Changes to downtown public space

Over the next several days, you will see some changes to public space in the downtown being phased in to make it easier for people to physical distance – stay at least two metres apart – and to give businesses an opportunity for some limited outdoor space for patios or pop-up commercial spaces.

Work has already begun to mark the roads where delineators will be installed to separate the expanded pedestrian space from vehicular traffic. As the equipment arrives, it will be installed in phases through sections of the downtown with George Street first, followed by areas on King, Charlotte, Water and Hunter streets, in that order. The changes are expected to be fully implemented by the end of next week.

Maps of the changes to the public space in the downtown are available at

Road lanes are being re-worked to reduce vehicular traffic to a single lane on sections of George, Water, Hunter and Charlotte streets, including:
• George Street between Murray Street and Sherbrooke Street, which will be reduced to one lane southbound for vehicular traffic;
• Water Street, between Simcoe Street and Hunter Street, which will be reduced to one lane northbound for vehicular traffic;
• Hunter Street between Aylmer Street and George Street, which will become a one-way street with one westbound lane; and
• Charlotte Street between Aylmer Street and George Street, which will be become a one-way street with one eastbound lane.

There are no full-road closures as part of the plan.

On-street parking is being adjusted in some sections.

By changing the road lanes and on-street parking, there will be more space for pedestrians and business uses.

The overarching goal is to support the health and wellbeing of people as activity increases in the downtown with the easing of restrictions under the Province’s Emergency Orders during the pandemic.

The cycling lanes on George Street and Water Street remain in place.

The plan has been developed in collaboration with Peterborough Public Health and Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, which engaged with its members on the issue.

While we recognize the plan won’t meet everyone’s needs or desires, it attempts to address numerous – and sometimes competing – priorities such as supporting various modes of travel, curbside pickup, patio space, accessibility, parking, construction, access for emergency services, and commercial deliveries.

For questions on the plan, please use our online form at

Patios – previously approved

Previously approved patios are permitted to operate following the Province’s direction on the safe re-opening under the emergency and public health guidelines including:
• Restricting the number of patrons on the patio to a maximum of 50% of the previously approved capacity.
• Ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households and designated social circles.
• Using reservations to ensure there are no lineups as space is limited and lineups onto the sidewalk will make it difficult for physical distancing.
• Limiting the number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time.
• Ensuring enough space between tables to allow for safe patron and staff movement.
• Access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.
• Not using overhead structures such as tents and canopies that may impede with pedestrians and physical distancing (using umbrellas is encouraged to provide shade).
• Ensuring tables and chairs are at least one metre from the outer limit of the patio, in order to facilitate physical distancing.

Liquor sales licensees who wish to temporarily extend the physical size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio within the approved period are authorized to do so, if all the following criteria are met:
• The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies.
• The municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension.
• The licensee can demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
• There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.

Patio owners and operators are reminded that smoking and vaping are prohibited on all patios, and within nine metres of the patio. All patios must be appropriately signed according to the requirements of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

New/expanded patios and pop-up commercial areas – fast-track process

Businesses that would like to create a new patio space, expand a patio, or open a pop-up commercial area in front of their building can do so through a new fast-track process.

Before a permit can be issued for the use of the public property, businesses will need to provide a drawing of the location and layout of the patio/commercial space, meeting the Province’s directions and public health guidelines on operating a patio during the pandemic, to Brian Buchardt or Nicole Huculiak with the City’s Planning Division at or The drawing must show the proposed area with accurate dimensions and include the location of the business’s building frontage, the location of building entrances with proximity to the proposed patio space, the location of existing items on the sidewalk and road, such as the road curb, streetlights, bike racks, etc.

Along with the approved layout, businesses need to provide an insurance certificate naming the City as additionally insured with $2 million liability.

For questions, please send an email to the above addresses or call 705-742-7777 ext. 1844.

The suitability of the proposed location and layout of the patio/commercial space will be considered alongside the City’s plan for the expanded pedestrian space and the space that’s available for potential commercial uses to ensure physical distancing is possible.

Commercial deliveries

With the reduction of traffic to one lane through sections of George, Hunter and Charlotte streets as well as the partial closure of Chambers Street, there are changes to commercial delivery areas.

Designated commercial delivery areas have been incorporated into the reworking of Hunter Street with spots close to Aylmer Street and George Street on Hunter.

For Chambers Street, the section between Hunter Street and the entrance to the parking lot on Chambers Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. The portion of Chambers Street north of the parking lot entrance will be converted to two-way traffic. Commercial deliveries can still take place on this street.

On George Street, a designated commercial delivery zone is being established adjacent to Peterborough Square.

Patio Furniture

The DBIA will cover the cost of up to 12 folding chairs and 4 tables to each restaurant that has a new or expanded patio for a period of up to three months. Additional tables and chairs are available for rental at the cost of the business. To be eligible, businesses must be DBIA members. The restaurants are responsible for any replacement of stolen or damaged furniture. Interested DBIA restaurants can contact Peterborough Tent & Events at 705-742-4666 or email to arrange and copy to confirm the membership and requirements. Limited supply and styles of tables available. First come first serve. Available is standard chairs, 72″ x 30″ plastic tables, 96″ x 30″ plastic tables and 60″ round tables.