Patio heater and backyard fire pit sales heat up during pandemic
TORONTO -- During the summer of COVID-19 it was swimming pools and hot tubs that were top sellers, now patio heaters and backyard fireplaces are the must-have items as fall arrives.
“We are currently out of every heating product we have," said Richard Bockner of ARD Outdoor Furniture in North York.
Bockner said sales of patio furniture and umbrellas were brisk all summer and now that fall has arrived there has been a tenfold increase in the number of people calling about patio heaters.
“In all my years I’ve never seen such a demand for patio heaters. It's amazing to me the calls we are getting on a daily basis now," he said.
The growing popularity comes as the City of Toronto announced it is allowing portable heaters in all outdoor patios including curb lane closures which has also led to increased demand for the heaters.
Big box stores like Home Depot are also sold out and the Retail Council of Canada says all retailers are having trouble keeping up with the demand.
“Patio heaters are the toughest thing to find right now," said Diane Brisebois, the president of the Retail Council of Canada.
Brisebois said it’s not just patio heaters, it’s anything that can help people enjoy their backyards and stay warm as cooler temperatures arrive.
“Retailers are running out of fire pits, gas tables and anything else that allows Canadians to stay outside as it gets colder,” she said.
Backyard fire tables and fire pits are easier to find, but supplies are under pressure. As for patio heaters, retailers say orders have been placed but it could be another month or two before shipments arrive and when they do they're expected to go fast.
Although outdoor fireplaces can be purchased at retail outlets throughout the city, it does not mean open air burning is permitted for their use.
Before you buy a fire pit or fire burning device you may want to check your local by-laws as different municipalities have different rules when it comes to having a fire in your backyard.