Guelph passes motion to close downtown streets for patios
KITCHENER -- The City of Guelph passed a motion Wednesday that would allow for the closure of downtown streets to make room for extended patios.
The measure does not mandate that specific streets must be closed on specific days.
Instead, the city is relying on local businesses to come to them with a plan.
For example, a street with a high concentration of restaurants and cafes could ask that a section of the street to be closed for a specific period.
According to Mayor Cam Guthrie, this will ensure that both restaurants and retailers can thrive.
“There are two sides to this story,” he says. “There are the restaurants and cafes that depend on capacity. They can’t have people in their stores, they need more of those spaces outside. Then you have the other types of stores, like a bookstore or some other retail store, who has nothing to do with food, who says ‘Why are you shutting my street down when I need customers to get to me?’”
Guthrie says in order for this plan to work, it’s going to take cooperation.
But he believes his city is up for the challenge.
“There is going to be some give and take,” he says. “I trust the downtown Guelph business association, I trust all the people of Guelph to figure it out. Maybe it's not perfect, but we have try to do something to help these businesses.”
The launch of the ‘Downtown Dining’ project is expected to start on July 1.