Commercial terraces

Last updated June 22, 2024

Restaurant or bar terraces, also called “sidewalk cafés,” play a vital part in a neighbourhood’s social life. However, they must meet the strict development standards set out by each borough, and a permit is required to operate a commercial terrace.

Do you own or operate a bar, restaurant, café, grocery store or ice cream shop and want to install an adjoining terrace?

Before doing so:

  1. Check the applicable standards set out by the borough in which you operate your business. Standards can vary, based on whether the terrace is built on private property owned by the establishment or on public property (sidewalk or road).
  2. Get  a permit that authorizes “café-terrace” use.
  3. If the terrace is built on private property, please check if you need an exterior renovation permit.
  4. If it is built on public property, please get a seasonal public property occupancy permit.

If your terrace overlaps both public and private property, you will need an authorization and two permits.

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