Courtesy of the City of Orillia
With the See You on the Patio program well underway throughout the city with restaurants welcoming guests on their patios, Downtown Orillia is set to expand its participation with weekly road closures every Friday and Saturday to accommodate additional open-air dining and shopping opportunities.
Starting on Friday, July 2, 2021, and continuing through to Sept. 4, several streets in Downtown Orillia will be closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday evenings to allow restaurants and retailers to expand into the street as part of the See You on the Patio program.
“After the triumph of the See You on the Patio program in 2020, the Economic Recovery Task Force is thrilled with the return of the See You on the Patio program to great success already in 2021,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF). “As we move into Step 2 of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen this week, having the additional ability for open-air dining and shopping, via road closures within the downtown, will allow our great restaurants the opportunity to expand their patio space, they otherwise would be unable to access without the road closure. We encourage residents to grab a seat on the patio and support and shop local this summer.”
The street closures are part of the City’s effort to assist downtown restaurants and merchants to do business with physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures in place. Portions of Mississaga Street will be closed to traffic to ensure the community has ample space to dine on local patios and browse local stores while maintaining physical distancing.
The See You on the Patio program street closure will occur on Fridays and Saturday from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the following areas (dependent upon merchant participation):
- Mississaga Street East between Front Street and Peter Street South;
- Peter Street South (Arts District) between Mississaga Street East and Colborne Street East; and
- Mississaga Street West from West Street to Albert Street.
As part of the See You on the Patio program, several Downtown Orillia retailers will also be extending their Friday and Saturday hours. The Orillia Arts District will be hosting outdoor Friday evening Art Walks from 6 to 9 p.m. on Peter St. S. between Colborne and Mississaga streets. In addition, the Orillia Farmers’ Market will be hosting three special Friday night markets on July 9, 23 and Aug. 13. The City is also matching dozens of local performers and artists with businesses all summer long at various patios city-wide to provide entertainment to diners and shoppers.
The City has established a mobile tour and patio listing via the Tripvia Tours app that contains a map of all City-approved patios for the summer. The app is free to download and will help residents determine where they can enjoy their next patio experience. As residents enjoy the patios, the ERTF is also calling on Orillia Foodies to Unite through its social media contest. Residents are encouraged to post a photo of their favourite meal with the hashtag #OrilliaFoodiesUnite, to be entered into a shop local prize pack valued at over $500!
“The additional marketing being done by the ERTF to help promote and raise awareness of the many restaurants and patios in the city will hopefully help raise consumer confidence in Orillia,” said Coun. Emond. “Our restaurants are strictly adhering to all COVID-19 regulations and are taking the necessary actions needed to keep Orillia safe.”
City Council approved the street closure measures recently, with the support of the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB) and have committed funds to support staffing for the closure, signage, sanitization stations, marketing and employing live performers to animate patios city-wide. City and DOMB staff will be on-site during the street closures.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available on each block for patrons to use during the weekend closures and attendees are required to follow all public health guidelines including wearing a mask indoors or when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.
For more information on the See You on the Patio program, including its live animation performers and the #OrilliaFoodiesUnite contest, visit orillia.ca/patio.