Montreal is known for its patio culture. As soon as the first warm day of spring hits, the city spills out onto the caf-lined sidewalks to sip cafs au lait and cocktails with friends and neighbours. But emerging trends in urban planning – the move away from car dependent cities and towards higher-density living – are seeing this very Continental tradition transported towards the Rest of Canada, including affluent Toronto suburb, Oakville. City planners there are on the hunt for ways to encourage the development of terrasse restaurants in Oakville.
Why encourage patio restaurants in Oakville?
It’s all part of the ongoing quest to make our cities more livable. It is generally agreed upon that the ideal city is compact, but with quiet spaces as well as lots of outdoor interaction between habitants. In a sense, urban planners of today are trying to bring a little bit of the feel of the medieval town square into our downtowns. Terrasse restaurants in Oakville are meant to contribute to the social fabric of the city, to encourage the friendly interaction between citizens, and to foster a feeling of living in a friendly village.
Opportunities for patio restaurants in Oakville
Some neighbourhoods present more opportunities than others for patio restaurants in Oakville:
The Bronte Village neighbourhood has a lot of potential for terrasse restaurants because of a quirk of its past development. The lingering effect of a road-widening effort on the part of the provincial government has left the positioning of buildings vis–vis the road at a variety of distances. These uneven spaces create more room for patio restaurants. In Oakville’s other neighbhourhoods, this is not the case.
The Kerr Village neighbourhood has been looking at the possibility of extending certain roadways with an eye to adding wider-than-normal sidewalks with plenty of space to accommodate terrasse restaurants. (In Oakville, Kerr Village is known as a multicultural hub).
By-laws concerning patio restaurants in Oakville
Anyone planning to build patio restaurants in Oakville must, of course, check first with the municipality. There are certain rules, for instance, regarding:
the construction of patio restaurants in Oakville next to residential neighbourhoods
permittable weather shielding structures on patio restaurants in Oakville (including awnings and canopies)
Live music is permitted at some terrasse restaurants in Oakville, but some conflicts regarding this matter have prompted a review of the city’s noise by-law.
In general, however, public support for terrasse restaurants in Oakville seems to be quite high.
Residents often weigh in on restaurant review sites, battling over their favourite outdoor restaurants in Oakville, prompting this writer to wonder what’s next, will people in Oakville make Quebec’s two-cheek kiss their own?