Erie street becomes a pedestrian haven this summer as street closures allow business owners to bring their shops outdoors.

Throughout the Via Italia neighbourhood, restaurant and bar owners will extend their patios into the streets on select weekends, while other retailers expand their capacity into the sidewalks as well.

The street closures promise to create a celebratory atmosphere as the community emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Fil Rocca, president of the Via Italia Business Improvement Area.

“It was a long and stressful time without being able to get outside and enjoy our community,” he said. “Now that the nice weather is here and we are allowed to operate in Stage 2 safely, we’d love for people to come down to Windsor’s Little Italy and experience all that Via Italia has to offer.”

The street closure is a feature approved by city council for several commercial centres to help business owners in their recovery. The street closures will start at 5 p.m. on Friday evenings and go through until Sunday nights at 11 pm.

All mandated Ontario and local health and safety regulations regarding COVID-19 will be enforced during the street closures. Masks will be mandatory when entering and patronizing indoor businesses. Social distancing is required at all retailers, cafes and restaurants. Extra sanitary precautions will also be implemented throughout each workplace to ensure both staff and customers’ safety.

The full list of weekend closures are as follows:

July 10, 11, 12                                  

July 17, 18, 19 

July 31, Aug 1, Aug 2, Aug 3 

Aug 21, Aug 22, Aug 23 

Aug 28, 29, 30 

Sept 11, 12, 13