Uptown patios

In May 2017 council approved the uptown sidewalk patio project which allows local businesses to apply for patios on sidewalks in the uptown area. This project encourages patio culture in the uptown.  

The project set out uptown sidewalk patio guidelines (PDF) in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo and Uptown BIA that outlines requirements for interested applicants and property owners. Our Uptown Sidewalk Patio Guidelines have changed in 2020 due to COVID-19.

How to apply for an uptown patio 

The fees to apply for a patio for 2020 are $150 initially and $50 each subsequent year. To apply you will need:

  • complete patio application form (PDF) with consent from the property owner
  • patio plans showing location and dimensions of patio and surrounding features, refer to Appendix 3 in the uptown sidewalk patio guidelines
  • certificate of liability with city, and region if sidewalk is on a regional road named as co-insured

Further information is provided in the uptown sidewalk patio guidelines (PDF).

Uptown patio districts

Patio districts have been established as part of the patio guidelines to help promote the patio culture, ease the planning application process and encourage decorative aspects of patios.

View the map to see which street corresponds to its patio district:

View our uptown patio districts map outlining city streets corresponding to patio districts 

Patio districts, jurisdictions, setbacks, on-streets parking and sidewalk clearance

The uptown sidewalk patio guidelines provide the full details of performance standards targets set by the city and go into further detail of each district. Please see the guideline for further information.

District Jurisdiction LRT Setback Bike Route Setback

On-street Parking

Sidewalk Clearance Zone
King North Region and city

check updated guidelines
King South: LRT Track to William  Region

east side

west side

check updated guidelines
King South: William to Union Region   

centre line

 ✗ check updated guidelines
Caroline  Region 

centre line 

check updated guidelines
Erb  Region  ✗  check updated guidelines
Regina  City  check updated guidelines
Willis Way  City    

check updated guidelines

Patio application checklist

Before submitting your application, please ensure you have completed the below items:

  1. Property owner authorization: does the business owner have the consent / approval of the property owner to submit a patio application. Property owner authorization is required.

  2. Road authority: is the proposed patio located on a city street or regional road? Specific standards and approvals will apply based on road classification and authority.

  3. Clear path of travel (unobstructed sidewalk): does the proposed patio maintain the required clear path of travel requirement? Review patio location and show on the patio drawing.

  4. Setbacks: are there any setbacks that may impact the proposed patio location? These may include on-street parking spaces (0.5m setback), bike lanes or shared use paths (no encroachment) and ION LRT route (curb side).

  5. Fencing: is the proposed patio fencing removable, does it meet installation criteria and design goals?

  6. Licensed patios: does the proposed patio meet the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) requirements and occupant load requirements? Consult with city’s building division for more information prior to AGCO and patio application submissions.

  7. Patio application: do you have the following information for submission:

    1. Scaled patio plan showing patio dimensions, clear path of travel, setback information (to surrounding features and building facade), building entrance, sidewalk dimensions, curb line.
    2. Do you have the necessary liability Insurance for a patio? Can you provide copy of signed certificate of insurance and stamped by agent?