Uptown sidewalk patios

Learn how to apply for a patio in Waterloo's uptown district.

On this page

  1. About uptown sidewalk patios
  2. How to apply for an uptown patio
  3. Patio districts
  4. Sidewalk guidelines
  5. Patio application checklist

About uptown sidewalk patios

In 2017 council approved the uptown sidewalk patio project which allows local businesses to apply for patios on sidewalks in the uptown area. This project encourages patio culture in the uptown.  

The uptown sidewalk patio guidelines (PDF) sets out requirements for interested applicants and property owners.

How to apply for an uptown patio

Sidewalk patio fees have been waived for the 2024 season. To apply you will need:

Further information is provided in the uptown sidewalk patio guidelines (PDF).

If you require these documents in a different format, contact 519-465-5501, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941, or christine.tettman@waterloo.ca

Uptown patio districts

Patio districts have been established as part of the patio guidelines to help promote the patio culture, ease the planning application process and encourage decorative aspects of patios.

View the map to see which street corresponds to its patio district:
View our uptown patio districts map outlining city streets corresponding to patio districts

Sidewalk guidelines

The uptown sidewalk patio guidelines provide the full details of performance standards targets set by the city and go into further detail of each district. Please see the guideline for further information.

District Jurisdiction LRT Setback Bike Route Setback

On-street Parking

Sidewalk Clearance Zone
King North Region and city

check updated guidelines
King South: LRT Track to William  Region

east side

west side

check updated guidelines
King South: William to Union Region   

centre line

 ✗ check updated guidelines
Caroline  Region 

centre line 

check updated guidelines
Erb  Region  ✗  check updated guidelines
Regina  City  check updated guidelines
Willis Way  City    

check updated guidelines

Patio application checklist

Before submitting your application, please ensure you have completed the below items:

  1. Property owner authorization: does the business owner have the consent / approval of the property owner to submit a patio application. Property owner authorization is required.

  2. Road authority: is the proposed patio located on a city street or regional road? Specific standards and approvals will apply based on road classification and authority.

  3. Clear path of travel (unobstructed sidewalk): does the proposed patio maintain the required clear path of travel requirement? Review patio location and show on the patio drawing.

  4. Setbacks: are there any setbacks that may impact the proposed patio location? These may include on-street parking spaces (0.5m setback), bike lanes or shared use paths (no encroachment) and ION LRT route (curb side).

  5. Fencing: is the proposed patio fencing removable, does it meet installation criteria and design goals?

  6. Licensed patios: does the proposed patio meet the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) requirements and occupant load requirements? Consult with city’s building division for more information prior to AGCO and patio application submissions.

  7. Patio application: do you have the following information for submission:

    1. Scaled patio plan showing patio dimensions, clear path of travel, setback information (to surrounding features and building facade), building entrance, sidewalk dimensions, curb line.
    2. Do you have the necessary liability insurance for a patio? Can you provide a copy of the Sidewalk Patio Certificate of Insurance completed by an insurer or insurance broker.