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.  Please see the Sidewalk Cafe Guidelines here Sidewalk Cafe Guidelines & Additional Information

Summer of the Patio

Discover Niagara Falls' patio dining to enjoy this summer! For more information and a list of establishments offering patios, visit Summer of the Patio.

Where can I apply for a Sidewalk Café?

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

What do I need to submit?

A completed application form and patio plan drawing must be submitted for a complete application. Plans must be prepared by a qualified professional*, drawn to scale in metric, showing: the front of the restaurant, the outside dimensions of the outdoor café area, the position of tables and chairs, and the total patio area calculation. The plans must show a minimum 1 metre (39 inches) wide emergency evacuation route from the business operation to the street.

*Defined as an Ontario Land Surveyor, Ontario Landscape Architect, Certified Planning, Engineering or Architectural Technologist or Technician.

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?

An application fee of $1030 is required for the Sidewalk Café application.  After the application is reviewed and approved by City Staff, an additional license fee of $36 per square metre of patio area located on municipal property will be required.

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.  Outdoor patios located on private property would be subject to site plan control. Please contact the Niagara Falls Planning Department for more information regarding this process:  [email protected] or 905-356-7521 ext. 4235