Nanaimo city council vote unanimously at Monday’s council meeting to leave restaurant temporary patios out for the winter and extend the program until Oct. 31, 2021. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo’s temporary restaurant patios to stay in place for another year

City council votes to leave patios out for winter and through till fall 2021

People who have been enjoying a meal and a drink outdoors at their favourite restaurant can count on doing that throughout the winter and for the coming year.

Nanaimo city council vote unanimously to leave patios, constructed on parking stalls in front of restaurants downtown and in the Old City Quarter and Departure Bay, in place until Oct. 31, 2021, and to leave them out through the winter. Under the original program, the patios were supposed to be dismantled, stored for the winter, and then re-installed next spring.

“This temporary program has doubled the amount of patio areas that we have in our public realm, so I think that alone has been a great outcome of this program, more places for people to congregate, especially now during these times of pandemic and especially now with how difficult it is for these restaurants to run on reduced internal numbers,” said Dale Lindsay, city general manager of development services, at Monday’s meeting.

Lindsay pointed out a number of restaurants that took advantage of the program originally intended as a way to regain seating space lost to COVID-19 social distancing precautions. He also reviewed permanent restaurant patio spaces that existed prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: COVID-19 brings curbside ‘parklet’ patios back to downtown Nanaimo

The temporary program also allows liquor to be served on the patios without requiring a second liquor licence.

Council was presented with two options for the temporary patio program extension. The first option was to extend the program as is without interruption until the fall of 2021. The second option was to remove the patios, store them for the winter, and re-install them in the spring of 2021.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog expressed his preference for the first option, saying that “hell will hath no fury like the citizens of Nanaimo if we don’t go for option one.”

But winterizing the patios might trigger building permit requirements. There could be an impact on snow clearing operations and weathering the winter could cause the patios to deteriorate more quickly.

“I think we would be remiss if we didn’t identify some … areas that we’ll have to be aware of during this change in the program,” Lindsay said.

He said the city would work with program participants on potential building code and safety issues that could arise with winterizing modifications. The city’s engineering department could work around snow clearing issues and, as for quicker deterioration of the patios, which are constructed from pressure-treated wood, Lindsay said he’s “not anticipating any major issues” since the program is only being extended to the fall of 2021.

Brent Burgoyne, city carpenter, constructs a patio to increase seating space for restaurants to meet COVID-19 health…

Posted by Nanaimo News Bulletin on Monday, June 1, 2020

Coun. Don Bonner asked if the patios could be made permanent by extending the size of sidewalks.

Lindsay pointed out a couple of issues with modifying sidewalks and other infrastructure to accommodate permanent patios, such as the possibility of a restaurant closing and being replaced by a shoe store, but said the temporary patio program can provide insight into where it might be possible to do so in the future.

“If we’re doing a larger public realm improvement program it really gives us some good test cases and good data on where we can make these things permanent,” Lindsay said.

The participants of the program pay for the program’s costs and new applicants can still apply to take part.
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Canadian Federation of University Women Nanaimo members Wendy Smiley, left, Karen Skarpnes, storyteller Margaret Murphy, CFUW-Nanaimo president Jeri Manley and club treasurer Kathy Torhjelm gather in recognition of the club’s 75th anniversary. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo chapter of Canadian Federation of University Women celebrates 75th anniversary

Group gathered via Zoom earlier this month to recall its history in the area

Police hope the public can help find Hailey St. Claire who has been missing since Tuesday. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo woman reported missing, police asking for public’s help

Hailey St. Claire, 28, was reported missing Tuesday

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, Jason Klughart, 28, was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at Port Place Shopping Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
RCMP officer and security guard team up to detain suspect after chase in downtown Nanaimo

Jason Klughart arrested on outstanding warrant for possession of stolen property

Nanaimo RCMP and public health inspectors will be out looking for homes and businesses violating provincial health orders Saturday, Oct. 31. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP hope for Halloween safety and COVID-19 safety this weekend

Police and public health officers will be patrolling for households violating COVID-19 restrictions

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read