Temporary and expanded patios

Find out how to expand your business offerings through temporary patios, patio expansions, and other commercial uses.

On this page

  1. Types of temporary licences
  2. Before you apply
  3. Apply for a licence
  4. About SOLER

Types of temporary licences 

The Supporting Our Local Economic Recovery (SOLER) initiative focuses on temporary land use opportunities to support local businesses. A licence is required.

  1. Private property use for patio, patio expansion or other commercial use
  2. Municipal property use for patio, patio expansion or other commercial use

If you would like to apply for a sidewalk patio in the uptown area of Waterloo, the process and application requirements are on the uptown sidewalk patios page.

Before you apply review the requirements

General requirements
  • follow all public health directives, the Re-opening Ontario Act and building codes.
  • do not block fire exits, access or sightlines to business entrances, exits or accessible parking
  • comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act guidelines including:
    • 1.8 metre access ways, entrance/exit and pathways
    • do not obstruct or eliminate accessible parking spaces unless there is a plan to temporarily relocate them
    • maintain walkways or ramps required for barrier free access
  • continue to meet parking demands on site
  • follow all City of Waterloo bylaws including:
  • gain written permission from neighbours with affected shared property
Supporting documents

Include these documents with your online application:

Site drawing or sketch instructions
  1. Review the general requirements and have a sketch prepared for your submission.
  2. Show the property lines and existing structures on the drawing. 
  3. Show the location of the temporary patio or other commercial use on the drawing.

Examples of site drawing

 A patio plan on municipal property

An example of a patio design on Willis Way

 A patio plan on private property

site drawing example

Apply for a licence

For all other temporary space uses, including patios not located in the Uptown core and other commercial uses on city or private lands you can apply for a licence online.

  1. Register or sign in to apply for a licence online. Note - this application is not Internet Explorer compatible.
  2. All supporting documents can be submitted through the online application.
  3. Any questions regarding the application process can be directed to bl@waterloo.ca

Apply for a licence


The City of Waterloo’s SOLER Initiative (Support Our Local Economic Recovery) is intended to support our local economic recovery as businesses gradually and strategically reopen with a continued focus on the health and safety of customers and workers.

Waterloo's local economy is diverse and strong, but it is not immune to significant impacts caused by prolonged closures and restrictions enacted by the Province and the Regional Medical Officer of Health.

Closures and operating restrictions are necessary to protect the health, well-being and safety of Ontarians. Waterloo’s businesses and artisans are committed to doing their part to fight coronavirus, but many are struggling and seeking assistance from the city.