Town of Canmore

Patio Permits

A permit is required by any business wishing to install a patio on Town of Canmore right of ways or private property.  Use the drop-down menus below to determine which permit type is required for the style and location of patio you wish to install. 

Any patio type on private property (i.e. on business premises or business parking lot) 
A Private Property Patio Permit is required.  Please visit our Planning department for more information. Some conditions may apply. If you wish to install your patio within the Main Street Pedestrian Area during the seasonal closure of Main Street, see below for options.
A non-structured patio on public property (i.e. post and cable and/or tables and chairs) 
Non-structured patios (i.e., post-and-cable and/or tables and chairs) are only permitted within the Main Street Pedestrian Area during the seasonal closure of Main Street.  Such patios require a Main Street Pedestrian Area (MSPA) permit.  Click here for more information and to apply.
A structured patio on public property (i.e. a solid platform)
A structured patio has a solid platform. If it exceeds 600mm in height above grade, it would also require a guardrail - i.e. an enclosure. This patio space could also include a tent, gazebo, or pergola.  Any food and beverage business seeking to install a structured patio on public property requires an In-Street Structured Patio (ISP) permit.  See below for information and to apply.

Any structure, canopy tent, parklet, gazebo or pergola exceeding 600mm in height above grade with a partial or full overhead enclosure, including beams, and/or one that could impact street drainage requires a Building Permit in addition to the ISP permit.

In-Street Patio Permit

Any food and beverage business wishing to install a solid structured patio (i.e., a solid platform with enclosure) on Town of Canmore property is required to obtain an In-Street Structured Patio (ISP) permit.  Applications are accepted year-round; permits will only be granted for the year of application and are subject to the fees below. This process is managed by Economic Development.

If applying for a patio within the Main Street Pedestrian Area, and to ensure that a permit is processed in time for the Main Street Closure, ISP permit applications with all required documentation must be submitted by Apr. 17.  Applications will be accepted after Apr. 17, but it is not guaranteed to be processed in time for the closure start-date.  This neither includes processing times for any outstanding additional permits (e.g. Building Permit), nor does it include processing times for payments.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted, and resubmission will be required.  Payment will be required prior to the review of any application.

ISP Permit Fees

Fees are subject to the date upon which an application is received by the Town of Canmore.

  • By Apr. 10: $100, plus $1,000 License of Occupation fee
  • After Apr. 10: $300, plus $1,000 License of Occupation fee

These fees do not include the cost of any additional permits or licenses required for the patio, such as a Building Permit.


All In-Street Structured Patio (ISP) permit holders must abide by the ISP Conditions.  Contravening the conditions could result in the rejection of the application or revoking of a permit and may be subject to penalty under Bylaw 2021-11.

General Conditions
The accepted usage within the permitted location, also known as the Activity Zone within the Main Street Pedestrain Area (MSPA), includes solid structured patios for food and beverage establishments which may also include planters, pergolas, or temporary canopy tents.

All applicants must hold a valid Town of Canmore business license to be approved for an ISP permit. 

A Road Use Permit is required for the installation and tear-down of any in-street structured patio outside of the MSPA. This permit is free of charge.

For safety and accessibility, the Sidewalk Zone must be kept free of all obstructions. This includes, but is not limited to, signage, displays, cables crossing the sidewalk regardless of cable covers or other mitigation tactics, etc. Refer to Figure 1 for Sidewalk Zones.

A new Occupancy Load Permit must be obtained prior to the opening of any new solid structured patio or if there has been changes to a business's previously permitted patio.  To book a review, click here.  It is recommended that this be done 30 days in advance of the anticipated opening date.

Location and Patio Specifications
Patios cannot exceed the boundaries outlined by the Town of Canmore. Within the Main Street Pedestrian Area, this boundary is up to, but not including the painted white line. For safety, umbrellas cannot hang over the perimeter of any post-and-cable patio or other set-up.

Patios must maintain distance from the curb and gutter for drainage. It is the permit holder's responsibility to ensure this space is clear of debris.

Where use extends past the applicant's own frontage, written permission must be obtained from affected neighbouring business owners and property owners.  Copies of all written permission must be provided as part of the application process.  Copies of emails are accepted.

A Building Permit is required for any patio with a solid platform that exceeds 600mm in height above grade, requiring a guardrail - i.e. an enclosure.

A Building Permit is required for any tent or collection of tents or pergola exceeding 10 square meters, or if the structure is large enough that there could be shoppers and/or a cashier station within. The structure would then be required to meet all aspects of building code, including anchorage, wind resistance and fabric fire resistance rating.

