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UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2020 Downtown Orillia street closures, patio program continuing until Sept. 25

Posted on Thursday September 10, 2020
Photo cutline: Patrons enjoy dining at on-street patios in Downtown Orillia throughout the summer 2020 “See You On The Patio” program. (Photo credit: Orillia & Lake Country Tourism)

Based on the success of the “See You On The Patio” program in Downtown Orillia, parts of Mississaga Street will continue to be closed to traffic on Friday evenings from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Sept. 25, 2020. 

“A number of retailers and restaurants in the downtown core have requested the extension of the street closure component of the program,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF). “We’re pleased that the patio program has been a success for participating businesses and an opportunity for locals to reconnect with friends and family in a safe manner. Based on this success, and the support of the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), along with the City’s Emergency Management Committee, we’re happy to extend the City-wide promotional campaign and downtown street closure for three weeks, to Sept. 25.” 

In July, the ERTF launched the “See You On The Patio” program to promote all City restaurants and encourage residents to visit outdoor patios as part of Orillia’s “Stay Safe, Shop Local” marketing campaign. Restaurants throughout the City were featured on posters and billboards, and a hashtag (#SeeYouOnThePatio) was created to allow businesses to share photos and updates. 

Further, a streamlined patio approval process was developed for businesses throughout the city that could expand on their existing property, and street closures were approved in the downtown core for businesses who required additional space to expand their physical footprints.

“We’ve heard from a number of restaurants that have indicated the initiative has enabled them to survive through these tough times. We’ve also heard from downtown retailers that have had the opportunity to capitalize on the increased traffic to generate some much-needed revenue,” said Coun. Emond.

The street closure will take place on Mississaga Street East from Matchedash Street to Andrew Street as well as Peter Street from Mississaga Street East to Colborne Street East from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (pending the participation of local businesses). Animation of the downtown will also continue during the street closures to add vibrancy to the City’s core and to support the local arts and culture sector. 

The ERTF has received a significant amount of feedback regarding the success of this program and is currently looking to quantify and qualify this feedback through online surveys that will be reported to Council in the fall.

Two surveys have been launched to gather information from both patrons and business owners on the “See You On The Patio” program: 

Anyone who takes the survey can qualify to win one of two prizes of $100 Downtown Dollars. The surveys will be active until Sept. 14, 2020, and the draw will take place at the City of Orillia on Sept. 15, 2020.

Patios throughout the entire City continue to offer residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy a meal in a safe environment. 

For more information on local patio offerings, visit

It’s important to remember the following: 

  • Stay home and away from others when you are feeling ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Keep a physical distance of two metres when outside your house.
  • Wear a mask/face covering where physical distancing is a challenge or not possible and when indoors.
  • Avoid touching your face and cover your face when coughing or sneezing. 

For more information on the ERTF and current initiatives, visit the ERTF webpage at  

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Orillia & Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at


Coun. Ted Emond
Chair, Economic Recovery Task Force

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Business Development and Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)