While patio season is beginning to wind down, Victoria council voted in favour of extending the Business Recovery from Pandemic Bylaw, which allows pandemic street patios to stick around until the end of March.
The bylaw, which was slated to expire October 31st, was first introduced to allow businesses to expand their commercial activities into public spaces to cope with physical-distancing requirements amid the pandemic.
Many of the 100 plus businesses with new outdoor patios expressed interest in making them a permanent fixture in the city.
In July, council asked city staff to report back on how it can work with businesses to find a permanent approach which is expected to be completed in the new year.
At the time, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she expects staff will recommend extending the bylaw to June 2022 to match the duration of a temporary pandemic-related provincial liquor policy that allows all patios to have liquor licences.
First introduced amid COVID-19 health orders, including those related to physical distancing and indoor dining, TESAs give businesses extra space to serve liquor to customers by expanding onto patios.
In June, TESA authorizations announced a temporary extension to these authorizations to March 31st, 2023.
Once the province removes that provision, each patio would have to apply for its own liquor licence.
So what do you think, should these new patios become a permanent fixture?