Ontario is preparing for the eventual reopening of patios.  The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is allowing restaurants and bars to temporarily extend their patio spaces to safely allow patrons and staff once they are allowed to reopen.  A date has not been given.

That means licenced establishments can create or expand the size of their existing patios in order to meet physical distancing measures.  The AGCO will not require licensees to apply or pay a fee for the expansions, which will remain in effect until January 1st, 2021.  However, licensees will have to receive municipal approval and meet all other requirements.

The province is also providing enhanced choice and flexibility to Ontario liquor manufacturers regarding the location of “tied houses”, which are the restaurants and bars located at wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Effective immediately, tied houses are no longer required to be located on the manufacturing site itself, but may be located anywhere at the same municipal or property address as the manufacturing site.