Patios and Main Street Permits

Jump to Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit

Patio Permits

A permit is required for any business seeking to install a patio on public Town of Canmore property or on private property. Review the types of patios and associated permitting requirements.

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.

Any food and beverage business seeking to install a structured patio on public property requires an In-Street Structured Patio (ISP) permit.  This structured patio includes a solid platform and may include an enclosure or guardrail, often made of wood.

Post-and-cable or simply tables and chairs are only permitted within the Main Street pedestrian area during the seasonal street closure.  Refer to the Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit for details and to apply.

In-Street Patio Permit

An overview of the steps that you need to take to secure your In-Street Patio Permit. This only applies to solid structured patios. 

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.

  • Accepted usage includes solid structured patios for food and beverage establishments which may also feature beautification elements such as planters, and pending approval from Planning, a pergola or temporary canopy tent.  
  • Setups cannot exceed the applicant’s business frontage, nor 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.  
  • Where use extends past the applicant's own business frontage, written permission must be obtained from affected neighbouring business owners and property owners.  
  • For safety and accessibility, sidewalks 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.
  • Setups must be safely secured to withstand the effects of wind or being knocked over by other forces.  For example, umbrellas, tents, and similar structures must be weighted with weights or sandbags as per the Building Code.   
  • Tying structures to one another as a means of weighing down is prohibited, as is spiking drilling or otherwise permanently affixed to the road surface. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A business's certificate of insurance must list patio or parklet as an operation covered by their policy and must be valid for the duration of their patio season.  Town of Canmore must be included as an additionally insured party, and the coverage must be for a minimum of five (5) million dollars of per incident. If requested, the Town of Canmore's address is Town of Canmore, 902-7th Avenue, Canmore, AB T1W 3K1
  • Generators are not permitted on the public right-of-way.
  • Buskers not permitted unless the business has obtained approval from Economic Development to be listed as an approved busking location. 

Occupancy Load Certificate

An Occupancy Load Certificate is required from the Fire Department for any structured patios. If the patio has an existing occupancy load certificate, please submit with your application. If your patio has changed or is new, click here to begin the process.

Building Permit

The following are examples of when a Building Permit is required: 

  • Any patio with a solid platform that exceeds 600mm in height above grade, requiring a guardrail - i.e. an enclosure.
  • Any tent or collection of tents or pergola(s) exceeding 10 square meters, or if the structure is large enough that there could be shoppers and/or a cashier or staff member station within. The structure would then be required to meet all aspects of building code, including anchorage, wind resistance and fabric fire resistance rating. 
  • Any structure that could impact street drainage. 

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


Road Use Permit

  • Road Use Permit (Patio Parklet) is required for the setup and tear-down of a patio. If installing on Main Street during the seasonal closure, this permit is not required.
  • Road Use Permit is required if requesting access to the MSPA for regular business activity.

Signage Permit

Temporary signage may require a Development Permit from Planning and must comply with theTown of Canmore's signage standards.Signage that does not adhere to the signagestandards is prohibited. For inquiries, contact Planning.

Application Process

Applications are accepted year-round for In-Street Patio Permits. Permits will only be granted for the year of application.

  1. All submissions will be reviewed at a high level and instructions for payment will be provided.
  2. Payment is required for your application to be reviewed in-depth. 
  3. Once all requirements have been satisfied, your In-Street Structured Patio Permit will be issued.

In-Street Patio Permit 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. 

This application stream applies to any business with an unchanged patio or location from what was approved in 2022.  The following is required at the time of application:

  1. Application form via online portal

  2. Copy of the 2022 License of Occupation for the in-street patio which includes a drawing or photo of the patio

  3. Copy of the Occupancy Load Certificated for this previously-inspected patio

  4. Certificate of insurance naming the Town of Canmore as an additional insured party, and a minimum of five million in liability coverage

  5. Building Permit application package, or copy of approved Building Permit

  6. Road Use Permit Patio Parklet application for the setup and installation of your patio. Not required if setup is within the pedestrian area of Main Street during the seasonal closure.

