City of Calgary, Newsroom

It’s springtime in Calgary which means patios and outdoor cafes will soon be opening. To assist local businesses in making the most of the season, The City of Calgary has made applying for and getting outdoor event permits more convenient.

“We’ve been making changes to improve the experience for our business customers. Those applying for patios and special function tents should find the process easier and the approval timelines shorter,” Brenda Desjardins, director of Building Services with The City of Calgary. 

To support business owners during what could be a peak season, The City has been simplifying processes, improving information on, adding more services online and offering dedicated City staff to help businesses complete permit applications. Business owners can now review checklists, use a live-chat feature at or connect directly with The City’s small business customer care coordinator.

“We know that Stampede is just around the corner,” said Desjardins. “We hope that the improvements we’ve made will help to support a successful season.”

Outdoor patios and special events add to the vibrancy of Calgary communities and are encouraged across the city. In 2018, The City of Calgary received applications for 84 patio permits and 11 special function permits. In 2019, development permits applied for to host event tents will be valid for up to three years, eliminating the need to apply on an annual basis.

For Zero Issue Brewing co-owner, Mark MacDonald, the process of adding an outdoor patio to the front of his tap room took 6-8 weeks.

“The process was pretty smooth – from finding the information online to the opening of our patio,” said MacDonald. “My advice to other business owners looking to open a patio would be to get their application in early – start the process before the Stampede rush and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I found dealing with The City to be a positive experience – they seemed like they wanted me to succeed.”

To learn more about service improvements, visit or visit for resources and access the suite of online services for business owners.

Share This