Toronto bars, restaurants, stores ‘ready to go’

Article content

It’s the day hundreds of bars, restaurants and stores have been eagerly awaiting.

Shane Ryan uses a power drill to make final adjustments to one of his patio picnic tables, as some of his 36 staff are in a mad scramble to get his tiny Beaches restaurant ready.

“Time to get to work!” the small business owner, who has survived the lockdowns because of takeout business and government assistance, said Thursday.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that it’s going to start up,” he said on his freshly built patio at Breakwall BBQ on Queen St. E.

As of one minute after midnight Friday, it’s a whole new world.

Virginia McIntosh co-owner of Breakwall BBQ, brings out the umbrellas for the CafeTO patio, the along Queen St. E, just west of Woodbine Ave., Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Virginia McIntosh co-owner of Breakwall BBQ, brings out the umbrellas for the CafeTO patio, the along Queen St. E, just west of Woodbine Ave., Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 10, 2021. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Among the rules for restaurants and bar patios is that they seat up to four people at a table, maintain six meters of physical distance between tables, and ensure way to contact trace customers just in case.

Toronto’s CafeTO program helped more than 800 businesses last summer. The city says that’s up to more than 1,000 this year.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

It’s become an essential way to generate business by expanding outdoor seating onto the street. Especially since Ryan’s patio normally seats just 12 people.

  1. A sign in a barber shop window indicated the establishment was closed because of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

    Small biz feels ‘abandoned’ in Ontario: CFIB

  2. A family heads to Sunnyside Beach on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

    WARMINGTON: Everybody happy about Toronto’s biggest patio, except patio owners

  3. According to a recent survey, many Ontarians are seeking more space. RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC

    Pandemic-driven exodus from cities ‘overstated’

“Knowing it was still available and coming back for this summer probably made the difference between staying open or not,” the young entrepreneur said.

At the sprawling Cabana Waterfront Patio in the Port Lands, a stream of people arrived Thursday afternoon to settle into new jobs serving the 600-seat patio.

“It’s a crazy feeling,” said Charles Khabouth, CEO of Ink Entertainment and owner of Cabana. “In my 38 year career in the hospitality business, we have never been shut down. We are just hoping it sticks this time.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Charles Khabouth, CEO, Ink Entertainment at Cabana Waterfront Patio in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Charles Khabouth, CEO, Ink Entertainment at Cabana Waterfront Patio in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 10, 2021. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

He’s definitely not alone.

The Retail Council of Canada says it has had enough.

“Ontario has endured the longest lockdown in the world,” the Council said in a statement. “Our members have absorbed unbearable financial, emotional stress, job losses and business closures.”

It’s imploring the government to adjust and to allow all retailers to partially open, including those inside malls.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“There is no medical evidence to support the continued lockdown of businesses,” the Council said.

Ontario’s Stage 2 is still at least 21 days away, barring any setback with COVID -19 cases.

Back in the Beaches — where Ryan puts the finishing touches on his patio — he is just happy for this one small step of progress.

“We are super excited,” he said. “Everybody is ready to go.”

slaurie@postmedia.com

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
On Key

Related Posts

On AIR

Russtrat world

How can Poland threaten Russia?

MOSCOW, 27 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. “Information waves” periodically sweep through Russian social networks with descriptions of various threats to Russia. During the second Karabakh