Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A server wears a mask as she works among the plexiglass dividers at a bar's outdoor patio in the Byward Market in Ottawa, on July 12, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

As the weather gets cooler and COVID-19 cases start to surge again, more and more Canadians are looking to extend patio season by adding a heater to their outdoor space.

The demand for patio heaters has risen so much that retailers have been struggling to keep them in stock, according to the Retail Council Canada.

The council’s vice-president of public affairs, Kal Littler, said the products “have been flying off the shelves,” with demand coming from both commercial and residential customers.

Story continues below advertisement

Catherine Miller Mort of Toronto said she bought a patio heater for her home to allow her kids to play with friends outside during colder days.

“We want to be able to extend that enjoyment through the fall and into the winter if we can, and I know we’re not gonna be comfortable doing that inside,” said Miller Mort.

She said she looked for a patio heater at several retailers but took some time finding one.

“A lot of the smaller and electrical models that I looked at and were not as expensive were sold out at a lot of places,” Miller Mort said.

One of those retailers, Home Depot Canada, told The Canadian Press it has seen increased interest in outdoor heaters, fire pits and fire tables.

Communications manager Alyssa Haw said customers have been buying more outdoor heating products throughout the entire season compared to last year.

Haw said Home Depot saw the most significant increase back in May or June, when COVID-19 lockdowns had just started, and again in September, “as customers look to extend the season and remain outdoors.”

Story continues below advertisement

Canadian Tire also said it is anticipating that Canadians will be looking for ways to extend the season with help from outdoor heaters, barbecues and charcoal.

But the demand for patio heaters is not just coming from homeowners. There is also a big demand for them for commercial spaces such as bars and restaurants, according to Littler.

“Anything they can do to lengthen the (patio) season in which they can be open is a big deal,” said Littler.

The City of Toronto announced Friday that it is allowing portable heaters in all outdoor patios, including curb lane closures for its CafeTO program, to help restaurants keep their outdoor dining spaces open.

James Rilett, Restaurants Canada’s vice-president for Central Canada, called it a “great move.”

“Every little bit helps.... (I’m) glad that they’re keeping the program going.”

Story continues below advertisement

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies