Friday night’s all right for dining
The air was infused with excitement in Orillia on Friday evening July 10th. For the first time this summer, locals and visitors were able to shrug off the COVID blues and step out of isolation to meet up with friends over good food and cold beverages, ‘al fresco’, in the city’s trendy downtown core.
Patios spilled out onto Mississaga Street offering up dozens of tables at popular restaurants, and for seven hours, things felt ‘normal’ again.
It’s all part of the city’s ‘See you on the Patio’ program that will run until Sept. 5. Every Friday, between 4 and 11 p.m. and on Saturdays from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Parts of Mississaga Street will be closed to traffic in order for restaurants to expand their patios.
Peter Street South, between Mississaga Street East and Colborne Street East – the popular Arts District – will also be closed to traffic on select Friday and Saturday nights during this time, so visitors can enjoy the talents of local artisans.
For local resident, Helen Bradley and her husband, who were enjoying wine at one restaurant patio while waiting for their dinner reservation at another, the atmosphere reassured them that the patio program could be successful as well as safe.
“The downtown streets are often closed for different events and festivals, which are canceled this year so it’s nice to have an opportunity to get out and sit on a patio,” she said. “I’m glad everyone’s being pretty conscious and following the guidelines closely so I feel more comfortable than I thought I would.”
Please remember to use all safety and social distancing practices including a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. Reservations are recommended for restaurants that are accepting them.
For more information about the program and the rules around visiting Orillia during this time, visit the city’s website. See you on the Patio!
Photo Credit: Kim Goggins & Laura Thompson
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