Bracebridge Encouraging More Outdoor Patios
Patios have been springing up across Muskoka in the past couple of weeks and the Town of Bracebridge is hoping to encourage even more to start up as the summer season launches into full swing.
During the latest Bracebridge general committee meeting, councillors tried to expedite the process by giving the CAO authority to approve patios until Oct. 14, 2020. That includes exemptions on site controls and fees, as long as the Town’s planning and development department agree with the proposals.
They’re also allowing other outdoor facilities like pop-up businesses and outdoor sale and display of merchandise.
There was some concern about eating up parking spaces downtown to create patios, and staff said downtown businesses want to make sure they keep all their parking.
Coun. Mark Quemby said there was plenty of parking in the downtown area, and he’s love to see some second story or rooftop patios downtown.
Mayor Graydon Smith said downtown businesses are struggling and this is the best way to help expedite what the province is already allowing. He said Muskoka has a short season for those businesses to make money, and the Town needs to do everything possible to help them make it through.