The City Of Toronto Is Trying To Kill Patios
I don't have the words for this right now...according to a report in BlogTO, John Tory's city hall is looking at increasing fees small business owners have to pay to operate patios in the city by 350-400%!!!
Earlier this week there was a meeting at city hall that could change patio culture in Toronto forever, and not in a good way.
Annual licensing fees for patio spaces paid by restaurants, bars and cafes to the city haven't been reviewed since the GTA amalgamation in 1998, but in this most recent meeting the city is proposing a 350-400% tax increase. That's just below what patios in Manhattan currently pay.
It means existing bars, restaurants and cafes with sidewalk patios would have to pay upwards of $10,000 at the beginning of each year to operate their outdoor space.
This is an egregious, anti-small business move and I can't believe anyone thinks this is rational. Then again, this is John Tory's city hall. The city is in desperate need to pay for things we actually need, like transportation and services, but we mustn't forget about John Tory's billion dollar boondoggles, either:
We need to find another 7 BILLION dollars to pay for Rail Deck Park, The one stop, money losing subway to nowhere in Scarborough and the Gardiner East (which we should just tear down).
Says Richard Pope, owner of Northwood on Bloorcourt. "They do want to kill patios, there's no question about that. They make it harder and harder and this seems like a back handed effort to continue that."
Pope currently pays $1,400 to the city to operate his patio, but once these new taxes come in, he would be paying $14,000 and that means he'd have to downsize the patio space or close it down all together.
Closing down the patios is exactly what would happen. I can't believe this is legal.