Sidewalk Chalk : Extra $630 Liability Insurance Peterborough


Sidewalk Chalk Sidewalk Rule Sidewalk Café

Sidewalk Chalk : Extra $630 Liability Insurance Peterborough

The cost of sidewalk patio insurance in Peterborough won’t change in 2024.

Sidewalk ChalkSidewalk Rule Sidewalk Café
Sidewalk Chalk Sidewalk Rule Sidewalk Café


The Peterborough City Council has decided not to raise the insurance premiums for operating the downtown core’s seasonal sidewalk patios this year, after receiving requests from local businesses.

Council was presented with a motion on Monday night to increase the minimum amount of commercial general liability insurance coverage from $2 million to $5 million. Businesses would incur an extra $630 as a result of the increase, according to a city staff report.

Employees have indicated that should a lawsuit be filed, the city might have to pay more to keep the current rates in place.

However, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area requested that council forego the increase before it was put to a vote, claiming that increasing insurance requirements would further burden the industry that is still trying to recover from the pandemic of COVID-19.

And it’s not because the companies are acting insolently. The reason is that they just cannot afford it, according to DBIA board chair Sacha Lai-Svirk.

Sidewalk Rule

Sidewalk ChalkSidewalk Rule Sidewalk Café
Sidewalk Chalk Sidewalk Rule Sidewalk Café


During the motion’s discussion, city council member Alex Bierk questioned the insurance’s impact.

We must take seriously the reports we heard about the number of people who would withdraw if the limit was raised to five, he stated. “I’m thinking about that.”

Coun. Keith Riel, however, backed the increase. “…if you are serving alcohol, the amount should be $5 million to protect the public and the people of Peterborough.”

One of the ideas put forth is to base the insurance on sales of alcohol.

Nonetheless, the council decided to maintain the current insurance requirements through 2025, voting 7–4.

Staff will draft a report in accordance with the motion before the 2025 patio season, which might include a tiered approach to insurance requirements.


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