Calgary has experienced a whirlwind 24 hours, and along with our ‘vaccine passport’ that isn’t called a vaccine passport, we also got some big news on the patio extension program in Calgary. In a vote of 13-0, the city council has announced that restaurants will be allowed to build more permanent extended patios next year.

So how is this any different than what we saw over the summer?

Well, as part of the initial decision to allow patios to (responsibly) spill into the streets at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, bars, eateries, and cafes were only allowed to build temporary extensions in the warmer months to help them serve more customers while a limitation on capacity was in effect. This is where this week’s decision differs.

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You see, after seeing the positive impact that it’s had on local businesses, the city has decided to allow these businesses to build awnings and fences meant to stick around for the long term. What this will look like and which establishments and streets take advantage of it the most is yet to be seen, but we can imagine pedestrian hotspots like Stephen Ave, 17th Ave SW, 4th Street SW, and more will be perfect for this.

Calgarians are resilient and given the choice to grab a beer on the patio, no matter the weather, there will always be people who take advantage of that.

As of right now, fees for these permanently extended patios are still being discussed, but we’ll keep you guys updated.