Encroachments onto City Property
Although the private use of roads and sidewalks is not encouraged in most cases, there are circumstances where encroachments are allowed. The Real Estate Section administers these situations with Encroachment Agreements.
Historical building encroachments are remedied by entering into an Encroachment Agreement with the property owner. The homeowner’s insurance coverage must be extended to include the encroachment area. Encroachment Agreements do not automatically transfer to subsequent new owners of the property. Contact us if you are a new owner and your property has an existing encroachment.
In some circumstances, we will approve encroachments of canopies, ramps and stairs.
It is preferred that advertising signs are located on private property. Occasionally Encroachment Agreements are approved for signage that may be free-standing or protruding from a commercial building.
Other small or decorative objects placed on the sidewalk to promote and enhance the commercial streetscape are permitted without an Encroachment Agreement as long as the objects do not interfere with pedestrian traffic. Sandwich boards under 0.6 square metres in size are permitted.
Sidewalk Patio Seating Areas
The popularity of outdoor restaurant seating has resulted in numerous requests from restaurant owners to place tables and chairs on City sidewalks. Recognizing the contribution of sidewalk seating to the streetscape in such areas as Commercial Street, the City supports this use as long as the seating does not impede safe pedestrian passage.
If the proposed seating area is approved, the City enters an Encroachment Agreement in return for an annual fee and proper insurance.