fenced sidewalk in the adjacent parking lanes.

Owner Brad Ingarfield believes it will create a more vibrant feeling on the street, but it may take time to be profitable.

"It's certainly going to take years to recoup the cost of building it. We have to pay a hoarding fee to the city to block off the area and then we also pay rent to compensate the city for the loss of parking, for the spots for the six months that it'll be here."

Pop-up patios cannot interfere with pedestrian or traffic safety, cannot block snow routes and cannot interfere with utility services that may be located under the sidewalk.

A Starbucks beside The Yardhouse, and The Kensington Pub around the corner, are also applying for pop-up patios.

Bill Porteous, part-owner of the Kensington Pub, says his previous application was turned down on the grounds that it was located too close to homes.

"I'd just like everything to be on a fair playing ground," said Porteous, who plans to keep applying for a pop-up patio.

"On the nice sunny days, Calgarians are out. It doesn't matter whether it's March or whether it's July. I mean they just want to sit outside."