• 03/06/2021

Downtown terraces in the heart of the 2021 summer season !

8 minutes

Montreal centre-ville

Montreal centre-ville

  • © Terrasse du W Montréal
Since May 28th, restaurants have the right to welcome clients on their terraces! Good news for downtown restaurants, but here are some recommendations and answers for the summer season!

Reopening of the terraces in downtown

Since May 28th, restaurants and cafés in downtown have the right to instal their terrace and welcome the public ! However, it should be remembered that social distancing measures and the use of the mask, when the customer is not sat at his table, are always in order ! Two adults living at two different addresses are allowed to sit on the terrace or a family living at the same address.

In addition, we remind you to consult the planning guide for a café-terrace or a placottoir in the borough of Ville-Marie to find out about all the standards and conditions for submitting an application and carrying out an installation. The version of the guide proposed is from the year 2020, some changes could be made in 2021 and we will communicate the latest version to you shortly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of you have different questions about installing terraces on the public domain for the 2021 summer season. We offer you some answer below with our F.A.Q

This English translation of the Q&R is for reference purposes only. In the event a difference arises regarding the meaning herein, the regulations shall prevail as the official authoritative version.

Although the operating period for terraces ends on October 31st, you can submit an application for the permit to occupy the public domain required for its installation at any time .

Processing times may vary, but if your file is complete, you can expect to receive it within 10 to 30 working days. To make sure you have everything you need at the ready, check the guide of the borough of Ville-Marie.

The costs associated with the installation, construction and layout of a terrace are the full responsibility of the applicant and can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the desired installation.

Under normal circumstances, you must pay an annual fee for the temporary occupation of the public domain in the context of operating a commercial terrace. In general, this amount is calculated by multiplying 15% of the public area occupied by its property value per square meter, and then multiplying it by the number of days you’ll be occupying that space..

Exceptionally, as part of a post-pandemic effort to bolster commercial activities this summer, the occupation of the public domain will be free for the whole of 2021.

When submitting your request, you’ll have to make a one-time payment of $ 50 (taxes included) to cover the costs of analysing your file.

You have 2 payment options.


In person, with this form completed, at the Accès Montréal offices in Ville-Marie.


Accès Montréal – Ville-Marie

800 De Maisonneuve Boulevard East

17th floor

Montréal (Québec) H2L 4L8


By mail by sending this completed form along with all the documents necessary to process your request to the following address.


Accès Montréal office – Ville-Marie

800 De Maisonneuve Boulevard East

17th floor

Montréal (Québec) H2L 4L8

If you have a terrace project in mind, the Downtown Bars and Restaurants Recovery Fund aims to provide assistance to businesses (bars / restaurants) that are looking to resume their commercial activities. This $ 4 million fund aims to support bars and restaurants in carrying out a project whose main objective is to increase customer traffic.

The program aims to support companies whose projects are intended to:

  • Adapt the business’ premises to the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of interior or exterior installations and renovations. 
  • Promote the area’s commercial offering through the implementation of a communication and / or marketing campaign (event promotion, advertising, digital campaign, public relations, etc.)

Financial assistance takes the form of a non-repayable financial contribution (not a loan) which can reach a maximum of 90% of the total cost of your project, up to a maximum of $ 25,000.

If the application is made on behalf of a group, association or collective project, financial assistance can reach a maximum of 90% of the total cost of the project, up to a maximum of $ 50,000.

For more information about the program, visit the PME MTL website. You can also write to Mrs. Marie-Ève ​​Cadieux, Director of Commercial Entrepreneurship, at the following address: mecadieux@pmemtl.com.

In order to determine your eligibility, you must first consult this map of authorized areas. If your address is located in the yellow zone, you’re in an authorized sector.

Although the installation of 3 tables and 12 chairs is authorized throughout the Ville-Marie borough, it is possible that certain exceptional elements – such as construction or landscaping work – will be taken into account when evaluating your eligibility.

The Ville-Marie borough authorizes 3 types of installations on the public domain:

1- A terrace-café installation

  • Clients only
  • Sale of food and alcohol are permitted
  • Table service possible

2- A “placottoir”

  • A public space accessible to all
  • Food consumption only
  • Selling or servicing are prohibited

3- The installation of 3 tables and 12 chairs

  • Clients only
  • Food sales authorized
  • Table service possible
  • Sale of alcohol is prohibited
  • Furniture must be removed every day

As a business or organization, you can apply for the right to occupy public property in order to set up a “placottoir.” The “placottoir” is a public installation that is entirely located on the pavement, at the same level as the sidewalk. However, it is strictly forbidden to rent the space to a third party, or to sell and service on a “placottoir.” In addition, the facility must be accessible to everyone at all times.

