Ottawa restaurants look to extend patio season, while TSSA issues warning about patio heaters
OTTAWA -- Ottawa restaurants are desperate for ways to extend their patio season, while keeping their guests warm.
Adam Panov has a plan for dining bubbles. He calls them "snow pods."
"So the idea was to manufacture something that was tall enough so you wouldn't feel too claustrophobic, but at the same time it would give enough space to feel comfortable," he told CTV News.
The 28-year-old Toronto-native says each pod can fit one table.
After the group is finished dining, a fogger sanitizes the bubble.
"You can keep dining operational while at the same mitigating the risk of transmission," Panov said, adding Premier Doug Ford has already expressed support for the idea.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa restaurants are under scrutiny, some even fined, for being too loose with the rules.
Outdoor dining tents are allowed, but Ottawa Public Health says they must have two of four sides open.
"We need to maintain ventilation. The idea of patios is that they’re lower risk because it's outdoors and there’s more air exchange," said Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health.
On Tuesday, provincial safety regulators showed up at Corner Bar and Grill in Orleans and turned off all the patio heaters.
"We’ve been spending all this money and time to do this and to blindside us like this is irresponsible," said the restaurants owner Athon Varvaresos.
"Fuel-fired heaters located in enclosed tents are at a high risk for fire or carbon monoxide poisoning," the Technical Standards and Safety Authority said in a tweet.
The TSSA says heaters in enclosed spaces pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
“Heaters that are made for outdoor use need to be fully outdoors. They can’t be in garages or in an enclosed patio,” said spokesperson Alexandra Campbell.