Friday Evening Downtown Street Closures Begin July 10

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Residents are encouraged to grab a seat on the patio in Downtown Orillia on Friday evenings. Starting this week, July 10, 2020, parts of Mississaga Street will be closed to traffic to allow restaurants to expand their seating into the street as part of the “See You On The Patio” program.

“After spending months indoors, we’re looking forward to meeting our friends and neighbours safely in the streets again while supporting the businesses who have supported our community throughout the years,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force.

The street closures are part of the City’s effort to assist downtown restaurants and merchants to do business with physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures in place. Portions of Mississaga Street will be closed to traffic to ensure the community has ample space to dine on local patios and browse local stores while maintaining physical distancing.

The See You On The Patio street closure will occur on Fridays from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the following areas:

  • Mississaga Street East between Front Street and Peter Street South;
  • Peter Street South (Arts District) between Mississaga Street East and Colborne Street East; and
  • Mississaga Street West from West Street to Andrew Street.

Numerous restaurants plan to expand their patios into the street for a unique, open-air dining experience. Several Downtown Orillia retailers will also be extending their Friday hours to coincide with the patio expansions.

“We couldn’t ask for a better forecast for our first patio evening this Friday – the weather will be hot, and the drinks will be cold. We ask that everyone visiting Downtown Orillia adhere to the COVID-19 safety precautions in place,” said Coun. Emond.

City Council approved the street closure measures recently, with the support of the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB) and have committed funds to support staffing for the closure, road closed signage, sanitization stations, and potential entertainment once it is safe to do so. Additionally, Council allocated additional funding to the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Program Grant Funding to account for a potential increase in the number of patio-related grant applications in the City’s downtown core.

City and DOMB staff will be on-site during the street closures. If and when it’s safe to do so, the City may consider expanding the program into Saturday evenings. The City may also consider programming entertainment during the closures, and staff are exploring various types of entertainment that could animate the street while allowing for people to continue to safely enjoy the pedestrian nature of the street.

Hand sanitizing stations will be erected in each block for safety and attendees to the downtown street closures are strongly encouraged to wear masks once they enter the pedestrian area.

Mississaga Street will continue to be closed on Friday evenings between July 10 and Sept. 5.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • Stay home and away from others when you are feeling ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Keep a physical distance of two metres when outside your house.
  • Wear a mask/face covering where physical distancing is a challenge or not possible and when indoors.
  • Avoid touching your face and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.

For more information on local patio offerings, visit  orillialakecountry.ca/see-you-on-the-patio/

For more information on the Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) and current initiatives, visit the ERTF webpage at orillia.ca/businesssupport.

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