Restaurants and bars with a valid 2021 business licence can expand outdoor seating and dining areas to help meet COVID-19 safety guidelines. To find out if you need a permit, learn more about temporary patio requirements.

If you’re planning to open a restaurant, in addition to it being a permitted use there are general provisions related to the distance to residential zones, patios and location of drive-throughs.

These regulations may vary depending on the type of restaurant. The Zoning By-law defines three different types:

The zoning of your property might have additional regulations. Review the general provisions, and then check the regulations for your property using the find property information tool.

If something in the general provisions conflicts with the zoning regulations for your property, follow the zoning regulations.

Opening a new business

If you’re opening a new restaurant, you must get a Zoning Certificate of Occupancy.

Minimum distance from residential properties

Restaurants must be at least 60 metres away from residential zones. For more details on minimum separation distance, check Table in the Zoning By-law.

Parking for restaurants

All restaurant uses must have parking. The parking rate varies for different types of restaurants. Find more information on parking for non-residential uses.


Drive-throughs are only permitted in certain areas of the city. To find out where they are permitted check section 2.1.29 of the Zoning By-law.

If your restaurant has a drive-through you may have to comply with stacking lane regulations in section 3.1.5.

Contact us

If you need more information, please call 311 (905-615-4311 outside City limits).


The information presented on this web page is provided for information purposes only. It should not be solely relied on when making decisions related to real estate transactions, development proposals or building permits.

We strongly advise you review the text in the official Zoning By-law and/or speak with City staff before making important decisions.