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2020 Sidewalk Cafe Permit Frequently Asked Questions

As a result of COVID19, the City of Windsor has agreed to waive permit and annual fees for the 2020 sidewalk cafe season in an effort to support local restaurants and small businesses. A sidewalk café is an outdoor seating area located within a public right-of-way that functions as a seasonal extension of the restaurant. In order to operate a sidewalk café, one must obtain an annual permit.

How do I obtain a 2020 Sidewalk Cafe Permit to install an outdoor patio for my business?

Email with the following information to be reviewed by the Right-of-Way Division:

  1. Completed Sidewalk Cafe Application
  2. Proof of Insurance, satisfying the City of Windsor’s requirements
  3. Any new or modified sidewalk cafes require a drawing, complete with cafe and clearance dimensions as outlined in the Sidewalk Cafe Handbook.

What are the fees associated with obtaining a Sidewalk Cafe Permit within the public right-of-way?

  1. Indemnity fee - $1,000.00 (due upon permit issuance, refundable upon passing final inspection)
  2. Permit fee - $212.00 (waived for the 2020 season only)
  3. Annual fee - $2.00/square foot (waived for the 2020 season only)

What are the insurance requirements for obtaining a Sidewalk Cafe Permit?

A Commercial General Liability Certificate of Insurance is required in the amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) per occurrence with a property damage deductible not to exceed $1,000 or as agreed by licensor, and the applicant shall name The Corporation of the City of Windsor as an additional insured.

How many types of Sidewalk Cafés are there?

There are three types of Sidewalk Cafés offered through the City of Windsor:

  • 3-Season Café – Operates from March 1 to November 30. 
  • Year-Round Café – Operates from January 1 to December 31. Year-round cafés require one (1) heater (propane or electric) for every ten (10) people that can occupy the patio and must be included on the Certificate of Insurance.
  • Mini Cafés – A non-licensed sidewalk café with a maximum of 2 small tables and 8 chairs. The mini café can be a maximum of 55 square feet and cannot extend more than 6 feet into the right-of-way. Railings are not required for a mini cafe.

What clearances does the Sidewalk Cafe have to maintain?

  • A minimum 2.4 metres (8 feet) clear pedestrian aisle sidewalk must be maintained in all commercial areas.
  • A minimum 1.6 metres (6 feet) clear pedestrian aisle sidewalk must be maintained for Cafes located on the flankage (residential) side of corner lots.
  • Cafe entrances must maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres (5 feet) and up to 2.0 metres (6.5 feet) unobstructed path to the door of the restaurant for universal access.