Community NewsToronto

CaféTO Launches with 95% of Curb Lane Cafés Ready for the Long Weekend

Toronto – As the warm weather beckons Torontonians outdoors, the city’s much-anticipated CaféTO program has officially kicked off, promising a season of vibrant outdoor dining experiences. Mayor Olivia Chow, alongside Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik and local councillors, inaugurated the event at Pho Tien Thanh restaurant on the lively Ossington strip.

In a testament to the city’s commitment to supporting local businesses, an impressive 95 percent of participating restaurant operators are equipped to welcome patrons to their curb lane cafés this long weekend. This achievement surpasses expectations, with over 290 restaurant operators, including 81 newcomers, and 211 returning operators participating in this year’s festivities.

New enhancements have been introduced to elevate the aesthetic appeal and safety of curb lane cafés. Painted concrete barriers, meeting stringent safety standards, now adorn the outdoor spaces, enhancing both functionality and visual appeal.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic, the City of Toronto has streamlined the CaféTO application and renewal process, ensuring a more user-friendly experience for restaurant operators. Increased support from City staff has expedited permit applications and platform reviews, facilitating a smoother rollout of the program.

Mayor Olivia Chow expressed her excitement for the transformative potential of CaféTO, noting its ability to breathe new life into neighborhoods, support the restaurant industry, and generate employment opportunities. Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik echoed these sentiments, encouraging residents to relish the diverse culinary offerings while enjoying the great outdoors.

Local councillors, including Paula Fletcher and Chris Moise, highlighted the significance of CaféTO in revitalizing main streets and fostering a thriving restaurant scene. John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), commended the collaborative efforts between the City and local operators in ensuring a successful launch.

Meg Marshall, Manager of the Ossington Business Improvement Area (BIA), praised the improved administrative process of CaféTO, which promises a longer and more exciting patio season for businesses and operators.

As Torontonians gear up to embrace the joys of outdoor dining, CaféTO stands as a beacon of hope, offering a glimpse of normalcy and community vibrancy after challenging times. With its commitment to supporting local businesses and enhancing the urban landscape, CaféTO promises an unforgettable summer experience for residents and visitors alike.

For more information on CaféTO and a list of participating restaurants, visit the City’s website.

Stay tuned to GTA Today for the latest updates on CaféTO and other initiatives shaping the Greater Toronto Area’s dynamic culinary scene.


Kelly Deschamps is the dedicated City Hall Reporter, bringing forth the pulse of municipal affairs with precision and clarity. With an astute eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories that shape urban life, Deschamps delivers comprehensive coverage of local governance. For inquiries or feedback, contact Kelly at

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