Skip to main content Skip to footer

Street Patio Program

Our street patio program provides outdoor dining options to businesses within public spaces, like sidewalks and on-street parking spaces.

Patio types

There are two types of street patios: 

  1. Sidewalk patios: outdoor dining areas situated entirely on the sidewalk, without impacting on-street parking. This layout is ideal for businesses with enough sidewalk space in front of their building. 
    1. Cafe-style patio: a simple, unenclosed sidewalk patio set-up for non-serving uses consisting only of tables, chairs, and umbrellas. 
    2. Frontage patio: an enclosed sidewalk patio suitable for serving, consisting of fencing, tables, chairs, umbrellas, host stands, plants, lights, and/or other patio furnishings. 
  2. Pop-up patios: outdoor dining areas that utilize on-street parking spaces or a combination of on-street parking spaces and the sidewalk. This layout may be a preferred option for businesses that do not have sufficient sidewalk space but are still looking for additional outdoor dining space during the summer months.
    1. Parking space patio: located in one or more on-street parking spaces, typically involving a platform that is constructed to match the grade of the sidewalk. 
    2. Patio with pedestrian bypass: patio is located on the sidewalk, but requires a platform to be deployed as a pedestrian bypass  

If you are interested in applying for a street patio in one of the configurations above, please review our Street Patio Standards and Application Guide in detail to learn more about the program.

  1. Identify the type of street patio you would like to apply for and review technical and design standards.
  2. Take photos of the patio’s location, including adjacent properties for context. Ensure to capture building entrances and any sidewalks streetscape elements. 
  3. Prepare overhead plans of the proposed patio configuration using Google Maps or other tools and clearly show: 
    • Entrances to the patio and surrounding buildings 
    • Adjacent property lines 
    • Dimensions of the patio area, including the location of any fencing (corners should be angled to minimize the impact on pedestrian flow where necessary) 
    •  The clear path of travel for pedestrians (minimum 1.83 metres and no 90-degree turns) 
    • The location and spacing of all tables and chairs. You should clearly show the total number of tables and chairs that you intend to include. Hand-drawn overhead plans are not accepted. 
    • The location of other patio furnishings, such as host stands or planters 
    • The location of nearby streetscape elements (trees, planters, light standards, sign posts, utility poles, parking meters, fire hydrants, utility covers and hydro vaults, maintenance holes, catch basins, utility valves, bicycle parking racks, benches, gas/electric/ phone/internet equipment, and waste receptacles)  
    • The location of nearby commercial loading zones, accessible parking, and transit stops 
    • For a sidewalk patio during the shoulder season (October 1 to November 30), include a second plan showing heating device locations for colder weather. 
  4. Gather photos of design features. 
    1. You can take photos of these features or use available online pictures. Include these photos in a single document for clarity. 
    2. If your business is in the Downtown Area and you need help designing your street patio, contact the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA) directly. They can provide recommendations for patio furnishings and materials. 
    3. Submit photos of furnishings and materials for the proposed patio including: 
      • Fencing 
      • Tables 
      • Chairs 
      • Umbrellas 
      • Host stands 
      • Lighting 
      • Planters 
      • Heaters 
      • Other decorative elements  
  5. Certify your platform if applicable. If you are proposing to construct a platform as part of your patio set-up, you must provide drawings stamped by a Professional Engineer or a Licensed Architect to demonstrate the platform is structurally sound and can accommodate the intended load. 
  6. Obtain letters of support if applicable: 
    1. If the location of the proposed street patio is within the Downtown Kingston BIA, send your completed patio plan with pictures of the design features to Downtown Kingston BIA association  for feedback. A letter of support from the Downtown Kingston BIA association is required as part of your application if the street patio is within this area. 
    2. For sidewalk patios extending in front of an adjacent business, you must receive a letter of support from the adjacent business. 
    3. For pop-up patios with umbrellas or other materials that are taller than 1.2 metres and positioned in front of an adjacent business (excluding standard tables and chairs), you must obtain a letter of support from the adjacent business. 
  7. Licence your patio if applicable. Liquor sales licencees and manufacturers that hold a by-the-glass endorsement who want to operate a street patio must notify the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) by making a submission on the iAGCO portal before selling or serving liquor on the street patio. 
  8. Sign up or Login into My Kingston fill out the application form uploading all the documentation required.  
  9. We will review your application across various City departments and partners, providing you with feedback for any revisions required before approval. We will evaluate your application based on:  
    • Compliance with the standards outlined in the Street Patio Standards and application guide
    • Suitability of the location and any impacts on existing services 
    • Accessibility of the patio and surrounding area  
    • Safety of the patio set-up, location, and materials 
    • Design quality and functionality of the patio layout 
  10. Pay your applicable fees and provide proof of insurance before receiving your permit and /or legal agreement to operate your street patio. We will determine the fees based on the type and size of the patio. 
  11. Once the street patio is constructed during the patio season, it may be subject to inspections by City staff to ensure compliance. 

Note: The City reserves the right to deny a street patio application if the proposal does not meet the minimum requirements outlined in the Street Patio Standards and Application Guide or if there are specific issues with the proposed site that would preclude the installation of a street patio. 

Sign up/log in to MyKingston to complete your application online and ensure we can fulfill your request effectively.  

Winter patios  

During the winter months, businesses can apply to operate winter patios. Café-style patio (tables and chairs only) are permitted to operate year-round, and must adhere to all of the requirements outlined in the Street Patio Standards and application guide. 

  • For special one-time events during the winter months, you can apply for an Encroachment Permit to set up a temporary sidewalk patio. For more information, email the Transportation Department.
  • For all types of winter patios, you will be responsible for the removal of all snow and ice from the patio area for winter maintenance, not later than 12 hours after the end of the precipitation that caused the snow and ice. 
  • A minimum 1.83-metre pedestrian clearway must be always maintained around the seating and must account for the presence of snowbanks that may further reduce the available clearway width. 

Add public seating 

You can apply to add public seating in front of your business. This could consist of: 

  • 1-2 benches or, 
  • 1-4 small outdoor chairs placed directly in front of the business.  

Provide the product specifications for the benches or chairs and where you are planning to place them. There's a one-time application fee. For more information or to submit your request email

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy statement.