Yes. Once you’ve obtained a commercial terrace permit, you’ll need to apply for a liquor license at the RACJ in order to sell alcohol.

Yes. The permit issued by the Ville-Marie borough is a temporary occupancy permit for the public domain, so you must renew it every year. You must also pay the application processing fees and the rates associated with occupancy of the public domain annually.

Yes. If the applicant for the renewal is not the holder of the permit issued in the previous year, you must submit a completely new application.

Yes. You must obtain a permit if you want to set up a commercial terrace on the public domain, put an installation of the 3 tables and 12 chairs type, or put a bench in front of your business.

Yes, you can install your terrace as soon as you obtain the permit to occupy the public domain. However, before kick-starting the installation, keep these two things in mind.

  1. Between March 15th and April 1st, the equipment installed on public property and intended for the use of a sidewalk café must be limited to the installation of tables, chairs and outer barriers on the pavement.
  2. You must always be able to quickly remove all equipment from the public domain during snow removal or sidewalk cleaning operations in the Ville-Marie borough.

No. The urban planning regulations differ from one borough to another, the aforementioned regulations therefore apply exclusively to establishments located in the Ville-Marie borough. To find out more about the regulations that apply in your territory, contact your borough.

Although public health guidelines could change at any time, this ARQ guide provides the latest details of the deconfinement plan based on the region and type of facility.

Depending on the surface of the road in front of your business, you can set up 3 tables and 12 chairs.

Yes, with the right authorizations. To use the surrounding space and enlarge your terrace, you must first obtain written permission from the owner of the building. To make sure you meet all of the authorization requirements, consult the guide.

If there are parking meters in your terrace area, it’s possible to request a sign removal from the Agence de Mobilité de Montréal. You can submit your request here.

If you wish to install a terrace in front of your business, you can request a withdrawal of the BIXI station. To do so, contact the following address: circulation_ville-marie@montreal.ca.

For the summer period of 2021, the Ville-Marie borough will make an exception to article 388 of its urban planning by-law in order to allow requests for shared sidewalk terraces measuring up to a maximum of 300 square meters.

An electric or battery-operated  heating system may be authorized on a terrace if it complies with the following requirements

  • None of the heating system’s components are attached or anchored to the building’s exterior covering;
  • The power chord, if required, is overhead and suspended at a minimum height of 2.4 m from the ground;
  • The heating system does not create any obstacles for users inside or outside the establishment;
  • The system does not exceed the surface area of ​​the café-terrace;
  • The heating must be switched off outside of the terrace’s operating hours.

Yes. The person applying for a public domain occupancy permit must ensure that the facility is safe and accessible to all. For more details and to make sure you’re following accessibility standards, see Guide.

Dancing, theatrical or cinematographic performances, ambiance sound, concerts, shows, the use of sound devices and the cooking of food are all prohibited on a terrace-café according to urban planning by-law 01-282 article 390.

That said, certain exceptions may apply during promotional events such as the Sainte-Catherine Célèbre event.

In accordance with urban planning regulation 01-282 article 390, cooking of food is prohibited on public property. You therefore cannot install a BBQ on your terrace.

As part of our summer relaunch initiative, Montréal centre-ville is planning various communications and marketing actions to promote downtown terraces, encourage traffic in restaurants and bars, and promote local gastronomy. In this context, it will be our pleasure to showcase your terrace – simply send your professional-grade photos to info@montrealcentreville.ca and you could end up on our social media platforms!

This year, you also have the option to redirect your customers to the 11 new public installations called Oasis terraces.

Installed from May 12th to October 31st, 2021 by Montréal centre-ville and the Quartier des spectacles, the Oasis terraces allow the consumption of alcohol on the public domain every day between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m., as long as a meal is consumed. Therefore, if you don’t have a terrace or yours becomes overwhelmed, your customers will be able to order a meal and drinks to t

ake away and enjoy on the Oasis terraces.For more information on the Oasis terraces, visit the Quartier des spectacles page and check out their summer map to see all of the facilities.

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us by email at the following address: projects@montrealcentreville.ca or by phone at (438) 524 3295.

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