Windsor City Council is welcoming back the on-street parklets and Outdoor Food Hall that were a hit with residents and businesses last year.

Council approved the motion to reapprove their COVID-19 Small Business Action Plan which they originally approved in May 2020. This includes:

  • Fees for sidewalk café permits and outdoor cafes located on public rights of way be waived for the remainder of 2020, allowing bars and restaurants to create accessible open spaces where patrons can be appropriately socially distanced. Based on the average patio size, it is estimated that local operators will each see about $1,000 in savings due to these measures.
  • That fees for the rental of Lanspeary Park be waived to allow for a pilot project for an outdoor food hall, subject to the satisfaction of City administration;
  • That Business Improvement Areas (BIA) within the City of Windsor will be requested to submit plans for any temporary closure of roads and/or sidewalks to facilitate proper physical distancing while encouraging patrons to support local businesses within a BIA. City administration is also directed to respond on a priority basis to these BIA plans and waive any fees associated with the closing of the public right of way granted to BIA’s through this initiative.
Pelissier Street Parklet being built in Downtown Windsor. Photo courtesy of Mark Bradley.
Pelissier Street Parklet being built in Downtown Windsor. Photo courtesy of Mark Bradley.

What does all that mean?

It means those beautiful boardwalk style patios you saw built up throughout Downtown Windsor, Walkerville and Ottawa Street will be back and available for businesses throughout the city, permitting they can safely fit. Patios will also be longer this year, with council agreeing to an April 1 start to patio season for 2021 with an end date of November 14.

This approval also means WindsorEats will be working hard to get the Outdoor Food Hall operational again.

Once Provincial regulations permitted for outdoor gathers of up to 100 people in September 2020, WindsorEats opened the Outdoor Food Hall as a way for local hospitality businesses who had minimal capacity indoors or unable to open an outdoor patio the opportunity to operate with a larger capacity. It also allowed for culinary businesses without a brick and mortar location and relied on festivals and events a location to operate.

The Outdoor Food Hall was so successful for Rico Taco Mexican Street Eats that it lead to them opening up a brick and mortar location.