As sidewalk patios emerge, Burlington sets up pedestrian detours


Published May 11, 2023 at 11:22 am

Barriers will be set up along Burlington roads this year to help pedestrians move around as more patios take over downtown sidewalks.

The barriers will be used to protect pedestrians as they detour onto the street to make way for the patios that will be extending out onto the sidewalks from restaurants and cafes.

Business owners in Burlington have been encouraged to set up patios this year as a means to help get the city’s economy back on its feet in the post-pandemic world.

A report presented to Burlington City council earlier this year suggested that outdoor patios for restaurants, cafes and other businesses are helpful in building citizen engagement, community health and culture as well as allowing residents to boost traffic at local businesses.

The new rules for this year allow businesses to set up on sidewalks and many are already doing so.

As a result, pedestrian traffic is being detoured along the roads with barriers in place to keep everyone safe.

Sidewalk detours for patios are currently being installed in downtown Burlington on:

  • The north side of Pine St. between Elizabeth St. and Pearl St.
  • The east side of John St. between Pine St. and Lakeshore Rd.
  • The north side of Lakeshore Rd.  between Brant St. and John St.
  • The north side of Lakeshore Rd. between Locust St. and Brant St.
  • The north side of Elgin St. between Locust St. and Brant St.

Additional detours will also be installed throughout patio season, as needed for pedestrian safety up until Oct. 31.

“City staff are committed to working with our Burlington Downtown Business Association and any interested businesses on a case-by-case basis to consider how their outdoor patios can operate while maintaining public health and safety measures,” explained Brynn Nheiley, Executive Director of Community, Regulation & Mobility for the City of Burlington

As well as restaurants and cafes other establishments that may be allowed to have patios this year include:

  • Banquet Halls
  • Community institutions, except those in a residential zone
  • Convenience/specialty food stores
  • Convention/conference centres
  • Entertainment establishments
  • Food processing and manufacturing
  • Hotels
  • Night clubs
  • Recreational establishments
  • Supermarkets/grocery stores

A spokesperson for the Burlington Downtown Business Association said this year’s program will hopefully lead to a more permanent patio program in the future.


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