Toronto, October 27, 2011 — The Toronto Public Space Initiative (TPSI) and the Trinity Bellwoods Community Association (TBCA) oppose Fresh Restaurant’s proposal to construct a permanent enclosure on the patio of its 894 Queen St. W. location at the intersection of Queen and Crawford Sts. The proposed building addition would be constructed on a public right of way, and would remove an important open-air patio from the surrounding community.
City of Toronto Transportation Services has reviewed the proposal and does not recommend approval because the addition represents a permanent encroachment on public space. While restaurants sometimes are permitted to operate open-air “flank” patios over public rights-of-way, as is the case with Fresh, city staff points out that no provisions exist to allow for the installation of permanent buildings within the public right-of-way.
Open-air patios, such as the one Fresh has operated for years at this location, encourage a vibrant, urban street life in the summer and contribute to the special atmosphere that exists in the city during the warmer months. Fresh’s proposal to build a permanent enclosure over its licensed flank represents the loss of an open-air patio that significantly enhances street life in the Trinity Bellwoods community. Also, TPSI and TBCA fear that a successful application by Fresh Restaurant will set a precedent that encourages other restaurants with flank patios to propose similar permanent enclosures. For example, we understand another restaurant on College Street is closely monitoring the Fresh application. The precedent established by a successful application at this Fresh location could represent the possible disappearance of many open-air patios across the city.
The Toronto-East York Community Council will consider the application on November 2, 2011. Now, TPSI and TBCA encourage interested residents to write Councilor Mike Layton (firstname.lastname@example.org) to voice their concerns about a proposal that could significantly endanger Toronto’s vibrant patio culture.
Learn more about the Fresh application here:
Any questions or requests for information can be directed to:
TPSI Executive Director