Park the car and walk in; City may put brakes on drive-thrus


Posted 2 days ago

It may become a little harder to find a drive-thru in certain parts of the city if the city council goes ahead with a plan to potentially restrict where they can locate.

Drive-thrus at businesses such as the Tim Horton’s on Hunter Street East and the Scotiabank at Hunter and Water streets could be the last of their kind.

Planning director Malcolm Hunt suggests the city could stop any new drive-thrus from being built in pedestrian-oriented areas such as the business sections of downtown and Hunter Street East.

But he stops short of any specific recommendations. Instead, Hunt proposes the planning department review potential zoning bylaw provisions to regulate drive-thrus in the city.

City council will consider the issue when it sits as planning committee on Monday.

While the city can regulate where drive-thrus are built, Hunt states the Ontario Municipal Board – a quasi-judicial body that considers appeals for municipal planning issues – has ruled against attempts to ban drive-thrus.

Blanket bans of drive-thrus have been overturned by the Ontario Municipal Board, Hunt states in a report.

The Ontario Municipal Board ruled against a decision by the City of Ottawa to ban drive-thrus in certain types of areas, he states.

But the board upheld the City of Toronto approach, which regulates drive-thrus on a case-by-case basis through zoning bylaw provisions. In Toronto, new drive-thrus are prohibited in residential and mixed commercial-residential areas as well as certain pedestrian areas.

Toronto restricts new drive-thrus from locating within 30 metres of any home.

The Ontario Municipal Board has decided banning drive-thrus would be a disadvantage for the elderly, the disabled and parents with young children in their vehicle, Hunt states.



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