It was a whole new world in Toronto over the weekend. Along with welcoming the first few days of spring, the city said hello to outdoor dining. As of Saturday morning, restaurants across town welcomed back their customers for the first time in months. It’s hard to believe mere weeks ago we were all but snowed in!
Of course, the new outdoor dining allowances come with some restrictions. It’s important to note that the change does NOT mean we’ve moved out of the grey zone in Ontario’s colour-coded framework. Rather, we’ve entered what many are calling a “modified lockdown” period.
Right now, patio dining in Toronto has tables limited to folks dining with members of their own household, with exceptions for people who live alone or caregivers. So no gathering with all your friends for patio drinks just yet! There are also reduced capacity regulations and mandatory signage on display.
Of course, those rules didn’t stop the city from flocking to all the Toronto patios in sight! A jaunt through any neighbourhood over the weekend would have brought you mask-to-mask (figuratively) with excited patrons enjoying all these restos have to offer.
As with pretty much everything that goes down in this city, Twitter had a lot to say about the situation:
Patio preps are underway bright &early in Little Italy. Restaurant owners in Toronto will be able to welcome patrons on their patios for the first time since Nov 23rd, when the city went into lockdown. It’s been only takeout/delivery for nearly 4 months, but today brings new hope pic.twitter.com/2LjxEBWV4E
— Beatrice Vaisman (@BeatriceVaisman) March 20, 2021
Toronto patios are open as of today…Maybe I’m just hormonal, but I’m driving along Queen East & just passed one — either there’s onions in here, or I’m tearing up ..Humans aren’t meant to exist behind a screen. We’re meant to live. it’s so nice to see people living again. ❤️
— Liberal, Not Lefty (@liberalnotlefty) March 20, 2021
Toronto is building field hospitals AND opening outdoor patios this wknd. who says you can’t have it all? — Mark De Angelis (@DeAngelisMark) March 20, 2021
— sambal mami (@rachmatamanda) March 20, 2021
As you can see, there are some pretty mixed reviews about the whole thing. But whether you’re pro-patio or against it, there’s no denying that the warm weather is something to celebrate.
Stay healthy, everyone!