A restaurant industry advocate calls the fees charged for the creation of sidewalk patios in the capital city “exorbitant.”
Richard Alexander of Restaurants Canada was responding to a recent CFIB study which found that business owners in St. John’s are paying nearly six times as much for a patio permit than what is charged in Toronto.
Restaurants in the downtown have established patio space on the sidewalks in the summer months to capitalize on the Pedestrian Mall.
Alexander says bankruptcy rates among restaurant owners in Canada have risen significantly since the pandemic, and while the Pedestrian Mall is a great idea, the fees are far too high.
“That’s not really a long-term vision of what our city can be and what we should be providing for small businesses, particularly downtown.”