What’s lovelier than sitting outside on a warm summer day for lunch or enjoying a drink and your company at the end of the day? Many restaurants, particularly in our cold northern climate, do not have permanent outdoor seating. Why? Because sitting outside is only a good idea for a few months out of the year. For the rest of the year the sidewalks and patios are cold, covered in snow and inhospitable. But, come summertime we want to take advantage of that nice weather and soak it in as much as we can.
Remember learning about parklets? It’s a conversion of parking space (temporary or permanent) into public space. Some are free for the public, outfitted with benches and plantings and designed to be meeting spaces for community members. Restaurants are catching on and creating outdoor dining areas from parking spaces – a twist on the “park” of parklets. While these are clearly affiliated with restaurants (meaning, not free for the public because you need to make a purchase), it’s still a great use of space to bring the community to the street.
These restaurants parklets are from Montreal, Quebec. While they vary in design and style, all are enclosed and encompass part of the sidewalk and parking spaces.
What do you think of restaurant parklets? Do you want to be eating next to traffic? It’s a great use of space if your town or city has narrow sidewalks, but maybe sipping your drink and enjoying your meal is more difficult if a car is idling in traffic next to you. Yay or nay? Seen any in your neighborhood? Would you prefer a parklet for a restaurant or free for public use?
3 thoughts on “Parklet Sighting in Montreal”
You’ve seen the new parklet in Montpelier, I’m assuming! I think it’s a great idea but a friend and I were talking about it the other day as we walked by–depending on the design the parklets could also raise some safety issues (especially with kids). Therefore, that’s another component of the environment that I think is worth paying attention to! I don’t know how I’d feel about eating so close to traffic either, like in this example that you give. Maybe add an overhang or trellis to further “separate” the parklet from the street?? Great post!!!
It’s an interesting idea. I love that a business owner would be able to interact with the street by actually expanding their business across the sidewalk and into parking spaces. It is definitely something I would have to experience before saying yay or nay to. Eating in the street could be fun – especially if time outside is limited by the weather. But the noise and pollutants might be a little too much for someone looking to get away. I suppose that might be part of the fun of being in a parklet, however! Either way, it’s a great use of space.