Patio will umbrellas and chairs

What is a Patio By-Law?

The Town of Smiths Falls Patio By-law regulates private commercial patios on the privately owned land and public, commercial patios on the Town’s land. Each business with a patio is required to meet certain provisions and design standards before entering into a sidewalk lease agreement needing renewal on a yearly basis. The current Patio By-law No. 8583-2013 was initially adopted in 2013.

After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Council authorized exemptions from the existing Patio By-law and Sign By-law (for Retail Displays) to facilitate and support the outdoor operations of businesses amongst COVID-19 restrictions. These exemptions, including the waving of patio application fees and streamlining of the process, have been carried over to the 2021 and 2022 patio seasons. Now, the Town is considering changes to update the Patio By-law on a permanent basis.

 A Summary of the Current Patio By-law 

The By-law has four sections:

Section 1 introduces the By-law and speaks to how the document regulates the consistent and compatible establishment of Outdoor Patios in the Town.

Section 2 defines a list of keywords used throughout the By-law that clarify the document’s intent

Section 3 establishes the required content for a Sidewalk Lease Agreement, including conditions which must be included within the Agreement. These conditions include:

Duration of the operating season, removal of furniture/structure from site, closing time, licensing, smoking, maintenance, liability insurance, subletting, duration of term, termination of agreement, agreement fees and additional conditions as appropriate.

Section 4 outlines the design standards regarding patio location, dimensions, fencing, awnings, platforms, furniture, lighting, vegetation, signage, and heating devices.

Note: The Patio By-law may be reviewed in more detail and can be found within the important documents section on the right side of this page.

Current Regulations for Retail Displays

Retail displays (referred to as Merchandise Displays in the By-law), such as clothing racks or portable display tables, are provided through the Town’s Sign By-law. Regulations for retail displays are proposed to be carried over to a new patio By-law.

Note: The regulations for retail displays may be reviewed in more detail and can be found under Section 6 of the Sign By-law available within the important documents section on the right side of this page.


Bylaw to regulate Outdoor Patios

Signs By-law

Bylaw 10339-2022 - Merchandise Display Sign By-law Exemptions 2022

2022-04-14 - Resolution - Interim Process and Policy Amendments to Facilitate Patios

Downtown Core Design Guidelines-2014

Who's Listening?

Karl Grenke

Senior Planner


Phone Number : 613-283-4124 X 1116


Mary Remmig

Planning Clerk


Phone Number: 613-283-4124 X 1136

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