Sidewalk Cafes and Outdoor Patios

This information is provided primarily for those restaurant operators who wish to establish an outdoor area for food and/or beverages on municipal property, which are referred to as sidewalk cafes.

Where do I apply for a sidewalk cafe?

Applications for a sidewalk café must be submitted to the Planning Department, City Hall, 4310 Queen Street (drop box only), Niagara Falls OR [email protected].

What do I need to submit?

Plans must be drawn to scale showing: the front of the restaurant, the outside dimensions of the outdoor café area, the position of tables and chairs such that a 2 metre separation distance is maintained at all times. The plans must show a minimum 1 metre (39 inches) wide emergency evacuation route from the business operation to the street.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, only if occupying City Property, you need to submit a Standard Certificate of Insurance for $5 million to indemnify the City of Niagara Falls.

Is there a fee?

There is no application fee. The City has waived the standard licencing fee for the use of City property during the 2020 season. The season for the outdoor café ends November 1, 2020.

How long does it take?

The City will process your request as expeditiously as possible. The application will be circulated to municipal departments to make sure there are no safety risks. Provided there are no issues, the request will be granted as soon as possible.

Do I need perimeter fencing?

A physical separation around the outdoor café is required, if serving alcohol.

Can I operate an outdoor patio on my own restaurant property?

Yes.  Please see "What do I need to submit?".