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City of Ottawa looking to allow outdoor space for businesses and food trucks in parks

A few items have been recommended by city staff and could soon get the final go-ahead from city council.
Photo/ Getty Images

The City of Ottawa is looking to help local businesses during the pandemic by allowing them to expand outdoor retail and restaurant space, as well as giving food trucks access to local parks.

All items were recommended to the city's transportation committee, Wednesday.

The trucks would need to request a permit, and if approved by city council, Director of Roads and Parking Services Laila Gibbons says they could be in local parks in about a month.

"We'll be looking at what parks are suitable for having food trucks in [them], obviously taking into account the public health restrictions in terms of physical distancing. But probably moving into the beginning of July," she explains.

The city is also looking into how it would decide which food truck is allowed in which park.

"We're considering, is it local, is it through a lottery -- we're going to be working through those details over the next few days," says Gibbons.

Meanwhile, retail and restaurant spaces could soon expand onto sidewalks and patios for a fraction of the price of a typical permit. City of Ottawa officials say they are just looking for the best possible solution where they can allow businesses outside without having to close down streets.

City staff are in discussions on allowing liquor licenses as well as a special strategy for the ByWard Market.

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