What is a Temporary Patio Permit?

A Temporary Patio Permit is a free permit process to allow restaurants to create new or expand existing patios to expand seating next to their restaurants to help during COVID-19. Patios may be permitted on public or private property within the municipal boulevard (under the jurisdiction of the Town of Ajax), on plaza walkways, or within surplus parking spaces; provided the patio complies with several requirements. Permits are valid from April 1 to October 31, weather permitting.

Why is a permit required?

Outdoor patios would normally require Site Plan Approval under the Planning Act. The Site Plan Application process reviews to ensure that patios, and other development, comply with municipal engineering standards, comply with the Ontario Fire Code requirements such as not impeding fire routes, comply with requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, among other requirements. The temporary patio permit is intended to streamline this process and provide temporary permissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring that patios remain safe and functional. 

If the patio is located on Public Property, the Permit process will also grant approval from the Town to locate the patio on Public Property.

How Do I Apply?

  1. Is the Patio on Public Property (i.e. municipal boulevard) or Private Property (i.e. parking spaces in a plaza)?
  2. If you do not own the property and the patio is located on Private Property, you must obtain permission from the property owner to locate a temporary patio. An Authorization Letter, permission letter or signature on the application form will be required from the owner.
  3. If the patio is located on Public Property, you must provide proof of insurance.
  4. Review the Conditions of Municipal Approval and Accessibility Standards Information below.
  5. Prepare a drawing of the patio showing:

Complete and submit the application form

Download the printable form

Conditions of Municipal Approval
  • The Town reserves the right to cancel or amend any Temporary Patio Permit approval if an issue is identified or complaint resulting from the placement of the patio area is submitted to the Town; or any planned or unplanned construction activities are needed.
  • The owner/applicant shall comply with all other applicable legislation, regulations, orders, by-laws or any other directive issued by other levels of government, including but not limited to, the Province of Ontario and Region of Durham.
  • The owner/applicant shall abide by all requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, or any conditions required by an approved liquor license.
  • The owner/applicant shall comply with the approved Temporary Patio Permit drawing attached to an approved permit.
  • No tables, chairs, or obstruction of any type, shall be placed in such a manner that interferes with accessibility of the neighbouring sidewalk or travelled portion of the municipal roadway or drive aisle. Temporary patios shall not impede or block access to a Fire Route or barrier free path of travel. Temporary Patio Permits shall comply with any other Accessibility related condition.
  • A Temporary Patio Permit is only valid from April 1 to October 31. Between November 1 and March 31, all patio furniture, pylons, planters, etc. must be removed. The Town reserves the right to have the Temporary Patio removed earlier, if poor weather conditions exist.
  • No permanent installations are permitted (i.e. no drilling or affixing anything to sidewalk/parking lot).
  • If the use of the Temporary Patio or furniture causes any damage to Town property, the owner is responsible for repairing all damage (i.e. damage to grass in the boulevard) and returning the boulevard to its original state.
  • For Temporary Patios on Public Property, the owner/applicant shall carry public liability insurance in an amount not less than$2,000,000.00, which names the Town as additionally insured, and the owner/applicant shall indemnify and save harmless the Town from any and all claims.The Town reserves the right to apply additional or site specific conditions with the issuance of the Temporary Patio Permit.
Accessibility Standards (if applicable)
  • Accessible Parking: Ensure no existing accessible parking spaces are removed/used for outdoor seating area, and that patio/outdoor eating area is located along a barrier-free path of travel within reasonable distance from accessible parking and restaurant entrance
  • Path of Travel: Maintain and do not impede existing or proposed barrier-free paths of travel within and outside of the patio. If existing sidewalk is impacted, an alternate route shall be provided and delineated to maintain access and circulation. Ensure access to outdoor seating area/patio is on ground level surface, unless ramped; minimum 3 meter clearance between tables to allow mobility device access
  • Washroom access: Outdoor patio/eating area should provide clear, barrier-free access to accessible washroom (if one exists inside facility already)
  • Seating: A minimum of 20% of all seating should be capable of providing accessible seating.
  • Knee and toe clearance: Consider providing at least 750 mm wide x 680 mm high x 250 mm deep clear knee space below the table, with an additional toe space beyond of 750 mm wide x 230 mm high x 230 mm deep. This will allow most wheelchair users to sit close to the table.
  • Mobility Aids/Devices: Areas for mobility aids/device storage (e.g. walker) should be identified to maintain clear path of travel.
  • Barricades/Boundaries: Ensure any barricades/boundaries (railings, planters, pylons, etc.) to identify patio area are cane-detectable to provide people with visual impairment a means of identifying boundaries. All cane-detectable warnings should be no more than 680mm from the ground surface.
  • Shade: Considerations for umbrellas or other temporary shade structures are encouraged; and shall be located so as to not impede barrier-free clearance and paths of travel
Provincial and Regional Agency Contact Information and Resources

Region of Durham Health Department:

The Region of Durham Health Department may require inspections of new, or expanded patios. It is recommended that anyone interested in, or who has applied for, a Temporary Patio contact the Region of Durham Health Department at 1-800-841-2729 or visit https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/health-and-wellness.aspx


Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario:

For existing Liquor License holders, it is recommended that you contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario by visiting https://www.agco.ca/ to ensure that existing and expanded patios operate in compliance with your approved Liquor License. All temporary outdoor patios will be required to comply with all Provincial legislation or regulations.