A Building Permit is also needed for any structure that could impact street drainage.

Umbrellas setup for share do not require a Building Permit but must be safely secured.

Any set-ups must be safely secured to withstand the effects of wind or being knocked over by other forces.  For example, tents and similar structures must be weighted down with weights or sandbags as per the building code.  Tying structures to one another as a means of weighing down is prohibited.

Set-ups must not be permanently affixed to the road surface. Spiking, drilling, or otherwise permanently affixing structures into town infrastructure is prohibited.

Liquor can only be served in clearly delineated patio areas for which all required licensing and insurance have been obtained.  Please consult with AGLC and your insurance company on any expansions to your liquor service areas.

Any requirements to obtain an AGLC license, adherence to AHS, or any other relevant legislation and requirements are the sole responsibility of the business.

Patios that have been erected within the Main Street Pedestrian Area must be removed from Main Street prior to 12 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2023.

Main Street Pedestrian Area only: Businesses within the larger Downtown Canmore Business Improvement Area (Downtown BIA) zone, including second floor operations can apply for unoccupied Activity Zones, and must provide the following with their application:

a.  Letters of support from the property owner(s) and the owner(s) of the Main Street-facing business in front of which the patio will be located.

b.  Confirmation that the applicant's business will operate from this location for a minimum of four days a week during the closure (e.g., from May 11 until Oct. 11).
Line-Ups, and Maintenance
Line-ups are to be organized on private property or on the structured patio marked by slip-resistant, non-permanent markers indicating line-up and spacing guidance. Line-ups are not permitted on the Sidewalk Zone.

All set-ups must be cleaned and swept daily. Town of Canmore's Streets and Roads Department will do weekly sweeping with the sweeper truck every Friday morning, but will not clean out areas where there are items or objects in the street such as patios, planters, etc.
  In cases where the area immediately surrounding the set-up may not be accessible to the sweeper truck, it is the business's responsibility to maintain.

Maintenance to the sidewalk, curb and gutter; concrete pavers, and asphalt are necessary activities performed by the Town of Canmore.  The town will endeavour to provide a minimum of two business days' notice to permit holders of any scheduled street or sidewalk maintenance within the Main Street closure area.  Efforts will be made to plan this work outside of busy times; however, weather, contracted services, materials, and staff availability can impact service delivery and planning.
Not Permitted
Generators on the public right-of-way.

Buskers: Businesses may request that their private property or in-street structured patio be added as an approved busking location by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with letters of support from their adjacent business owner(s).  Buskers must obtain a valid busker business license to perform at approved locations
Canada Day Restrictions (Main Street, Only)
From 10 a.m. through to the end of the Canada Day parade on July 1, all umbrellas, flags, banners, and visual barriers must be removed from the outdoor set-up to ensure adequate site lines for patrons, and for the safety of parade participants and animals.

Insurance and Disclaimers
Businesses must obtain all necessary and appropriate insurance for the extended business premises within the outdoor area.

Indemnify the Town of Canmore against all claims of any kind arising from any negligent act either by the permit holder or the permit holder's agents.

Town of Canmore must be included as additionally insured for all outdoor set-ups on Main Street.  A certificate of insurance must be included in the application with a minimum of five (5) million dollars of incident liability insurance and state the period of coverage by the insurance policy, i.e., commencement date and expiration date of the policy.  If requested, the Town of Canmore's address is: Town of Canmore, 902-7 Avenue, Canmore, AB  T1W 3K1.

Vehicle Access (Main Street Pedestrian Area, Only)
Vehicles can access the closure area for the purpose of installing a business's ISP permitted patio or for its tear-down beginning May 11 until noon on Oct. 11.

Vehicle access is not intended for general business purposes, such as regular deliveries, operations, or construction.

Access and egress are by way of 7 Avenue.

Barriers are to be managed by the driver and must be kept closed at all times.

Speed limit is 10km/hr. Motorists must yield to pedestrians and cyclists.

Vehicular access for regular business operations or construction requires a Road Use Permit.

Other Permits and Policies
In-Street Patio Policy

Building Permit from Planning

Road Use Permit Patio Parklet from Streets & Roads for patio installation and tear-down.  This permit is fee of charge.

Road Use Permit for vehicular access to the Main Street closure area for regular business activities. This permit is free of charge.

Signage Development Permit from Planning

Occupancy Load Permit from the Fire Department
Figure 1. Main Street Visualization of Zones

Figure 2. Main Street Pedestrian Area Layout, and Example of In-Street Patio