Heated patios in Toronto, Winter season Nov 2022- April 2023, especially when it’s below 10 ° C

It was around minus 3 ° C last night, and the only winter patio that was still open for business along Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst was the Victory Café, which has a plastic-sealed patio , which might as well be an indoor space in terms of ventilation.

By The Way Café’s furniture was still on their patio, but the patio was not being used, and the restaurant was fairly full indoors. I have a feeling their patio won’t be open when it’s this cold outside.

I would expect Shenanigans (formerly Scallywags) will have their covered heated rooftop patio open for soccer and Grey Cup today.

I will walk down to Emmer’s patio this morning for my coffee and something to eat and report back.

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Here is the inside or Emmer’s covered patio, on Sunday at 11:15 am. It was around minus 5 ° C outside.

There are some snow-covered benches, next to the covered patio.

By The Way Café had a fully occupied patio at brunch.

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By The Way Café for breakfast, opens at 10 am.

Not a big fan of the type of bagel that comes with the omelette, so I will say no bagel next time, or get a Benny. Their Bennies come with a dill sauce instead of Hollandaise.

Staff very friendly. Not too busy on a Wednesday morning.

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Headed up to By The Way again today, after finding another nearby heated patio with more decadent offerings had too high of a CO2 reading for me to enjoy brunch (1801 ppm).

It is getting a little chilly for ventilated heated patios. By the Way has a warm heater in the centre of the patio. My DC was agreeable to take a chillier table for my comfort zone.

I am also uploading the indoor reading at Rustle & Still, which is a reasonable number considering the coffee shop was full of people.

Some plastic- sealed covered heated patios have CO2 readings that are higher than some indoor CO2 readings.

To put this into context, the readings inside my apartment are around 500-650, and the reading inside Holt Renfrew was around 575. Restaurant owners should be allowing cracks in those plastic-wrapped walls to allow drafts. I had been going to some plastic-sealed patios last winter and I didn’t appreciate how much CO2 was collecting inside, until I purchased my CO2 monitor a few weeks ago.


Those semi-sealed patios are often essentially indoor rooms from a ventilation standpoint. The exception that we can verify is the one at F’Amelia, which is largely enclosed, but has a sizable gap at the top of the walls. A friend of ours had a CO2 monitor and the numbers were favourable (I can’t remember them exactly as it was last winter).


Agree. By The Way has a sizeable gap around the tree and along the back wall.

There was plenty of ventilation at Farmhouse Tavern when I visited in Oct 2021.

The CO2 readings on the covered, plastic-sealed patios have been worse CO2 readings than my readings inside indoor coffee shops this weekend, when I was inside waiting for a coffee to-go.

I think the enclosed patios can often be more dangerous for staff and customers than a regular indoor restaurant with decent ventilation.

I will try a patio lunch at Cano and at Union this winter. I might start inviting friends over to my own place for take-out.

We will see.

Apricot Tree in Mississauga, a Bakery Café, monitors their indoor CO2 levels carefully.

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