Here’s how the Tri-Cities are preparing for patio reopenings

Construction at 24 Fir Whiskey Bar and Kitchen in uptown Waterloo is underway after the city approved the expansion of patios. (Dan Lauckner/CTV Kitchener) (June 11, 2020)

Restaurants in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are preparing for the return of outdoor dining later this month.

Patios will be able to open under Step 1 of Ontario's reopening plan, with up to four people per table. The province is expected to move into the first step around June 14.

Here's how patio preparations are working in the Tri-Cities:

KITCHENER

Officials with the City of Kitchener said they've approved nearly 100 permits for new or expanded patios.

"When the province enters Step 1, restaurant operators in Kitchener will be permitted to reopen outdoor dining with restrictions and measures in place," a statement from the city said in part.

A spokesperson for the city said they've worked to help restaurants during the pandemic by waiving patio fees and expediting the application process to expand patio space.

They're working with partners like the Downtown Kitchener BIA and Belmont Village BIA to support outdoor dining this summer.

WATERLOO

A spokesperson for the City of Waterloo said Princess Street West will close to vehicle traffic once the province moves into Step 1 to allow for a safe pedestrian space this summer.

There are currently 25 approved sidewalk patios in Waterloo, and 15 other applications are under review.

Licences include patio spaces and extensions on private property, and businesses can also ask for more public space like on-street parking and sidewalk space to accommodate expanded patios.

CAMBRIDGE

Cambridge will close Queen Street West in Hespeler and Main Street in Galt to allow for expanded patios and pedestrian spaces this summer.

Queen Street East between Guelph Avenue and Tannery Street in Hespeler will also be closed Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. starting June 14 until Oct. 9.

Lower Main Street in Galt will be closed to all vehicle traffic from June 14 to Oct. 1.

The Hespeler and Downtown Cambridge BIAs asked council to approve the temporary closures to help local businesses expand their spaces for the summer months.