  7. Road Use Permit application for regular business activity vehicular access, if within the Main Street pedestrian area

Apply Now

The following is required at the time of application:

  1. Application form via online portal

  2. Current photographs of the existing site or the proposed patio location

  3. Detailed Site Plan showing the items below. See Figure 3 for a sample. Plan can be designed by hand, or digitally.
    a.  Adjacent building façade
    b.  Property line
    c.  Any existing usage within this space (e.g. patio, public seating, etc.)
    d.  Proposed patio
    e.  Any sidewalk re-routing
    f.  Landscaping details

  4. Dimensioned drawings of structures, including:
    a.  Elevations and cross-sections of the patio structure(s)
    b.  Specifications on how railings or structure(s) will be mounted, supported, or weighted.

  5. List of proposed materials and colours

  6. Certificate of insurance naming Town of Canmore as additional insured party, and a minimum of five million in liability coverage is required

  7. Letters of support from owner(s) of adjacent businesses. If the applicant is a second-floor business, a letter from the owner(s) of the ground-floor facing business is also required. Copies of email communications are accepted.

  8. Letters of support from property owner(s) if a business owner leases the property. Copies of email communications are accepted.

  9. Building Permit application package

  10. Confirmation that an Occupancy Load Permit is in progress. Copies of email communications are accepted.

  11. Road Use Permit Patio Parklet application for the setup and installation of your patio. Not required if setup is within the pedestrian area of Main Street during the seasonal closure.

  12. Road Use Permit application for regular business activity vehicular access, if within the Main Street pedestrian area

Apply Now

Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit

An overview of the steps to secure your Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit. This applies to post-and-cable patios, retail or other set ups, public seating and parklets located within the seasonal pedestrian area.

All Main Street Pedestrian Area (MSPA) permit holders must abide by the MSPA 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.

  • Accepted usage of the parking stall (Activity Zone) includes post-and-cable delineated patios for food and beverage establishments; other setups such as public seating areas, parklet, planters, pergolas, or gazebos; and retail industry setups such as temporary canopy tents or outdoor sales display and directional signage for sale of products.
  • A wooden curb ramp to improve accessibility from the Activity Zone to your business can be constructed and installed and will make your use of the street more inclusive. Temporary ramps are to meet building code requirements and a Building Permit is required.
  • Business use within the permit holder’s Activity Zone cannot exceed its boundaries or the business's frontage, nor exceed the painted white line along Main Street.  
  • Where use extends past the applicant's own business frontage, written permission must be obtained from affected neighbouring business owners and property owners.  
  • For safety and accessibility, sidewalks 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.
  • For safety, umbrellas cannot hang over the perimeter of any post-and-cable patio or other set-up
  • Setups must be safely secured to withstand the effects of wind or being knocked over by other forces.  For example, umbrellas, tents, and similar structures must be weighted with weights or sandbags as per the Building Code.   
  • Tying structures to one another as a means of weighing down is prohibited, as is spiking drilling or otherwise permanently affixed to the road surface. 
  • 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.
  • Set-ups must not be permanently affixed to the road surface. Spiking, drilling, or otherwise permanently affixing structures into town infrastructure is prohibited.
  • All setups must be cleaned and swept daily.
  • 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.
  • A business's certificate of insurance must list the patio or setup as an operation covered by their policy and must be valid for the duration of the street closure.  Town of Canmore must be included as an additionally insured party. If requested, the Town of Canmore's address is Town of Canmore, 902-7th Avenue, Canmore, AB T1W 3K1
  • Insurance coverage for food and beverage: Minimum of five (5) million dollars of per incident. 
  • Insurance coverage for retail and other setups: Minimum of two (2) million dollars per incident. If a business wishes to leave their setup installed overnight, the minimum coverage is five (5) million dollars per incident.
  • Generators are not permitted on the public right-of-way.
  • Buskers not permitted unless the business has obtained approval from Economic Development to be listed as an approved busking location.
  • Food trucks or trailers are not permitted. Food and beverage carts – e.g., human- or bicycle-propelled – will be considered on a case-by-case basis if associated with a business within the closure zone.

Occupancy Load Certificate

An Occupancy Load Certificate is required from the Fire Department for any delineated patio or seating area (e.g. post-and-cable). If the setup has an existing occupancy load certificate, please submit with your application. If your setup has changed or is new, click here to begin the process.

