Outdoor Patios and Sidewalk Cafes

For a restaurant or bar to develop outdoor seating, various approvals are required to take into consideration any impact to the surrounding area and to ensure the safety and enjoyment of customers.

Commercial Patio Types

On private parking lot:

Within a parking area on the same private parcel as restaurant: Development Permit required.

On public sidewalk/parking lane:
  • On private sidewalk on private parcel within property line: Development Permit required.
  • On a combination of private parcel and City public sidewalk/roadway: Development Permit and City Assets approval required.

Redirected public sidewalk: 

Sidewalk Café requiring redirection of pedestrians to a temporary sidewalk deck in a curb lane.

  • On private parcel and City public sidewalk: Development Permit and City Assets approval required.
  • Entirely within City public sidewalk: Approval from City Assets required.
Approval Process
Make a plan

If you are new to setting up a commercial patio, a pre-application meeting with a Planning Officer can confirm property lines and the footprint of the proposed patio in relation to your parcel and the City sidewalk. They can advise what information will be required from you, and let you know about application fees.

Contact Planning  Example patio drawings

Do your homework

Before submitting your application, it is recommended that you:

  • Contact neighbours who may be affected to identify any potential concerns with your plan for an outdoor patio space
  • Confirm that your proposed service meets relevant Alberta Health liquor and food regulations
  • Confirm with AGLC that your proposed alcohol service (if applicable) meets regulations
Apply for approval
Apply online

You can apply below for a temporary/seasonal patio, or a permanent commercial patio on private property.

Web form

Apply in person
  1. Determine which application you need (road right-of-way or private property). You can then download the form below to complete it, or come in person to Planning & Development Services (2nd floor, City Hall) and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawings and other documents ready: site plan, elevation plan, certificate of liability insurance (if required), utility locate slips (if required).
  3. Bring form and required documents and apply in person at Planning & Development Services.

PDF forms (choose which applies to your type of patio project):

Apply for building permit

Once you have your approval to proceed, you will need a building permit before you start construction. This is to ensure that safety and occupancy factors are met. Click below to apply:

Building permits


Approval process

A Planning Officer will review the drawings and circulate the drawings to Safety Codes Services and the Fire Department. If on a City sidewalk or boulevard, the application will be forwarded to City Assets for review under the Public Roads Bylaw. We will be in touch to keep you aware of the status of your application and to ask you to provide more information if required.