Corp Comm Connects

Plans to make CafeTO permanent heads to council
Oct. 28, 2021
Bryan Passifiume

Efforts to make a popular pandemic-relief program permanent is one step closer to reality.On Wednesday, a report on transforming CafeTO into a permanent presence on city streets was approved by the executive committee and will appear on the agenda of next month’s city council meeting.

Part of the motion passed during the meeting included directing city staff to examine the possibility of permanent installations -- something Mayor John Tory said is in place in other cities.

Councillor Brad Bradford described CafeTO as not only a lifeline for struggling city restaurants, but also a means of restoring confidence in Toronto eateries.

“It added much-needed vibrancy to our main streets,” he said.

“It’s important to note that we continue to refine and improve the program, and the report here speaks to that.”

John Kiru, executive director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, told the committee few programs have had such a positive impact during the pandemic than CafeTO.

“The program’s long-term presence will allow operators make more significant investments into their cafes and premises,” he said.

A survey conducted by the association suggests CafeTO resulted in over $200 million in spending by restaurants and customers over this summer, serving just under five million customers.

City council next meets Nov. 9.