It’s a bit of deja vu, seeing NOTL council extend its patio program for another year — welcome deja vu.
The program was established to help businesses with pandemic recovery when indoor dining was shuttered in 2020.
Since then it’s proved to be popular, pleasant and trouble-free.
The sky hasn’t come crashing down and nobody seems to be complaining.
Now we’re feeling a little more back to normal and can feel more comfortable getting out to enjoy the patios and great restaurants our town has to offer.
It looks like we’ve learned that Niagara-on-the-Lake can handle having some additional patios, after all.
The town actually saw an increase of $190,000 in metered parking in 2020 compared to 2019.
But aside from a few pesos on the budget, the patios have brought something new and welcomed change to NOTL and a new way to enjoy our town.
As we said last year, especially on Queen Street, they bring a great vibe and liveliness to staid Niagara-on-the-Lake. And that should be welcome.
Restaurateurs wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t good for business and, generally, what’s good for our businesses is good for the town.
And the longer people stay and sip on the patios, the more the parking revenues grow.
Now, when those visitors book an overnight stay, the town will get a piece of the pie thanks to the municipal accommodation tax, which begins July 1.
It would seem at a glance that the patios could actually have benefits beyond just looking nice, helping businesses out and adding another dimension to the NOTL experience.
Bravo to council for extending the patios for another year. Next, let’s make them permanent.