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COVID-19: Applying for an outdoor patio

How to apply

Depending on where you want to put your outdoor patio, you will need a temporary permission or a development permit.

Contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 or through Live Chat. Our Community Planning team will help you with this process.

Temporary permission

You need a temporary permission to open an outdoor patio if

  • The patio is on a road or right of way (public property)
  • The patio is on public land (city-owned)

Development permit

You need a development permit for an outdoor patio if:

  • The patio is on private property like a parking lot.

* Both Temporary permission and a development permit are required if the patio will straddle private and public property.

What if I have an existing outdoor patio?

If you have an existing outdoor patio that has already been approved to operate this summer, you do not need to reapply for 2020.​


Temporary permission


The fee is currently being waived and temporary permission for patios will be valid until stage three of the COVID-19 recovery plan is enacted or the end of 2020 patio season (whichever comes first).

Development permit


The fee is currently being waived for applications received from May 1, 2020 – October 31, 2020.​

What is a development permit?

Development permits for outdoor patios are a discretionary permit. They require circulation, a notice posting, and 21-day appeal period. Find out more at additional permits for outdoor patios and cafes​.

Choosing a location

When considering if a temporary patio will work for your location, evaluate if your site can still maintain pedestrian safety and accessibility. The temporary permission comes with conditions, including requirements from Alberta Health and Occupational Health and Safety.

Ideas for your temporary patio:

  • Place tables and chairs on the public sidewalk​
  • Use outdoor space for retail racks or displays
  • Place registers or payment terminals outdoors

The use of outdoor space is one way to enable more physical distancing for both patrons and staff.

Health and Safety

Businesses with temporary patios will be required to follow Alberta Health Services requirements, guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta, as well as Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

You must acknowledge:

  • Protecting pedestrian accessibility
  • Insurance
  • Indemnification

If serving alcohol, establishments are required to follow Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) requirements and permitting requirements.

Patio application process

For our regular, full patio process, please see ​​​​​​Outdoor Patios and Cafés Process​​.