The City of Orillia Economic Recovery Task Force (consisting of City of Orillia Council members, and staff representatives from the City of Orillia Business Development, Culture and Tourism Department, Orillia Area CDC, Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Orillia Management Board, and Orillia & Lake Country Tourism) are continuing to develop initiatives to support the local restaurant sector.
Here are 5 steps you can take today to prepare for the reopening of outdoor dining:
Apply for the RTO7 Grant – TIME SENSITIVE!
- The Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) has just announced new funding of $500-$2,000 matched grants for tourism operators (including restaurants). Grants are now available for patio expansions at restaurants to accommodate more patrons, furniture, heaters, barriers, large scale sanitation equipment, booking and POS systems, etc. Historically surrounding communities have applied for grants at a higher rate than Orillia businesses. These are available on a “first come, first serve” basis so it is imperative that you apply as soon as possible https://rto7.ca/Public/Resources/COVID-19-Recovery-Support
Apply for approval of your temporary patio
- The City’s streamlined patio application can be found on the Business Resource page at www.orillia.ca/patioprogram
- City inspectors are inspecting patios now (even during the stay-at-home order) so it is an ideal time to apply and get your patio inspected ahead of the potential June 14 Provincial allowance of outdoor dining.
- If you have not yet received your temporary patio approval, please contact Cheyenne Johnson at 705-325-2221 via email
Get “pinned” on the new See You on the Patio phone app
- A new online app that connects diners with local restaurants will be launched as soon as outdoor dining is permitted and promoted by the City and Orillia & Lake Country Tourism.
- Participation on this app is free for restaurants, and the City will automatically use our list of restaurants to generate this map.
- The app will feature all restaurants with level of service offered (dine-in, take-out, patio), however, only restaurants who have a City-approved patio will be featured on the patio listing.
- If you do not wish to be featured on this app, please advise.
Host a City-funded entertainer (now available City-wide)
- Sign up to host a City-funded entertainer at your restaurant, by filling out the host-venue application at www.orillia.ca/patioprogram
- The deadline for applications has been extended, so please continue to apply, spaces in this program are limited.
- This program is available to restaurants throughout the City who have an outdoor patio.
Take part in upcoming restaurant promotions
- As soon as the Province permits outdoor dining the City will ramp up the See You on the Patio Promotional campaign.
- We’re also exploring a new food-based contest to get residents talking and sharing photos of your menu items.
- Council has approved approximately $55,000 for promotion and implementation so be sure to take part and get noticed by using the #SeeYouOnThePatio hashtag in your promotions.
- The City will be highlighting these posts to our many followers over the coming months.
Should you have any questions about the programs above and/or Economic Recovery Task Force initiatives, please feel free to contact Laura Thompson at 705-325-5818 or via email