Manitoba

Crank up the heaters, Winnipeg patios will open through winter

Patio season in Winnipeg is being extended through winter as city hall and businesses look to serve customers as safely as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

'The hospitality industry is struggling right now and I am hopeful this … will help'

Patio heaters are in demand as restaurants, cafés, breweries and pubs look to extend their patio season through the fall and winter months. (Helen Pike/CBC)

How about a sangria with that snowsuit? Some Peroni with your parka?

Patio season in Winnipeg is being extended through winter as city hall and businesses look to serve customers as safely as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Current patio registrations, initially submitted for the summer season, will be extend until Oct. 31, 2020. New winter patio registrations will be accepted as of Oct. 14 and last until March 31, 2021.

"The immediate extension of outdoor patios to Oct. 31 and the creation of a winter program is one more step the city has been able to take in order to create more flexible conditions for the hospitality industry," Mayor Brian Bowman said.

"With added restrictions due to the pandemic, the hospitality industry is struggling right now, and I am hopeful this winter patio program will help create more opportunities for business owners."

Eligible businesses will first have to meet new operating requirements, however. Those deal with fire safety considerations due to added heat sources, materials for tents or shelters, and snow removal.

"As restaurants are forced to navigate the many challenges caused by the pandemic, it is important that the city continues to work with business owners on finding ways for them to safely participate in the province's reopening strategy," said Cindy Gilroy, chair of the standing policy committee on property and development.

"I know there were many restaurants that participated in the temporary patio program this past summer and I look forward to seeing how restaurants are able to continue patio service over the winter months."

Businesses that wish to participate in the winter patio program need to submit a new registration form and supporting documentation for review and approval prior to winter operation.

More information about the application process is available online through the city's website.

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