Council: The time to think about patios is now

By Lindsay Advocate

What are your thoughts about having more patios in our downtowns and creating an atmosphere that will attract more pedestrian traffic? File photo.

When the Victoria Day holiday comes around in late May, we have a dream. It’s the kind of dream that can be realized with just a little bit of leadership from a brand-new, forward-thinking council.

We want to see downtown Lindsay, with its newly widened sidewalks and bump-outs, used to its full capacity. We simply want patios, patios, patios. We want a “walkability” mindset once people are downtown, to use the jargon, and so does almost everyone else we talk with.

This is a case where Lindsay must catch up to Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls, villages that already attract the kind of tourist we need in the largest centre in Kawartha Lakes. It’s often been said that summer is when tourists rush up here and bypass Lindsay on their way to the cottage, which is likely located near Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Coboconk or other points north. It’s time those folks stayed a little bit longer in Lindsay, too.

Port Perry, a community considerably smaller than Lindsay, understands this vision well. Its patio scene is lively and energetic. Newmarket and Orillia also get it, with well-designed patios and a cultivated energy for tourism — in other words, they’ve planned.

The city’s new blood on council has an amazing opportunity to show they get it, too. Councillors must figure out how to expedite permits quickly and easily to manifest this vision. There can be a certain degree of uniformity while also allowing for individualization.

For the private sector to consider, Lindsay ideally would have two more top-quality independent restaurants. (Port Perry has more than we do.) Ideally they would be focused on something we don’t already have. (Please, no more Italian restaurants, since we already have two fine ones in the downtown core.)

We would be interested in hearing from our readers on this topic. What are your thoughts about having more patios in our downtowns and creating an atmosphere that will attract more pedestrian traffic? Your comments may be used on the Advocate’s letters page.


  1. Wayne Medford says:

    A couple of decades ago, when I moved into Lindsay, I saw a tremendous opportunity for the ‘downtown’ core. Kent Street, the widest main Street, was filled with cars and trucks. Despite the beautiful Victorian buildings, the overall sight was totally ugly. The predominant image was steel and glass and rubber. That image, although lessened, still dominates.
    I spoke to the former mayor and filled out the survey making the following suggestion…
    1. NO PARKING on Kent Street from Victoria to Lindsay Street, 4 blocks. 2. ONE lane of traffic in each direction. 3.A central boulevard of trees and benches. 4.widen the sidewalks and plant many trees.
    The end result would be to change the image of the downtown from an ugly uninviting core to a beautiful, inviting, PEOPLE friendly one.
    A tepid design was chosen, as a result the BASIC issue remains..
    Extending the patios is excellent. However, the smell and taste of oil, gasoline and rubber does NOT improve the eating experience. A SERIOUS reduction of cars and trucks is critical..BTW build parking garages….behind Kent Street…

  2. Debbie says:

    100% yes!! My husband and I have talked about the need for more patios in Downtown Lindsay – the area is craving for some more love and attention!!

  3. Guy Poliquin says:

    we have a beautiful river flowing right through Lindsay and we make NO USE of it. No patios, no restaurants, no easy/nice access to downtown for boaters who would like to spend a few hours in town. This is where teh new city council shoudl start … how to better develop a natural resources that is currently wasted.

  4. Joan Abernethy says:

    Whatever vision Council (or the bureaucracy) comes up with will require effective marketing for it to pay off. It is not enough to just build it and expect tourists to come. I’d like to see a sizeable barista in the downtown with regular evening entertainment. And festival events. And marketing that offers package deals – events, accommodation, meals – to tourists in the GTA, Oshawa and Peterborough. Partner with bus lines. The patio idea should include all seasons and, if the City wants to encourage pedestrian traffic only, it must ensure the venues are accessible.

  5. cj says:

    Yeah – suck up all that car exhaust on Kent. I’d be all for it if they shut the street down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.