Orillia launches patio program for local businesses

The City of Orillia is launching the See You on the Patio program for another season to help local cash-strapped business owners after last year's success.

Last season, the city had several businesses participate in the patio program to help with the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.

"Orillia has more than a dozen restaurants that have already opened their permanent patios thanks to the warm weather we've had over the past two weeks," said councillor Ted Emond.

The program allows restaurants without a permanent patio to set up a seasonal space for outdoor dining and the city is now accepting applications.

The initiative runs on Friday evenings from July 2 to Sept. 3 and closes a downtown street.

"We want to ensure that this year's program supports businesses throughout the entire city while maintaining a fun and safe atmosphere for all," said Laura Thompson, senior manager of Business Development.

Approved temporary patios are permitted starting Thursday.

Individual businesses and retailers that participate are responsible for adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.