The City of Waterloo announced on Thursday that it would be closing part of Willis Way to cars so that people can use the space.

The street will close on July 8 from the rainbow crosswalk to Caroline Street and will stay that way for two months.

Picnic tables will be added to the space to encourage people who are spending time and money uptown to stick around.

"With the province now in phase two of the recovery plan, it's important that people feel they can safely distance while supporting our great uptown businesses," says Ward 7 Coun. Tenille Bonoguore in a news release.

"I encourage everyone to keep shopping and dining with local businesses. They are the lifeblood of our community."

Mayor Dave Jaworsky reminds people making use of the space to maintain physical distancing and to wear a mask when possible.

The news release says the closure was originally supposed to extend to King Street, but it was decided that the crosswalk would be the boundary to preserve some parking on Willis Way and maintain daytime deliveries.