Saskatoon sidewalk cafe

Council will vote tonight on sidewalk cafes and parking spot patios. (City of Saskatoon)

When it’s sundown on a warm night in the Paris of the prairies, people should have more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, and the bustle of city life.

'I think it's something worth trying' - Brent Penner 

That’s the view of some at Saskatoon city hall, and so tonight city council will deal with a proposal to help bring sidewalk cafes, and parking stall patios downtown.

Parking, however, is always an issue.  That was made abundantly clear in recent debates over a pilot project that would have seen separated biking lanes in the city. Concern over the loss of some parking was a contributing factor in delaying the test bike lanes.

Making sure there is enough parking is one of the jobs of downtown advocate The Partnership.  For now, the group’s Brent Penner supports the effort.

"I think it's something worth trying and we see what the uptake is and if there are any negatives then we try dealing with those at the time."

How many parking spot patios is too many?

At the same time, Penner said, he hopes the city can maintain a good balance between boosting restaurant business, and parking. 

"I think that's ultimately the big unknown, this report could come in there could be one that want to do it there could be eight or nine, it's hard to say."

Penner says that if more than a half dozen parking patios pop up downtown it may negatively impact parking.