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As the CaféTO project took hold this summer, we were all happy to hang out on Toronto's burgeoning number of patios. We found ourselves nursing drinks, basking in the sun, unfazed by passing traffic or busy thoroughfares. If you've recently found yourself huddling against the frostier temps, rain and wind, though, you may be wondering if the bloom is off the rose for Toronto's patio season.
To ease the sting as we move into autumn and some inevitable, inclement weather, some local restaurants are lending a hand, offering up blankets to chilly patrons. At Front Street pub C'est What, patio patrons resemble marathoners wrapped in shiny, silver thermal blankets. Restaurant management says they are handing them out free of charge to make their outdoor dining space as comfortable for customers as possible.
To follow protocol and avoid cross-contamination, La Barraida Churrasqueira is offering cozy, single-use blankets to patrons who wish to dine outdoors.
Having opted not to reopen their indoor seating since closing their doors in March, Parkdale pop-up Le Phénix has put the focus purely on patio dining and takeout. The restaurant is now selling fleece blankets for $8 for customers to use to guard against the chill and then take home. Similar blankets are also for sale at Bar Mordecai and The Alpine. Proceeds from the sale of the blankets at all three restaurants will go directly to Covenant House to support at-risk youth.
With Toronto's CaféTO program slated to run until November 16, the offer of blankets will soon be more than welcome. Happily, the city has also recently allowed restaurants to install portable heaters on their makeshift outdoor areas. For the first time, it seems that the city's patio season may well last into the deepest, darkest autumn.