Markham

City of Markham prepares small businesses, community for Stage 2 reopening

Friday, June 12, 2020

News Page


MARKHAM, ON – June 12, 2020 – Markham City Council ratified a Temporary Use Zoning Bylaw to Permit Extended Outdoor Patios and Outdoor Display and Sales Areas at a special Council meeting. This will help Markham restaurants, small businesses and the community be ready for the time when Ontario’s Phase 2 re-openings are extended to municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Along with this permission, Council authorized the waiving of fees for review for any proposed patio. These measures remove many of the barriers that licensed bars, restaurants, and retail businesses may experience when seeking City approval to extend their operations outdoors.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses that are allowed to open must ensure social distancing provisions are put in place for the safety of their staff and customers. As a result, restaurants, bars and some retail spaces – who are also among the last to reopen, and the hardest hit by the quarantine – are currently restricted in the number of customers they can serve at a time. In addition, current regulations limit patio space, placing additional strains on businesses.

To address some of these concerns and provide better opportunities for these businesses to recover and thrive again, the Government of Ontario had amended Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA). This Act allows licensed bars and restaurants to temporarily extend the size of their existing licensed patio or to temporarily add a new licensed patio until January 1, 2021 at 3:00 AM, provided they have municipal approval and meet the AGCO’s criteria.

As part of Markham’s efforts to support businesses in COVID-19 recovery, the Temporary Use Zoning Bylaw to Permit Extended Outdoor Patios and Outdoor Display and Sales Areas:

  • Removes the requirement to provide additional parking as a result of a business’ temporary expansion;
  • Allows some businesses to use existing parking spaces, or adjacent yards, as part of their temporary expanded patios or zones of business;
  • Retains protections for adjacent residential zones;
  • Will simplify the site plan approval process and waive any associated fees; and
  • Will simplify the City’s approval process for expanded liquor licences (which must be obtained prior to requesting the expansion from the AGCO) by running this concurrently with this Temporary Use Bylaw.

This flexibility is one more way to help businesses recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. The Temporary Use Zoning By-law will expire on December 31, 2020.

“I have always called for a cautious and thoughtful strategy to restarting the economy in order to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Understanding that recovery will not be business as usual, we want to give restaurants, bars, cafes and other businesses the flexibility to expand into extra outdoor spaces. Expanding patios will also allow them to meet physical distancing and hygiene guidelines. We want to give businesses every possible opportunity to rebuild.”

Starting on Friday, June 12, social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed across Ontario. We remind everyone to be careful and safe.

The COVID-19 impact will last throughout the coming months. The City of Markham will continue to work with all levels of government, our community and local businesses during these unprecedented times.

For more information on the City of Markham’s COVID-19 response and service adjustments, please ask our 24/7 Web or Telephone Assistants at markham.ca/covid19 or 1.833.926.0929.

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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

For COVID-19 announcements from the City of Markham:

Visit markham.ca/covid19 or listen to 105.9 The Region – Markham’s information and emergency radio station.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

Stay Connected: Visit our newsroom or search #MarkhamNews and #MarkhamEvents for the latest information on City programs, services and events.



MARKHAM, ON – June 12, 2020 – Markham City Council ratified a Temporary Use Zoning Bylaw to Permit Extended Outdoor Patios and Outdoor Display and Sales Areas at a special Council meeting. This will help Markham restaurants, small businesses and the community be ready for the time when Ontario’s Phase 2 re-openings are extended to municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Along with this permission, Council authorized the waiving of fees for review for any proposed patio. These measures remove many of the barriers that licensed bars, restaurants, and retail businesses may experience when seeking City approval to extend their operations outdoors.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses that are allowed to open must ensure social distancing provisions are put in place for the safety of their staff and customers. As a result, restaurants, bars and some retail spaces – who are also among the last to reopen, and the hardest hit by the quarantine – are currently restricted in the number of customers they can serve at a time. In addition, current regulations limit patio space, placing additional strains on businesses.

To address some of these concerns and provide better opportunities for these businesses to recover and thrive again, the Government of Ontario had amended Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA). This Act allows licensed bars and restaurants to temporarily extend the size of their existing licensed patio or to temporarily add a new licensed patio until January 1, 2021 at 3:00 AM, provided they have municipal approval and meet the AGCO’s criteria.

As part of Markham’s efforts to support businesses in COVID-19 recovery, the Temporary Use Zoning Bylaw to Permit Extended Outdoor Patios and Outdoor Display and Sales Areas:

  • Removes the requirement to provide additional parking as a result of a business’ temporary expansion;
  • Allows some businesses to use existing parking spaces, or adjacent yards, as part of their temporary expanded patios or zones of business;
  • Retains protections for adjacent residential zones;
  • Will simplify the site plan approval process and waive any associated fees; and
  • Will simplify the City’s approval process for expanded liquor licences (which must be obtained prior to requesting the expansion from the AGCO) by running this concurrently with this Temporary Use Bylaw.

This flexibility is one more way to help businesses recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. The Temporary Use Zoning By-law will expire on December 31, 2020.

“I have always called for a cautious and thoughtful strategy to restarting the economy in order to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Understanding that recovery will not be business as usual, we want to give restaurants, bars, cafes and other businesses the flexibility to expand into extra outdoor spaces. Expanding patios will also allow them to meet physical distancing and hygiene guidelines. We want to give businesses every possible opportunity to rebuild.”

Starting on Friday, June 12, social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed across Ontario. We remind everyone to be careful and safe.

The COVID-19 impact will last throughout the coming months. The City of Markham will continue to work with all levels of government, our community and local businesses during these unprecedented times.

For more information on the City of Markham’s COVID-19 response and service adjustments, please ask our 24/7 Web or Telephone Assistants at markham.ca/covid19 or 1.833.926.0929.

– 30 –

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

For COVID-19 announcements from the City of Markham:

Visit markham.ca/covid19 or listen to 105.9 The Region – Markham’s information and emergency radio station.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

Stay Connected: Visit our newsroom or search #MarkhamNews and #MarkhamEvents for the latest information on City programs, services and events.