Mayor Tory against exorbitant fee hikes for patios

Patio season is getting closer and closer...a chance to sit back, soak up the sun, and enjoy a cocktail.

Some restaurant owners are scrambling, wondering if it's even worth opening theirs up, after hearing they could be hit with an exorbitant fee hike.

The City calls it "rent" for using public property, such as sidewalks.

One business owner claims his annual fee could go from $1,400 to $14,000.

"I woke up this morning and heard this on the radio and thought I was having a nightmare. It was the first I had heard of it. I can just tell you they're consulting and their getting a lot of feedback about the fees being too high and I agree with them," Mayor John Tory reacted.

Tory says he will not be the leader of or the mayor who attacks fun in this city, I can assure you of that. Patios are a hugely important part of my life. Spring, Summer, and Fall I sit outside as soon as I possibly can...April and March, if possible, and through until October or November. I think that's an important part of keeping the city lively and keeping neighbourhoods lively."

The fees haven't been updated since the mid-80s, pre-amalgamation, and there are five different sets of rules which the city wants to do away with. "The process actually started in 2013 and sometimes the officials come up with ideas that don't pass the smell test in terms of what's going to be best for the city and all of its industries. That's why we consult. The feedback that we are getting is feedback that I agree with," Tory adds.

He says it's only fair there be some compensation for using a public asset.