Building Permit

The following are examples of when a Building Permit is required: 

  • Any structure that could impact street drainage. 
  • Any tent or collection of tents or pergola(s) exceeding 10 square meters, or if the structure is large enough for the intention of the public or shoppers and/or a cashier or staff member station within. The structure would then be required to meet all aspects of building code, including anchorage, wind resistance and fabric fire resistance rating. 

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


Road Use Permit

  • Road Use Permit is required if requesting access to the MSPA for regular business activity.

Signage Permit

  • Temporary signage may require a Development Permit from Planning and must comply with theTown of Canmore's signage standards.Signage that does not adhere to the signagestandards is prohibited. For inquiries, contact Planning.
  • Directional signage is permitted under the Main Street Pedestrian Area Permitting process and may not require a Development Permit from Planning.
  • Businesses wishing to use the Activity Zone solely for the purpose of signage are to connect directly with the Planning Department and are not required to obtain a Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit.
  • Vehicle access to the Main Street pedestrian area 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.

Figure 1. Main Street Visualization of Zones



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




Figure 3.  Site Plan - Sample

Application Process

Applications for Main Street Pedestrian Area Permits are currently being accepted for the 2023 closure season of May 8-Oct. 11.

  1. All submissions will be reviewed at a high level and instructions for payment will be provided.
  2. Payment is required for your application to be reviewed in-depth. 
  3. Once all requirements have been satisfied, your Main Street Pedestrian Area Permit will be issued.

Food & Beverage Post-and-Cable Patio: $400
Retail, Public Seating and Other Set-Ups*: $200

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

This application stream applies to any business with an unchanged setup or location from what was approved in 2022.  The following is required at the time of application:

    1. Application form via online portal

    2. Copy of 2022 approved site plan

    3. Certificate of insurance naming Town of Canmore as additional insured party
      a.  A minimum of five million in liability coverage is required, or
      b.  Two million for retailers who remove their outdoor setup every night and are approved by the Town

    4. An approved 2022 MSPZ Permit will be verified internally

    5. Building Permit application package, or copy of approved Building Permit, if applicable

    6. Signage Development Permit application package, or copy of approved Signage Development Permit, if applicable

    7. Road Use Permit application package, or copy of approved Road Use Permit for vehicular access, if applicable

Apply Here

The following documents are required for a complete application package:

  1. Application form via online portal

  2. Detailed Site Plan showing the items below. See Figure 3 for a sample. Plan can be designed by hand, or digitally.  A suggested (and free) program to assist with drawing site plan is socialtables.com.  Create a space using the dimensions of your Activity Zone and add your items, shapes, and labels, including:
    a.  Adjacent building façade
    b.  Property line
    c.  Any existing usage within this space (e.g. patio, public seating, etc.)
    d.  Proposed usage (e.g. parklet, public seating, seasonal business setup, etc.)
    e.  Landscaping details

  3. Delineate the area to be used within the public right-of-way, and the location of any furniture or fixtures that will be placed on site
    a.  Show this area has a clearance of 3 meters on either side of the painted yellow centre line
    b.  Usage within Activity Zone may be up to, but not including the painted white line

  4. Current photographs of existing site (i.e., location of the proposed setup)

  5. Certificate of insurance naming Town of Canmore as additional insured party
    a.  A minimum of five million in liability coverage is required, or
    b.  Two million for retailers who remove their outdoor setup every night and are approved by the Town

  6. Letters of support from owner(s) of adjacent businesses. If the applicant is a second-floor business, a letter from the owner(s) of the ground-floor facing business is also required. Copies of email communications are accepted.

  7. Letters of support from property owner(s) if a business owner leases the property. Copies of email communications are accepted.

  8. Building Permit application package, or copy of approved Building Permit, if applicable

  9. Signage Development Permit application package, or copy of approved Signage Development Permit, if applicable

  10. Road Use Permit application, or copy of approved Road Use Permit for vehicular access, if applicable

  11. Confirmation that an Occupation Load inspection has been requested from the Fire Department. 

Apply Here